It became apparent that my time at Pheasants Forever (PF) was coming to an end fall of 2011. There were several factors involved and there were many questions to be asked and answered. The biggest of them all, of course, was “what now?” I had begun a diligent search for the next chapter in my life (to use the boring life is a book analogy) – scouring over the Internet job boards, reading the tips and tricks to use the social media channels and reaching out to the many contacts I had made over the almost 7 years at PF.
It was very challenging to explain all that I had done in that time with the organization on the resume’s few lines as my role had grown to include many areas of the functions of PF. I had started out as a self-taught ‘webmaster’ with an organization that had two static php websites with very minimal interactivity to an individual who could explain almost all aspects of how the organization worked. While the title never changed from webmaster, the role definitely did. I was in the marketing department; managed over 100 domains, 10 or so ‘national’ websites, over 70 regional/chapter sites and that was just the webmaster portion (websites that I inherited that utilized multiple technologies and web languages from php to jstl to asp). I also wrote SQL queries and SSRS reports for the growing department that expanded from one person (me) to a team of 6 with several interns along the way. I became the point person for the membership department which utilizes iMIS as their account management system (AMS) created by Advanced Solutions Inc. There were many areas of PF/QF that I had my fingers in at one point or another. And with all that excitement, it wasn’t what me or my family needed, fiscally or otherwise, and the chances of it growing into more of what we needed just weren’t in the cards.
The many avenues I had scoured for the next line of work had turned into a lot of dead ends or maybes that ended up not turning out. Had several interviews and meetings and even a job offer with TwinCities Public Television… I had pretty much decided I needed a break from the non-profit world for a while though.
For three months this series of what-ifs and meetings and wishful thinkings went on. I was forcing things to go my way and to find that perfect position making some coin and being able to finally provide better for the family. I was waiting for word from Best Buy even on a few potential opportunities…
During the same time, my wife and I had luckily stumbled across an AWESOME small group through our church. Five couples who, I feel, really were able to connect and share stories and experiences relating to the words we were reading. We had spent almost an entire year going over 1 Thessalonians – which is not a very long book in the Bible. It was one of those groups that a single question can be asked and an hour long and very contemplative discussion could ensue. We had our talkers and our listeners but everyone contributed something to the group. It really was a blessing.
The Monday of January 16, 2012 was one of our small group meetings. As usual, my parents came over to watch the boys and Katie and I rushed out the door a few minutes late to show up just on time. That evening, we opened up in prayer and my job situation was brought up. I do not recall whether or not we even opened up our Bibles that night, as the conversation was centered around my job search and the fact that my time at PF was officially coming to an end and I had yet to find a suitable employment opportunity. At one point I even recall saying “We don’t have to spend the entire night talking about me and my job search.” To which everyone responded that no, it was alright and there was a reason that the conversation circled that topic. Which really got me to thinking… That night, after putting the boys to bed and thanking my parents, my wife and I in a moment of quiet prayed together and we prayed with our hearts.
Also during this time of my life, I had found the game “Words with Friends” on Facebook and I usually had about 10 games going at one time with a bunch of my friends. That game also had a chat feature built into it and I happened to be playing a game with a friend that I had met at a conference about a year previous. On Thursday, January 19th at exactly 1:11pm (I know this because I went back and checked the timestamp) I causally asked if she happened to be looking for some remote work in the web department, to which she replied that they were and to send my resume. I did that afternoon and the ball started rolling. One week and 19 minutes later, I had an offer in my inbox.
The point of this post, is really to explain to the world that I didn’t get this job by chance. I truly feel that the THREE MONTHS that I spent trying to do it all on my own was a silly and frivolous example of what I am like on my own. Because once I finally broke down and REALLY asked God in prayer, it took Him THREE DAYS to provide an opportunity and point me in a direction I hadn’t thought of going previously.
I started writing this post almost a year ago… I’ve now been working my ‘new’ job for over a year. My time with (C) Systems has been wonderful and working with iMIS and WCM/RiSE has been, well, an interesting adventure. Working from home (for a very remote company) has been an interesting transition and able to see much more of the boys and my wife has been awesome! I am still able to look back at this story – this very stressful point in my life – and be amazed at the awesome power and love God has in store for us, if only we would ask and seek His guidance.
On the night that The Office airs its final episode (tear), I finally publish this post discussing the period of my life where I left that office environment for my home office and it was by God’s grace that I am able to look back at that time and smile.