Day seven of the March challenge asks "What's Your Dream Job?"

Well, I have two.  Three, I suppose, if you want to get nit-picky, and out of those three I have gotten to fully experience two and partly experience the other.  Not many people can say that about their dream jobs!

My first dream job has always been to be a stay-at-home-mom like my mom was with me and my siblings.  When my oldest daughter, Liberty, was born, we could not financially afford that dream job.  I continued working although I dropped down from about 50 hours a week to about 32 hours each week - the minimum I could do and still have enough in our budget to barely make ends meet.  When my second daughter, Mercy, was born, that dream flew even further from my reach.

Thankfully, I had already had the chance to experience a job that I had never dreamed of, but found that it had been made specifically for me.  That 50 hours a week job that I mentioned, was a Human Resources Recruiter.  I got to meet with supervisors in need of an employee and find out what qualities they were looking for.  I posted applicant searches online on careerbuilder and monster and a few other sites, and then I enjoyed reading resumes as they came in.  Putting on my detective hat to determine from a resume alone which person might best meet the qualifications outlined during my initial meeting with the supervisors, became a wonderful mental challenge to me.  (Besides, I just enjoy the humorous grammar and spelling mistakes that inevitably show up when screening dozens of resumes.)  After resume screening and setting up interviews, came the interviews themselves.  This was the part I liked best. 

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Getting to know someone else has always been pleasurable to me, and I tried hard in my interviews not simply to ask the normal questions, but to find out what the person sitting across from me was really like.  Anyone can give appropriate answers.  (Well, not anyone.  You'd be surprised at some of the answers I received.)  But I wanted to know: Would he or she actually enjoy the job they were currently interviewing for?  Would they like working under the personality of the supervisor associated with that job?  Were they a "good fit" for the company as a whole?  Would this position benefit this person, and if not, could this person be a GREAT fit for another position that might open up in the future?  I kept a list of people that I turned down for one position who I would love to call back if and when a different position opened up for them down the road.  It felt really good when I could call someone out of the blue and offer an interview for a job for which they had never applied, and it felt even better when they were hired for that job and when 30 days later they and their supervisor reported back that they were both very well pleased with the new situation.

Another wonderful part of being a recruiter were the job fairs and traveling I got to do.  Although carrying PVC pipes, large pieces of fabric, and vinyl, Velcro-backed posters around in suitcases were not the dreamiest, once my booth was set up to my satisfaction and all the brochures and giveaways were strategically placed, my dream job resumed.  Spur of the moment interaction with strangers in need of work always made me feel like a super-hero.  I have been on the other side of the job fair myself.  I have been the one desperately searching for an open position somewhere.  ANYWHERE.  I have been the one trying to put a husband through college and paying the rent and purchasing groceries, and every job fair brought back that same feeling.  People, everywhere, who NEED work.  Trying to find out in a five-minute-or-less conversation what someone is looking for in a job and deciding if my company could meet their needs felt like I was making a difference.  No, I couldn't hire every person at the job fair, but I could change the lives of a few people there for the better.  I always made a point to walk the other booths myself and talk to every employer there to see who they were looking for.  If a person at my booth didn't qualify for the positions I had available, I would recommend that they visit booth number 12 or 17 or 53 because I knew the companies at those booths might be a better fit for this person.  "Of some have compassion, making a difference."  (Jude 1:22)

The company that I worked for also used me as an HR Specialist when I wasn't recruiting.  This part of the job involved solving problems for our current employees, like correcting paycheck mistakes or helping to set up insurance benefits.  Another enjoyable aspect of my job was retaining happy employees.  Every so often, I'd walk the factory lines just to talk with whoever was working that day.  Making new friends and handing out M&M packets with a label stuck onto them reading, "We're glad you work here!" made my day.

So that was the dream job that I had never dreamed of before I experienced it.  When I gave it up for a position with fewer hours so that I could spend more time with my family, I promised myself that when circumstances were right, I would do everything in my power to return to a position like that.

Three years later, circumstances were finally right for my original dream job to begin!  Jeremy found a new job in Indiana that allowed me to stay home full time with my then three-year-old Liberty and one-year-old Mercy!  This has been my all-time favorite job.  My father-in-law once asked me after I had been staying home for a while how my new gig compared to my old gig.  I had to stop and think about my answer, because each "job" challenged and fulfilled me in different ways. 

Staying at home was easier in some ways and harder in others, and the same could be said for working full-time outside the home.
  • When I stayed home, I didn't have to worry about getting to work on time or wearing the right clothes...or even clean, matching clothes.  However, if I made a mistake at my new job, life and death were on the line rather than a paycheck that could be corrected later. 

  • My old job provided adult interaction with stimulating conversation about politics and humor; my new job provided lots of hugs and cuddles with little people who thought I was the next best thing to God and challenging conversations that usually started with "Why, Mommy?"  The challenge came with the realization that my answer to that question had the potential to shape lives. 

  • My old job taught me how to have a candid discussion with someone who may or may not like what I had to say, but who would at least outwardly try to cooperate.  My new job taught me how to be a mind-reader for people who could not yet talk.  I needed to be able to accurately predict how my children would react in any given situation and be a couple steps ahead of them for their own protection.  If that's not mentally challenging, then I don't know what is! 

  • But the rewards, oh the rewards!  Making a difference in other people's lives has always been a high priority to me, and this new job had no comparison in that department to any other job I've ever had.  Plus, have you ever had a little kid smile up at you and wrap their little arms around your neck?  Seriously.  Best.  Feeling.  Ever.

My third dream job is one I have been dreaming of since high school.  I want to become a published author.  I've written several different adult and children's fiction stories, and even made a weak attempt at finding a publisher for the children's series, but I've never really tried hard to find a publisher or agent.  Something has always come up to distract me, and I'm not sure if what I've written is worth being published.  Nothing bugs me more than reading a book that in my opinion is a waste of the paper it's written on.  (Well, other things do bug me more than that, things that actually matter, but you get my meaning.)  This is the job that I claimed to have partly experienced in my opening paragraph.  I claimed this because I have become a published author in recent years, just not the way I dreamed.  I began writing for a website and was paid for the articles I wrote.  Unfortunately, I was paid per click, and not enough people clicked to make it worth my time.  However, that does mean that I am a real, published and paid author, so yay for me!  I'm still dreaming about the book(s) though.

Currently, my two daughters are in school, and I work part time in the Human Resources department of a very flexible company where I can set my own schedule.  I totally enjoy being back in the work-force again and especially enjoy being in HR again, but as you can imagine since it is only part time and very flexible, I'm not working on anything majorly challenging to my brain.  Since this baby is due June 5th, and my daughters will be out of school for the summer, I am looking forward to getting back to my full-time stay-at-home-mom position.  Which really is the dream job to end all dream jobs.  And someday, when my kids are grown, I'd like to work on being an author of book(s) and/or an HR Recruiter again. 

We'll see what happens...
2 Responses
  1. Flora Says:

    I think being a mommy is the BEST job! Especially when you get to stay home.

  2. Suanna Says:

    We were asked to share the answer to this question in our Sunday School Class with someone we didn't know well. My answer was a stay-at-home mom, the other guy's answer was a nurse. I'd also like to be a nurse, but not while I'm being a stay-at-home mom...maybe when my kids grow up...

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