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Redoing the resumé. . . - Chronarchy

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November 14th, 2006


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01:33 pm - Redoing the resumé. . .
I spent last night re-organizing my resumé. Yes, that dreaded spectre of job-hunting is rearing its ugly head. Some days, though, you realize you have to do something.

The thing that makes this so interesting, though, is that I have something new to add to the resumé: my clergy credentials.

In deciding where to put these, I had to work through a couple of various scenarios. I mean, who puts "Pagan Clergy" on their resumé? That's job application suicide.

But my training is actually rather valuable in the business world. I have a lot of mixed feelings about running the Grove as a business, but I realized early on that if I didn't, we wouldn't have a Grove at all. We have to cover our expenses, and meeting the needs of the congregation and our mission, unfortuantely, isn't free.

But the income/expenditure skills I've picked up running a small church aren't actually the most valuable things I've learned. In fact, they're the things I value least (probably because I dislike them so).

I've learned a lot about communication, speaking, and writing. I've learned how to keep my mouth shut about things people confide to me, and how to keep myself from giving away details about who is confiding in me at any given time (amazingly difficult in a small group like Three Cranes). I'm a more proactive listener, and I am learning to recognize pathways for helping people and avenues of recovery.

I've learned to make an argument and to help people understand things that they couldn't grasp before (often, this is through thinking out loud and learning how to understand the same thing at the same time). I speak to people easily and have learned a lot about human nature, including what motivates people and how to motivate them to do things they don't want to do. Possibly most importantly, I've learned to think on my feet when I have to be there for a person. People are really good at blindsiding you with information you would never have wanted, then hitting you immediately with a request for advice on a situation you are unlikely to have ever been in. Finding something to say in those situations is a skill that is invaluable.

So I put "Ar nDraiocht Fein: Clergy Training Program" at the top of my educational experience, "Instruction ongoing." At the top of my work experience, I put "Three Cranes Grove, ADF: Clergy services, leading services, counseling." It is, after all, my primary job. My University work is listed second, less spectacularly.

I don't have to tell people what sort of clergy I am (nor can they ask, legally, and "ADF" and "Ar nDraioct Fein" are vague enough to most people I'll meet), but it's important for me to tell them that I'm clergy: to a smart person with an open mind, I expect that they'll understand that the skills learned through clergy training are useful in business as well.

I'm still learning a lot of these skills, but they are certainly coming along. I'm suddenly looking forward, very much, to writing "ordained" on my resumé, rather than just consecrated.

Besides, if we want to be taken seriously, then we have to take ourselves seriously. Those are the rules of the game.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Death of an Unpopular Poet", -JB

(28 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:saffronhare
Date:November 14th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
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You could also choose to classify it as nonprofit management work, in a volunteer leadership capacity, and so on.
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
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This is true. It'd make them more comfortable, I suppose.

But honestly, they have a right to know about this little tidbit: I'd be pissed if such a huge time-drain (which could interfere with actual work) weren't disclosed with the interview if I were on that end. Specifics aren't required, but "people depend on me to be there for them" is, at least for me to be comfortable with the interview process.
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)
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It's the "could interfere with actual work" aspect that really gets to me. It doesn't interfere with this job because it's my primary job and I have a lot more depth and some understanding in this office. But going into a new job cold, one that will be a job that is secondary to my current dayjob, even. . . Well, it could feel the brunt of my clergy work.

And so I'd feel more comfortable telling them why there is a potential unreliability in my work than having them find out two weeks in, or after hiring me.
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From:saffronhare
Date:November 14th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
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Dunno. I'd think potential unreliability would be a bit of a deal-breaker for most positions. But then, I'm a tight-assed Cordian Druid.

Luck and grace, dear. :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC)
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*nods* Which is why they have every right to know it up front :)
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From:tesinth
Date:November 14th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC)
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Actually, I highly doubt that they can't ask you what it means. They cannot simply ask you what religion you are. However, since you've put down this material, they have every right to learn about these things since you are using them to reference your experience/education. Don't ask-don't tell, but once you tell, the door is open, my friend. :)

If I have time tomorrow I'll ask our HR gal about this, shes great at all those kinds of rules...
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
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Religion can't be a determining factor in hiring a person, is my understanding, with certain small companies exempted from that.

I'd be interested to hear what your HR gal says.
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From:tesinth
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC)
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True, it cannot be a determining factor. However, since you included that, that frees up questions such as, "We'll need this position to work Sunday evenings, will you be available?" or something to the like. Even if they don't ask you, they can look up everything online and, depending on this-and-that, simply not call you in for an interview.

Don't get me wrong in thinking I'm saying that you shouldn't put it on there, I'm just saying that it will be looked at like everything else on your resume. If you're going to be huge company, it probably won't matter. However if its some place small, they'll probably look into it. Heck, if I draw up a resume to try to transfer to another job at OSU, I'll probably put down that I'm the advisor to PSA, showing leadership (ha!) and that I'm involved with / care about the student body. However, if I draw up a resume for a job with a small construction/maintenance/whatever company, I'll probably leave that off. Less questions and also its *not directly relevent to the position I'd be applying for*. :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
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*nods* Yes, a lot of is has to do with relevance. I never put PSA on my resume, because there were plenty of other things that covered that sort of leadership training: varsity fencing team, Boy Scouts, etc. I probably never will, because I don't feel that I learned as much from it as I have from this.

Dunno. We'll see how it goes this go-round. :)
From:ceolnamara
Date:November 15th, 2006 09:22 am (UTC)
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I think I learned a lot from my tenure as co-chair. Especially about how to deal with people with attack cats.
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From:wylde_chylde99
Date:November 14th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
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Good job champ. I think a lot of people would be too worried to even allude to it on their resumes. Its like when I had to decide if I would list myself unemployed for the past year and a half or list dancing on my applications...... well except dancing wasn't really relevant to graduate school......but anyway. I think you did good and anyone you'd want to be working for will see that too. and maybe they'll ask and maybe they won't, but either way I'm sure you're eloquent enough to pull it off and convince them that its totally legit and not freaky-deaky.
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC)
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I'm not overly sure about my eloquence, but I do my best :) Thanks.

I expect that, should they ask, I can pass it off as "no big deal" that it's a Pagan church. That's about the best I can hope for: the skills I've picked up are the kind that ought to speak for themselves in an interview.
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From:singingwren
Date:November 14th, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
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It makes me smile that you wrote this, because I just updated my resume for P&G and News Channel 10. I then began to apply for an internship at Procter & Gamble online, and let me tell you, they certainly grilled me with all sorts of modules, personality analyses, and timed reasoning tests. Most of these required swift problem-solving, but one of them was almost entirely on leadership and teamwork, and it asked me if I had ever mentored, been mentored, led groups, etc. I said that I was currently mentoring 'in a religious context', included references to the DP and other skills I'd learned indirectly from the grove. I also dared to put Pagan Student Association down since A) P&G is fanatical about diversity and B) I HAVE have been the head of student organizations and believe I have ever right to show that. It felt good.

The way I as a sassy intern figure things is like this: if a company is going to discriminate in hiring because of my paganism, I don't want to work for those bitches anyway.

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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:21 pm (UTC)
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*nods* That last sentence is exactly how I feel about it.
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From:gothicdruid
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
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Whether or not I list my experience with ADF (as Administrator first, then Treasurer) depends entirely on the nature of the job. I've never been one to broadcast a one-size-fits-all resume (in general), so I sometimes include that experience, sometimes leave it off. Even though I actually was paid for awhile (when I simultaneously held the ADF Office Manager position), I include it with my other nonprofit volunteer and board experience. Mostly when I include it, it is not for the sorts of communication/leadership skills reasons you are inclining toward, but for the simple fact that the experience included four years of bookkeeping. I have other non-religious nonprofit board/volunteer leadership stuff that I include where I don't have to let prospective employers know I've got major clergy commitments.

And just because it has to be said: I've been doing Druidic clergy work locally and nationally for seven years now and made only a few hundred bucks from classes, weddings, and one memorial service over that time. That work is very important to me...it defines me in many ways...but the community doesn't pay my rent. Be careful, Mike, of treating your primary occupation as a career when it isn't. You may set yourself up for years of unnecessary privation. I know too many elders in the Pagan community working glorified clerical jobs in their late 50s/early 60s and facing debilitating health problems with little or no insurance because they've limited their personal career opportunities to serve a Pagan community that has all too eagerly absorbed their teaching but not contributed to their making a living in return. YMMV...
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
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*nods* Well, I won't be selling workshops about how to make money fast if I'm poor, I can assure you of that.

But I'm not expecting the clergy stuff to ever pay a single bill. I may make a couple bucks here or there from writing or doing a wedding, but I'm not going to see anything significant from it. My dayjob is a necessary evil, and I'll do it the best I can: to do less would be rather stupid.

I've seen what happens when someone thinks that they can be a magician for hire in today's society. You either have to be a charlatan or sell out. I'm not interested in either position.

So yeah, no worries about me jumping ship and joining the ranks of those who complain constantly about the lack of money we throw at our elders.

I'll only do that if I don't need that sort of support and can have been putting my money where my mouth is for a couple of years. .
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From:gothicdruid
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
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That's half the issue. Part of my caution is picking up on what a couple other folks have said, oh-so-gently: You can marginalize yourself in the job market if you advertise your vocation too assertively. I deeply respect your integrity in wanting to let prospective employers know about competing demands on your time...just be sure that you are prepared for the inevitable cases where you don't get the job as a result. I keep those time commitments as under wraps as possible in the hiring process...and my personal integrity in the process has to be in my making decisions about how I'll manage my clergy (and other volunteer) commitments so as not to impact negatively on my "day job" performance. That can be tricky, but so far I've managed through two executive positions over the last five years. Good luck!
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
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*nods* Were this a primary job, I'd agree fully. But the job I'm seeking is a secondary job, probably just one to get through the holidays (i.e. working retail and the general seasonal employment sort of thing) and I'm willing to do some heavy shopping for something that will fit more needs than just money.

This then becomes an opportunity to test out whether I can make this something of a strength, or if it'll just be a detriment. I'm totally banking on it being a strength (as you can tell). If it's not, well, back to the drawing board. I'll put my pirate shirt back on and go a-raiding another paradigm next time I go looking for a job.
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From:prophet_maid
Date:November 14th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Good luck on the job hunt!

Honestly, putting that on your resume could be job hunt suicide, or it could help. It certainly will make you stand out, and you will know right away if a company is pagan friendly. Plus that fits with my desire to see paganism become a normal, mainstream religion.

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From:chronarchy
Date:November 15th, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

My father once told me about a guy who graduated seminary who applied to be a salesman for his meat packing company. My dad asked him why he was applying for sales when he had a degree in theology, and he said it was because he didn't expect the stresses and such that came with the job of being a priest (particularly having to do funerals for infants and counsel the parents), but that he'd learned a lot of very positive sales-related skills from the job.

I think that's where I picked up the idea that this whole clergy thing could really be an asset to a business.
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From:delphinastar
Date:November 14th, 2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
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QUOTE- "if we want to be taken seriously, then we have to take ourselves seriously. Those are the rules of the game."

Excellent point... And a hard one to get across. This is a battle locally that we have been working on. So many see this as a rebellion thing. And local people in our meetup groups have actually made the statement that they would NOT be pagan if it were mainstream... And here I thought that's what we were working for- that kind of openness... Hmmmm...
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 15th, 2006 01:29 pm (UTC)
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*nods* I admit to referencing Huizinga there. . . It's all still a game, but the rules are plain and easy: we have to follow them, or we won't get what we want.

And if you'd abandon your religion just because it's got a few more followers today than it did last week, then you never had religion in the first place.
From:snakesinspace
Date:November 15th, 2006 01:20 am (UTC)
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No more sex for you if you put on a pirate shirt!

Yipes, you know, if people are so afraid to put their religious volunteering on a resume it will never become commonplace.

Of course, I say this being a self-made bagillionaire so what do I know. :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 15th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)
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*nods* We are called "hidden" or "secretive" for just those reasons.

Gotta step up, if you ever want to become mainstream.
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From:wishesofastar
Date:November 15th, 2006 06:02 am (UTC)
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I do want to make a point: when you google your name, a whole big page of pagan-related stuff pops up. And considering more and more employers are googling prospective employees, chances are they'll find out whether you mention it or not.
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From:chronarchy
Date:November 15th, 2006 01:24 pm (UTC)
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Yes, though most employers will realise somewhat quickly that googling as a background check is a poor choice, I think.

While some things are obviously not me, others are not so much obvious.

For instance, I am obviously not a dead policeman.

It is not obvious that I did not escape the World Trade Center on Sept. 11th by taking out the garbage, a top hit if you just google me as "Michael Dangler" (second hit), which most employers would.

The problem with Google checks is that they bring up a load of information that is usually more difficult to sort through than it is useful. And you can *always* make the argument that it's some other MJD they're looking up, if you really want to work for someone who is that controlling over your personal life.

Personally, I feel it's a price one pays for doing what they do in a public, visible way.

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