November 14th, 2006


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.