Leaps of faith

“Trust in God, but tie your camel to a post.”

-Old Arabic proverb (trusting the internet on this attribution, please correct me if you know a more specific source).

Have you ever heard this one?

Even for those of us who have faith, it does not give us license to be naïve about our future. Leaping without a net might be okay if your family is wealthy or inclined to bail you out. But I live in the real world, and come from humble beginnings.

I made a leap last August, away from a corporate manager position and into a sabbatical, some forays into self-employment: coaching, science writing, and freelance consulting. I designed and delivered some workshops: Embody the Leader Within You and the Neuroscience of Resilience. I began yoga teacher training, and I am loving that experience. I started with about 6-8 months of living expenses put away, and I earned a little money here and there.

I realized back in February/March that this was not going to be a sustainable living for me, and that our reserve funds were rapidly dwindling. So I took a bridge loan of sorts and then headed back into looking for full-time gigs. Good thing my credit is excellent, and I foresaw the shortfall a few months before it became mission-critical. Also good thing that I spent 10 months before I left the previous job in serious preparation for this time away, putting away extra money and hiring coaches to position myself for a break. I do not take that privilege for granted.

tie your camel
Photo credit link

Though I will someday try a self-employment venture again, I was honored last week to accept a position at the University of Minnesota as a Program Manager in the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. I will begin on June 10th (my birthday!) and it feels like an amazing gift. As it turns out, the recruiter had contacted me originally on March 8th regarding this position. So it was about a 3-month period of messages back and forth, phone interviews, in person interviews, interacting with the hiring committee, and eventually the hiring manager (3 in person experiences).

I kept pursuing this one because I see it as a unique blend of an opportunity to build something new in an academic setting but at the same time apply my expertise in clinical research. At the same time, I had a hard time pursuing corporate positions, because I just do not see myself in that sort of role for now, so I did not bother.

Because I was having a positive experience with the interview process, I made a leap of faith and did not do much searching in the full-time realm for other jobs. I front-loaded my YTT studies, knowing that a full-time job may mean less time for focused study of yoga. And I am bringing my coaching practice to a mindful close while I allow lots of energy and time to learn the new job without too much distraction.

I am grateful that I took the leap, learned so much in the interim, and found myself a role that, though it pays less than my previous role in the corporate world, allows for a sustainable and regular income for my husband and me. It is on my “growth edge” and will stretch me in new ways. I am excited and a little nervous, as anyone might be in a new role. But I will embrace it. The faith I have developed in my own resilience serves me. And wherever the road bends next, I know I can meet the challenges ahead.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

Flex work – myth or reality?

Hola Amigos/as:

I am going a little rant, so pardon me in advance for doing it. Of course if you choose to read my blog, this is what you’re going to get now and then. You accept it. Maybe you even enjoy it.

Many organizations lack the flexibility they will need to thrive in a future that looks very different from the present. Or possibly I have not found the “holy grail” of flex work yet, and if anyone can shed some light on this, I will be grateful.

wellworth1.jpg
Wellworth building – downtown St. Paul co-working space I tried out Wednesday, 3/13/2019.

The future of work will not have everyone working 8+ hours for 5 days a week. I am fairly sure of that, based on the research and reading I have done about the evolving workforce. But most companies still seem reluctant to take on employees at less than a  100% commitment. Not only do they want your time, they seem to want your soul.

Ideally for me, a 20-30 hour gig would be perfect. 3-4 days a week of full time work would be ideal, so I could build up the larger vision of my practice (the tagline of which is “Embody the Leader Within You“). I realize it takes time and clientele built over time to achieve my vision, and I am willing to work at it part-time for now, supplementing with a job in an organization. But most organizations either want 100% of your time, or nothing.

I was talking with a friend who is retired, and she told me she had planned to work part-time for a few months or a year for her employer. But they were not willing to consider that, after many years of full time work. When she decided to leave, they gave her 3 weeks to train her replacement and then she was gone. She is now retired now and doing all of the things she loves to do, living free and happy.

But that workplace missed out on some highly experienced and mature work. I am guessing that the Gen X or Baby Boomer manager did not properly value her contribution or may have had stereotypes about her ability to learn technology.

wellworth2
Another view of Wellworth – I really like the light and the openness of this office design.

This is a sad state. I am a Gen X/cusper myself and I can often identify with the situation of millennials (Gen Y) individuals. However, in my limited experience with Gen Y versus Boomer employees, I would go for the latter every time. Mature workers show up every day and they understand that they will not receive a trophy just for doing the bare minimum.

I realize I am over-generalizing here, but mature workers know how to have a conversation. While some of them may be as wedded to their phones as the millennials, most have basic manners as well as focus and attention. They understand the subtle dynamics of social interaction, and how to adjust accordingly to circumstances.

I have worked with Boomer employees who got more done in 15 hours a week than the interns I hired who worked 40 hours a week. So please, if you are in a position to hire someone: do not rule out someone who wants to work for you for 25-30 hours a week. I will bet that that this person may be more productive in those hours than the 40 hour worker, and possibly more loyal if you hire them as well.

End of rant.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com