Tag Archives: job

Dreams for Tomorrow

I was doing some digital cleaning of my Google Drive when I came across a document filled with the beginning ideas for a new school and consulting business that my friend Jason and I were working on. This document is still shared with him. The last edit was June of 2014.

My friend is now working in another state. I have changed jobs three times. What happened? Life happened… and is it a bad thing that we didn’t pursue the dream of starting a consulting business or creating a new school? I don’t know.

Looking over the pages, the ideas are still strong. If I chose to follow that dream again, the ideas on the document would be the place to start. We were at the point to where all we had to do was say, “Go!”

But we didn’t.

There are a few lessons to take from this moment.

One: Achieving, or at least working toward a dream has that moment. The “Go!” moment; where you move from the ideas running around in your head, or even on paper, to executing that plan. That can be a scary moment. Because once you say, “Go!” failure is an option. So is success. The “Go!” moment makes it real. You have to be ready to handle the consequences of pursuing a dream.

Two: Dreams do not always have a time table. If I wanted to, I could start working on this goal today. I still believe in our ideas. I still believe in the vision of the school. But right now, I have other goals I am working on. There are dreams I want to achieve now. That is what I will work on today… but tomorrow? Who knows?

Three: We only have so much time and energy. This is the area that most affected the dream of starting a school. I was in my first year at a new job, my sixth child was on the way, and other life events were happening for both of us. Achieving any goal takes time and energy. Life is not a single event. When pursuing a goal, we have to understand this concept. I don’t remember where I read or heard this, but I agree with the idea that we only have enough time and energy for five things in our life. That includes relationships. The top five things in our life get our time and energy. Those five aspects can change. They are fluid, but it is an important idea to consider how you allocate yourself.

I’m not done cleaning out my Google Drive, but I moved the document about a new school in a folder I labeled, “Dreams for Tomorrow.”

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Letter of Resignation

Dear World:

I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as an active member of this company, effective today.

Thank you for the support and the opportunities that you have provided for me during the last 46 years. I have truly enjoyed my time, and am grateful for the encouragement you have given me while I pursued my professional and personal goals.

I know it is unprofessional to express why one resigns from a position, but I feel it is appropriate to articulate the issues in the company to help it move forward and find its way back to being great. There are many small things that have deteriorated over the years, but I believe that there are three main areas that the company could focus on that would take care of the small things.

Issue One: Communication

I know that the World is a huge company and that individual departments are busy with their own responsibilities, but there is no communication anymore. Not from the the top or between departments. Over time I have come to feel disconnected and isolated in this company. No one gathers at the watercooler or staff room to talk anymore. Also, we’ve stopped having activities that bring us together, like Christmas parties or company picnics. Everyday we sit behind our screens, ignoring those around us.  Unless there is gossip, then it gets ugly but I will address that with the second issue.

Issue Two: Culture

I am unsure how it changed, even though I think the issue of communication has a role in the negative culture the company now has, I can’t pinpoint when the company’s culture became so negative.  Every department blames the other departments for any failures the world has. And it has now come to the point that it is OK to publicly demoralize people in the other departments. It is not just gossip, but in memos and other official channels of communication I see negative and crushing name calling, blame, and threats for every employee of the world to see. The company’s culture is now divisive and walled. Each department only looks out for itself, striving to be seen as a great department.  We do not work together or work through differences for the betterment of the company, which is highlighted in the last issue.

Issue Three: Mission Statement

What is our mission statement? I haven’t seen it in awhile. Did we become too big to worry about having a foundation for our company? Even if it seemed like a cliche, a mission statement reminded us of our WHY. It highlighted the importance of our work and created a bond between employees. It focused our decisions and helped handle differences between departments. If asked, I couldn’t tell you what the World’s mission statement is. I don’t think any employee really knows. Each department has an unofficial mission statement, but the company has lost its own years ago.

If I can be of any assistance, please let me know. I would be glad to help however I can. I will be starting my own adventure as a writer.

Sincerely,

Jamey Boelhower

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Blueberry Muffin Success

It is Sunday morning. I am making blueberry muffins for the family. Big mixing bowl, muffin mix, two eggs, ¾ cup of milk (not water), and ¼ cup of oil. Blueberries are drained and waiting. It is a familiar routine. It is a foundation of our family. A simple thing that helps keep the family and me from getting lost in the turmoil of life.

This morning I am still reeling from the feelings of doubt and uncertainty. I had a number of opportunities that I felt qualified for, but wasn’t even given a chance to prove myself. No interviews, sessions not accepted for conferences. I know that there are so many factors involved in the process of selecting candidates for a position, but, honestly, rejection hurts. You wonder why. You wonder what didn’t they see in you.

These questions fill my head as I get all the ingredients mixed and fill the muffin cups. The oven beeps that it is heated to 410 degrees. I place the pan in the oven and set the timer for 18 minutes. I grab my coffee cup (I make my coffee before the muffins) and sit at the table thinking.

Success is a tricky concept. It can be measured by money, titles, or objects if that is your definition. But what if you just want to do your best, to help people be better, to raise a strong family? What if your idea of success is happiness? How is that measured?

Part of the way we measure that type of success is from our jobs, from the impact we make in our field of expertise. Those are hard to measure and sometimes the most challenging aspect of success because of change. A new boss, chasing a goal, or a decision made by administration. Things change and sometimes we don’t know why. Life doesn’t always go our way and we don’t know why. That is why doubt can bring you down, you can’t argue against it when there is no easy measurement to counter its voice.

6294522979_685f90e4bc_zThe timer goes off. The muffins have a golden hue mixed with dots of blue. They smell warm and tasty. The family gathers around the table. Glasses are filled with orange juice and milk. Butter is applied to the muffins for those who want it. There is chatter, request for more drink, and even laughter.

Sometimes success is measured not by money or a job, but by a dozen blueberry muffins every Sunday morning.

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Road Work

roadworkI know that I am using a road metaphor for another blog post. The “Road Closed” post was about the way life can alter our paths. This post will address the idea of work, of breaking new ground, of doing what it takes to get to where you want to be.

I have officially been on the job for a week. This morning I was touring the CCC Hastings campus to get a better understanding of where faculty were located.  The campus has a number of construction projects going, one of them is the street pictured above.  To be honest I stood there for a few minutes thinking about everything that has happen in just a few months.  Life has not been easy.  Yet, my work has started to create a path for me.

It has been hard work.

But that has been the key.  It will be the key to any success I have in the future. The only way my second novel will be published is for me to work.  The only way I can help CCC faculty is to do the work to strengthen my skills in certain areas. The only way my family will thrive is because I work at being a better father and husband.
If you log onto to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any social media platform you will find inspirational content.  Photos with inspirational quotes. Videos of people doing amazing things.  We need that inspiration.  I need it. But lost in all that feel good content is the simple fact that nothing happens until you work, until you tear up the ground and build your path to your success.

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A Little Faith

This idea has been fostering in my head and heart for a while. And I am not sure if I have a clear path to develop it for you, but I will try. Like so many times before, different situations have presented themselves over the last couple of months and I will try to connect those dots to expand on the idea of FAITH.

 

I am not going to talk about a religious based faith, but the faith we have in people. Some readers might use the word TRUST but I will go to a deeper level.

 

In our relationships trust is the noun, faith is the verb.

 

On that note, let me share the life events briefly, and then I will connect them all together:

A workshop on equality in the classroom

Dr. Phil

Being a dad

Job Transition

An interesting mix, I know. There have been other smaller moments, but these four have presented serious examples for me considering the idea of Faith.

Workshop

A big moment in the workshop was the section for evaluation of our assumptions. We were presented with an arrangement of situations / questions like, “I assume a good student has a good reason to miss class, while a bad student does not.” Another example, “I treat all Christians the same.” The base goal of the workshop was to challenge our assumptions so that we create a classroom that allows all our students to feel welcomed in. This generated some hard discussions on how we handled situations. And not just for the classroom. People let us down. Students let us down. But do they let us down because we already expect them to? I’ll come back to this…

Dr. Phil and Fatherhood

Just so you know, yes, I watch Dr. Phil. Part of the reason is because he comes up with some direct statements / questions that hit straight to the issue. I will not go in depth about the episode but concentrate on a single question Dr. Phil asked. The episode was about parents who did not like the man their daughter married. Dr. Phil asked the parents, “So, you don’t have faith in how you raised your daughter?”

I have discussed this idea before in an earlier post (Trust Your Foundation), but the emphasis on the idea of faith in Dr. Phil’s question resonated this time. In my own parenting life I am at that junction that I have to have faith in my kids. Both of my boys are now teenagers. They are spending more time with friends, becoming involved in activities, and simply becoming men. Do I have faith in my parenting?

Job Transition

This last example has two components. Yes, at the time of posting this I will not have a job in education for the next school year, but that is a different issue. During one of my interviews I was asked what I expect behavior wise from my students, this was before the workshop (but I love how life will highlight a theme for us). I simply answered that I expect them to be people. I expanded on the idea that we are all works in progress but that I do my best to respect them as individuals and trust they will do their best. I acknowledge that sometimes students let us down, but you keep working toward being the best you can possibly be. Simple put, I try to have faith in my students. I’ll come back to this…

The second component of this example is the feelings I’ve been experiencing through this time of my life. It is normal to wonder what you did wrong or what you said that could change an interview in your favor. You start to think about past jobs and interviews just to compare and contrast the situations. Which brings me to the point of sharing this, I know how empowering it is when someone has faith in you. The late Mr. Monter had faith in me and he expressed that from the interview on. I contacted Mr. Monter on the last day that the English position at Centura was open. He could have said that the position was filled or that they had already finished inteviews, but he didn’t. He asked if I could have my application to him that day. I said yes and got an interview the next week. I thought the interview went well but was not holding my breath because I understood the situation. As I drove home I told myself that Mr. Monter had already decided on a candidate. I was right, but Mr. Monter called me on my way home to offer me the job. He was going to offer the position to someone else he told me. But he said something told him that I was the right person. Through the years working with Mr. Monter he expressed that same level of faith in me and my colleagues. That made us want to be the best teachers we could.

The Connection

In our relationships trust is the noun, but faith is the verb. When someone expresses their faith in us we rise to the occasion. Yes, I have let people down. Yes, people, students, have let me down. And it hurts when that happens, so we stop doing it. But when we stop having faith in people we start to assume, we start to build relationships on easy to fill boxes. We are all works in progress, but that progress is dependent on someone having a little faith in us. Thank you to everyone who has had faith in me.

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