I realise I haven't said much about my job. It is a job worth waiting for. Although I got to the point of applying for any admin jobs I've been blessed with a job I've been searching for. To understand why I'm saying it's such a blessing we need to go back a few years. I think back to around December 2006.
I used to work as an administrator for NSPCC in Norwich. For a couple of reasons I had to leave that job. It was a hard thing to walk away from but at the time I felt I had to do that. In December 2006 I applied for a similar role at Sure Start in Norwich. I had a great interview and felt very positive only to have a phone call that evening to say that I hadn't been successful. But what a phone call that was - it was the best job rejection I have ever, and since, had. I was told if they hadn't had a temp doing the job I would have been offered the job and not to give up as I was exactly what a children's charity needs and to keep looking.
So I did start looking.
Being in Norfolk was very limiting. Either charities didn't have offices in Norfolk or there weren't any vacancies. So I broadened the search area. I searched England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I wasn't hopeful with Northern Ireland but thought I'd give it a go. Wow, there were options for roles in Belfast. I sat there with a sense of being directed there. I was trying hard to ignore it and became more and more thoughtful. I came to the conclusion and prayer that if it was a God-calling it would have to be much more than getting a job in Belfast.
I pushed that thought to the back of my mind as I had got another job for another 18 months or so.
In September 2007 started my adventures in Serbia. I cannot remember when Trish and David said they were called to church planting in Belfast but I know it put me in a bit of confusion. I still felt I had to spend time in Serbia but felt a buzz in me about Belfast. When I first heard it was a bit scary being reminded of the jobs in Belfast.
So Belfast first came on my radar because of jobs with children's charity. After many months and numerous applications I lost track of what jobs I had applied for. I started to get interviews which was a way forward. One of the jobs was at Belfast Metropolitan College for the Prince's Trust TEAM Programme. It didn't dawn on me until I received the offer letter that this wasn't just an admin job in a college. It was working for a charity with youth and felt much more than just an administration role.
Looking back at the interview I realise how God had directed and guided me. This was the second interview I had with the college but at a different campus. When I walked in I recognised 2 of the panel - they had been at the first interview. I felt that as I hadn't got the previous job I wasn't going to get this one either so I relaxed completely. The answers were quick in coming and in detail as I didn't really think about the answers first.
So you know how I got the job but not much about the job. This is the fun part. The TEAM Programme is a 12-week personal development plan for 16-25 year olds out of education, not working. A chance for them to get motivated into finding jobs, next course and to gain some qualifications.
It was amazing to be part of TEAM 11 and get to know them. Because I spend 4 days a week at Central I got to know the guys better than on the other sites. It was a weird start - I felt I was sitting back and observing how things went for quite a few weeks and even after getting to know some of the team of I still held back a bit. In a way I'm glad I did as I found it really hard when they left.
It is so amazing to see the difference in the finishers to how they started. I'm with my second team and they are so different again. I'm really pleased that the "admin" role is not in some remote office with no contact with TEAM members. OK, I don't have much contact with them but part of that is me not getting too close to them as I don't want to take on too much.
It is an eye opener working with these TEAM's. It's so easy to blinkered about the problems some of the youth have. I feel I am getting a better understanding from a small group. Not that everyone on the programme has problems but on some of the TEAM's there are some with the stereotypical attitudes.
For years I always felt I would work with small children but again I'm being challenged to communicate with young adults - the group I would cross the road to avoid a few years ago. Who knows where this is going to lead - but you know what, even if I stay as the Administrator at the mo I can see myself happy with that.