11 Lessons From My Resume

photo 2-7As I enjoyed the Labor Day holiday this past weekend I had a chance to read an article in my hometown paper where the great columnist Bill Kirby shared lessons from some of the many jobs he worked over his life. I thought it would be interesting to go back and do the same for my years in the workforce.

Though I’m only 29-years-old at the moment I’ve amassed a good size resume and I believe there’s at least one lesson to be learned from every job I’ve had over the years. So, with full credit to Mr. Kirby for the idea, here’s one lesson from every job I’ve had since I started working at age 16:

1) The Masters Tournament (First week of April 2002):

The Job – 4 straight 14 hour days in a concession stand at the most popular golf event in the world.

The Lesson – The paycheck is not always worth the work. Continue reading

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7 Things I Learned From 7 Months At Kohls

photo 2-7Seasonal. I was just supposed to be a seasonal employee.

In November of 2013, a few months after leaving my full-time position as a youth pastor, I began working at Kohls part time to help me earn some extra spending money for Christmas.

I thought I would work here for a few weeks.

Today, over seven months later, I’m clocking in at Kohls for the very last time.

Life has not panned out as I planned it in 2014. I didn’t find a full time job as soon as I thought I would.

But now, as I prepare for a new working opportunity, I’ve been wondering how to sum up my experience with Kohls.

Diving back into the world of retail after a 7 year absence has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

I’ve complained. I’ve cried. I’ve whined. I’ve moaned and groaned to my closest friends. I’ve screamed at God, wondering why He would let me flounder in a dead-end job without any hopeful prospects on the horizon.

I’ve struggled to figure out exactly what I’ve learned from this detour in life.

Maybe it is still too soon to tell what all my time at Kohls has taught. But I have come up with a few things that have surprised me along the way about myself as an employee, about consumer behavior, and about the retail world. Continue reading

Feed My Sheep

I wish The Bible wasn’t so specific. 

A lot of people may not agree with me on that one. They’d rather The Bible go ahead and spell out everything about God and life and the afterlife.

You see, I’m ok with a little mystery. And I’d be ok if there was a little wiggle room as well on some of these commandments we’re supposed to live out.

But sometimes Jesus spells things out for us so there can’t be any misinterpretation.

Take this verse for example: Continue reading

Who Do You Work For?

photo-15I get asked one question almost everyday:

“Excuse me sir. Do you work here?”

Who me? The guy with the headset and walkie talkie on, the guy with the nametag and lanyard with the store name on it, the guy who’s putting all the shoes back on the shelf? Why yes, in fact I do work here!

I just don’t get it. To me, it should be obvious to customers that I’m an employee. I can’t quite figure out how some people can’t quite figure it out.

Apparently though, there’s something more I should be doing. My labor is not bearing fruit in their eyes.

Maybe there are other things I should be focusing on. I’m sure I could be talking to customers more, engaging with them instead of doing all the daily tasks of the shoe department. Maybe then people would recognize who I work for.

The whole thing makes me think of that age-old guilt producing Sunday School question: “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to find you guilty?” Continue reading

How To Have Complete Job Security

Anchorman-2Weathermen and Sportscasters have it easy.

A good portion of their job performance is based on prediction. Each night the weatherperson forecasts what the temperature will be. One segment later the sports anchor gives you their gameday picks.

They’re both just guessing. And most of the time they’re both wrong.

Yet there they sit night after night, week after week, offering their often incorrect predictions.

You probably saw it this week with high-stakes playoff football and wacky temperatures across the country. Even with incredible technology tracking the weather and advanced analytics watching every game, no prediction can be perfect.

Forecasters and sportscasters are given gobs of grace based on their personality rather than their prediction performance percentages.

It must be nice to have a job where you’re not really judged on your performance.

I think sometimes as Christians we become too concerned with The Measuring Stick – how we are judged by God based on our performance in this world. Continue reading

The Retail Worker’s Prayer

photo-10The Folding. Don’t get me started on The Folding.

This holiday, after leaving my full-time job behind, I got a job at a major department store to earn a little extra spending money. I’ve mainly been running the register. But in between customers one of our main duties in the store is The Folding.

It’s incredible, really. You spend a few minutes folding a stack of shirts. Everything on the shelf looks in order. You turn around to check out one customer. You turn back around and a dozen shirts are back on the floor again.

As an employee I begin to wonder what the point is. I wonder why I bother picking up all these clothes off the floor just to see them knocked over and out of place just a few moments later.

But The Folding has to be done. We must go through the motions of The Folding and The Re-Folding day after day after day to keep the store in order. If we deny our duties just one day then the store would go into disarray. Continue reading