Well my two weeks of scheduled activity are over. I got my last pay check weeks ago. Time to start looking for a job. Fortunately I got paid for all my unused vacation so I’ll be okay for the next month or so but it’s time to get on the grind. After volunteering at vacation bible school and kids camp I have a whole new level of respect for teachers and parents. \My days were filled with the words “stop it”, “sit down”, “no running”, “I saw that”, “stop it”, “sit down”, “no running”, “I saw that”….
My nights have been filled with grown up stuff like getting my finances in order. It’s easy to get stressed about money in my situation but I keep reminding myself that God promised to take care of me. I still want to make sure I’m being a good steward so I downloaded an app to help me track my spending. I also met with a financial planner to get some advice. To my surprise the meeting went better than I imagined. He completely understood why I left my job with very little explanation. Turns out he too walked away from a job at the age of 29. He actually didn’t realize it until he heard the name of my blog and did the math. The steps he told me to take weren’t anything that I hadn’t thought of myself but confirmation is always good. I told him that I want to get into culinary arts. He suggested a few restaurants to check out and told me to send him my resume because he knows a few people in the culinary world in the area. Resume?! There goes that word again. I’ve never been confident in my resume. I feel like I don’t stand out on paper.
Flash back to the week before my financial appointment. As I was having dinner with some friends I asked our server if they were hiring. They were fully staffed but she told me I could fill out an application and leave my resume. Resume!? That’s something I hadn’t even thought of! My resume is all technical engineering nuclear industry oriented. I have an engineering resume and an acting resume so I guess I need to make a culinary one too. I sat down one night to work on my culinary resume and didn’t get past my name at the top of the page. I realized I didn’t have anything to put on it. I have some restaurant experience but only front of the house and that was literally ten years ago. I took two courses at the local culinary school but that’s hardly enough for a resume. I was stumped. Resumes, cover letters, and that sort of thing have always been difficult for me. I have difficulty identifying my strengths and putting them into words. As the great Les Brown says, “You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.” That’s becoming one of my favorite quotes because it’s the story of my life.
So when the financial guy asked for my resume I began to feel the discouragement of that night all over again. I shared my apprehension with him. (This financial meeting had turned into a counseling session minutes after it started. Thank God for people who care about people.) His response was encouraging. Even though I have very little culinary experience outside of my own kitchen, I still have experience, period. Being able to show that I’ve done something is better than nothing. At the very least my resume shows that I haven’t spent the past 6 years on my couch.
When I took a moment to think about it I realized a nuclear power plant and a restaurant kitchen have a few parallels. Food safety is just as important as nuclear safety. Both have procedures and practices in place to avoid and mitigate contamination. The procedures at a nuclear plant are called recipes in the kitchen. I can do this! This past week I put in a few applications at some restaurants around town. Now I’m just waiting to hear back from them.
Sometimes we count ourselves out of incredible opportunities because we don’t feel “qualified.” There may be times when we truly aren’t qualified but often times we just don’t recognize the qualifying qualities we do have. This can come from comparing ourselves to others or trying to live up to the unrealistic ideal image we have formed in our heads. If you shift your focus to what you do have instead of what you think you need you’ll find that a little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing. And that something may be just enough.