For the past seven years, I’ve tried to secure a vice-president position. I’ve interviewed seven times at six different colleges, including twice at my former institution where I worked for over eleven years. Whether it was the Lord’s timing or the president’s preferences, I failed in six of those efforts.
It was more than ego deflating; it was devastating. Until this string of disappointments, I’d landed every job for which I interviewed. I guess it was time for me to learn what so many others had already learned: not getting a job that you really, really want really, really stinks!
After each episode, I’d go through the usual cycle of self-pity, disappointment and discouragement. Then, I’d return to doing my job, going beyond the minimal level of necessary effort and trying to continue to achieve excellence. Even though it’s not particularly easy to work for the person they hired instead of you, it can be done. In fact, it can even be pleasant for all parties concerned, if you choose to make that the goal.
Now, oddly enough, I find myself in the other chair.
Today, I begin working for Cowley College as their new Vice President of Academic Affairs. There seems to be a fair amount of mutual excitement; they seem to be genuinely looking forward to me serving and I am certainly excited about it. Seven years, seven interviews and finally, I got the job!
But there are at least two people here who have good reason to be less than happy about it. Two people here who have learned the sting with which I have lived for seven years. I will be as gracious and pleasant as were the two supervisors for which I worked. I will be fair and positive. I will pray for grace and wisdom.
I will also pray that in a couple of years not just those two people but pretty much everyone else will be very happy and pleased that I was selected to work here at Cowley. To no small degree, I pray that that group will include Randa and me!
When we take the pain and disappointments of our lives and use those things to help us remember to treat others in the way that we would like to be treated, no experience is wasted.