So this morning I was able to finally officially announce my plans for next year, post uni and Bridgebuilder. The journey to this point of being able to tell people has been going on for a few weeks now, and is, I feel, one that warrants a little explanation.
Cast your minds back to January and you may remember that I had my first interview for a prospective post-uni job. A job that prior to attending the interview seemed to be perfect, and after attending the interview a job that proved how wrong preconceptions can be! I moved on from that experience feeling a little dented, but positive about the fact I had such a strong conviction the job was wrong.
Fast forward to the middle of April and you would have found me in a state of shock, panic and excitement at the fact that I had just managed to bag two interviews in the same weekend. I was to attend the first interview on Friday and Saturday, and if necessary, would attend the second interview on Sunday. I felt very positive about the first job and, ever one to rely on my feelings, took this as a positive sign. Although I was the only person interviewed for the first job, the church decided not to appoint this time around and re-advertise. This came as less a knock, more a body blow to my confidence. I was hurt and confused and it took a massive amount of emotional reserve to attend the second interview on Sunday. As much as I felt entirely unprepared for this interview, as the day wore on I grew in confidence and positivity, and by the time I left, was sure that I’d done well in the interview and would be able to do the job. I heard the next day that, again, I didn’t get the job. I came second. Gutted is not the world! My confidence was obliterated.
Now I’m not one to exaggerate and be dramatic (!), but that weekend was one of my most difficult in recent years. I can honestly say that i have never felt so unwanted in my life. On reflection I can see why people don’t generally have interviews in very quick succession, I don’t think human beings are designed to handle that much rejection in one go. I suddenly realised that I faced my final term with Bridgebuilder without a didgeridoo of what I was going to be doing afterwards! It was scary to say the least!!
A couple of weeks after this hideous weekend I finally felt able to venture back on to the horse, knowing that the only way I would get the confidence to apply for jobs and attend interviews back, would be just to do it!! But more than ever I found myself struggling to find posts that interested me or that I thought I could honestly do. This had always been an issue, the three posts I’d been interviewed for were completely different from each other because I still didn’t know what I wanted to be doing long term. I became frustrated and almost apathetic towards my future. That was until I found a very interesting advert.
Thornton college has, for the last three years, been one of my favourite schools to visit and I always said that if ever a pastoral post came up at Thornton I would jump at it. I found an advert for a house mistress role, filled in the application form and applied within about two hours of seeing the advert! The following week I got a phone call from the headmistress saying that, while they didn’t think I was right for the house mistress job they would love to create something for a year for me, that could help both them and me. She told me that the work I’d done with Bridgebuilder over the last three years had held me in high esteem within the school which is why they felt confident in offering me an alternative post. I could hardly believe my luck!!
Since then everything has moved at speed. I taught an interview lesson, had meetings with the head and deputy, met the head of boarding and met to discuss the syllabus… All of this has led to me taking up a year’s post teaching year 7/8 RE and assisting with year 10/11 boarding. I am thrilled, honoured and very excited.
I know that people will have questions about this next step, so I decided to answer some publicly here:
Does this mean you want to be a teacher now?! Will you do a PGCE after this year?
At the moment, no. I do not currently see my long term, full time place being in teaching. I love teaching, have gifts that lend themselves to teaching and realise that it’s a massive part of any youth work… But long term I don’t think I’m called to be a teacher. BUT I’m willing to have my mind changed my God and by my experiences. It may transpire that at the end of this year I do want to pursue teaching, if that is the case then I shall eat my words!!
So you’re not a youth worker anymore!?
Whatever context I work in and will work in in the future, I am a youth worker. I work for and with young people and my heart will always be for young people. Ok so the young people I work with next year will call me Miss Bradley (something that will take a lots of getting used to!!) and relate to me in a new way, but ultimately I am there to work with them and that is what matters to me.
Do you think God let you go through the two negative interviews so that you would appreciate this post all the more?
A friend, when she first heard about the possibility of this job, asked me if I thought God let me face rejection so I could then really know what it felt like to be wanted. The answer is, I don’t know. Who am I to know the mind of the creator of the universe, and question his motives in allowing things to happen. What I do know is that I do feel very wanted by the school and it’s staff and it really is a wonderful feeling… But if I’m honest I would have appreciated this feeling had I not felt the sting if rejection only 5 weeks ago. But it is, perhaps, a case of rainbows that I spoke of in my last blog. Feeling very wanted now doesn’t get rid of the feelings of rejection but this post has somewhat redeemed my feelings of being unwanted. Just as a rainbow redeems some of the rain.
I want to say thank you to all the lovely messages of congratulations today, they have really meant a lot! And I want to finish this blog by turning it all back to the man with the plan, my heavenly father. Lord, thank you for holding the reigns, for knowing the blueprints and for writing the plan. Thank you for your favour, your blessing and your love…
Lex (aka Miss Bradley) xx