3.25.2008

on careers

The most recent US News & World Report features the top Careers for 2008. Included in the list are Clergy, Government Manager, and Politician/Elected Official.

I thought it was very interesting that Clergy was listed. Then I looked at the list of criteria for selection and saw that one was "career's resistance to being offshored considered." Has anyone thought of outsourcing clergy I wonder? We certainly are importing clergy, butI suppose in the Catholic Church at least the fact that sacraments have to take place in person would kind of limit the options for actually outsourcing them! Highlights of the "executive summary" include:

Religion anchors millions of Americans' lives, and their clergyperson is their ship's captain. ...

Being a cleric isn't a job—it's a life. ...

Surprisingly, what isn't required is an unquestioning faith in God. Many clerics experience periods of doubt.

All true. Now, on to Government manger. I wasn't ever really a manager, but I was considered to be in management. That's government bureaucracy for you! Highlights of this "executive summary" include:
Unless you're a superstar, a government job is often a terrific deal. ...

You're less likely to have to work beyond 9 to 5 and more likely to enjoy lifetime job security because firing is most difficult. ...

Yes, being a government manager can bring frustrations. The same overlapping bureaucracies that paralyzed government's response to Hurricane Katrina may restrict your efforts. The same job security that comforts you may constrain you from firing bad employees. And getting hired can take six months or longer.
Again, all true. But from experience, the frustrations can sometimes outweigh the job security benefits. And even the job security benefits aren't all they used to be.

Last but not least, we have Politician/Elected Official. Besides the obvious fact that these jobs are hard to come by since your interview panel includes hundreds, thousands or even millions of voters, they had some interesting points:

We don't normally think of politicians as the most ethical of people, so it may sound surprising that being a highly principled person is a critical requirement. ...

But for many politicians, it's well worth it. They have the power to make a difference in society. Yes, the wheels of democracy turn slowly (and sometimes backward), but inexorably those wheels move toward progress. And politicians often feel they get to see their constituents' quality of life improve.
Again, all true. But nothing I'd ever be interested in. My father was an elected official in my childhood. I worked for an elected official for 11 years. And I ran the election process that helped people get elected for more than 8 years. All of this helped me to confirm that elected office is not my calling.

I'm currently beginning the process of discerning what type of ministry I'm called to after profession and actually looking for a position. Too bad there's not a top list of ministry opportunities for women religious! ;)

1 comment:

Just Curious said...

There may not be an official list, but I'm sure your readers could come up with one.

Teacher/Professor: Although less traditional than it used to be, there are still many working in this area and more moving into the university settings.

Pastoral Associate/DRE/Youth Minister: Church ministry and evangelism are still high on the list of areas in which religious are working.

Social/Political Activist: A newer area in which many religious are moving into.

Social Worker/Non-Profit Administrator: Intentionally working with the poor and needy is still an area that has much need.

Nurse/Hospital Chaplain: Again, less traditional, but many religious are still working in health care.

I'm sure others can come up with their list as well.