Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Two in the Bush

Earlier this week, I interviewed for a position that does not excite me.  I have not heard back yet either way, and my excitement for the position has not grown.  Dave and I discussed this last night, as we worked our way through a pile of 27kg book boxes.  Should I be offered the position, it is a bird in the hand.  The decision facing me would be, is a bird in the hand better than two in the bush?

We are lucky to live on a quiet street, but we do have a lot of birds noisemaking in our airspace. 
These two are not in a bush, but they are regularly on our balcony or bathroom windowsills.

I would love to work for an NGO, and I would love to write. 

Working for an NGO fits into my overall career plans - I received a Masters in Social Work and worked in my field until I had children.  I live in a city steeped in poverty and a nation full of people and organizations serving in amazing ways.  This seems possible. 

Writing may be the most mobile of professions, and arguably the most flexible.  I enjoy writing, and could couple the work with freelance editing jobs.  The global economy is tilting more toward freelance workers and I have over eight years of experience as an editor.  This seems possible.

A combination of the two excites me, and is my strategy for the next few months.  I plan to build my network within the world of NGOs in Mumbai.  The expat community has already proven warm and eager to help.  I have found networks for connecting to professionally paid writing and editing work, much of it in Asia.  And I have begun taking my writing more seriously.  Here's the goal: spend between two and four hours per day working at a desk - writing, finding editing work, editing, or researching the local development community;  and also, personally connect to someone at least three times per week, preferably daily.  These connections will begin as lunch with the school mom who has been here for 8 years and knows some people I should talk to, would develop into coffee with those folks, and could lead to involvement in a few organizations in town. 

The dream?  A few of those organizations would pay me to write grants for them, implement evaluations for them, or edit donor materials for them.  Supplemented with freelance corporate work paid at a professional level, this could work.  I set the example as a working mother for my children while still being available for open house and home after school.

The challenge?  Well, there are loads of challenges.  High reward / high risk.  The largest on my mind?  This is the status quo, only with more money and more fulfillment, which makes it prone to failure.  I know how to do  status quo - how to work from home and not make money.  Am I able to take that a few steps further and build a fulfilling and service-minded career?  And am I able to do that without becoming depressed by the lack of regular interaction?  The job interview earlier this week may not have excited me, but having lunch in the cafeteria did leave me energized.

And is it responsible at this stage in my life to choose fulfillment over money?  We didn't return to Virginia this tour because we couldn't afford to live there.  Do we want to so limit ourselves for our next post?  Also, our children continue to grow, and are becoming more expensive rather than less, with new cleats every year and outfits for dance and computers for school and the cost to fly ourselves to the big soccer tournament for the weekend.  Selling out would hardly be foolish.

I have no conclusions for you, I'm afraid.  We will just have to see where God leads.

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