I was blessed to secure my first job after college before I even got out of college. The job market was a little different during the late ’90s, but I still had many friends who went home for the summer with little hope of finding a position right away.
I had two before graduation rolled around. My story went something like this:
I had trained for Christian ministry, graduating in four years with a bachelors degree. I knew I wanted to be a pastor one day, but I wasn’t sure if now was the right time. I looked for any ministry position I could find.
A couple months before graduation the Christian college I attended invited me to tour their publishing facilities, stating they wanted to offer me a position there. It seemed like the perfect job: well-paid with housing and other perks. However, my viewpoint changed when I actually toured their facilities.
I understand the idea of running a tight work place and keeping a degree of professionalism, but this was ridiculous. No one talked. No one smiled. Those working didn’t even bother to look up from their computers as I passed by. All I heard was the rat-a-tap-tap of fingers striking the keys on keyboards.
I’m a people person who knew my limitations. I didn’t care about the pay. Christian publishing at a well-known college wasn’t the place for me.
Not long after that John, a fellow future graduate and good friend, pulled me aside and mentioned that his future father-in-law had planned a trip to the college to recruit teachers for the Christian school he administrated. It only took a four year bachelors, so I would qualify after I took curriculum specific training courses. I figured I would give it a shot.
When Pastor Hogle arrived, I could tell he was a well-organized man who knew what he wanted in teachers. We met in the commons area of the college. He ran an efficient interview process despite the fact the settings were less than formal.
I must have done something right. I was pretty much hired on the spot. I had never really considered Christian school teaching as a first ministry opportunity, but the chance was too tempting to pass up. I figured I would spend a few years there and move on to something more permanent. I went home for a short time that summer to prepare for a move from California to Ohio while many of my friends prepared to flip burgers and work construction jobs.
Little did I know I would spend the next twelve years of my life working in various ministries in that area: school teacher, radio station operator and nursing home ministry leader were only a few opportunities I was given through my first job out of college.
Today, I’m a pastor of a thriving healthy church in California. I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences from my first job. I’m simply thankful that God gave me the opportunity to to find such a promising future so soon out of college.