The Dream Job Myth

My dream job was to work inside a very trendy creative building next to a window. As for what I did all day, I wasn’t sure. I did imagine working at a desk and at times walking around to make a copy. Blame my dream job on the WB network and the programming they had in the early 2000’s. I must have watched too much Smallville. 

As my working career progressed I started to see what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go in life. By my early twenties I realized I didn’t want to be that busy career woman with a man suit on, with no family to call her own like the 90’s portrayed.  I wanted to live a calling impacting the lives of others. When I traveled overseas I got a glimpse of the power of production it can have on a church, their community and the world. By now, every Christian or Justin Bieber fan has heard of Hillsong. The experience I had when I was a part of the church family, was how I could make a difference in the lives of people by creating videos. I could say what I wanted to say without having to get on a stage and talk! It was the perfert introvert job.

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When I moved into my perfect dream job, I realized I wanted more. The classic human experience, you get that you want and see its not really what you want. I was enjoying myself but I didn’t think I was really making the difference like I wanted to do. I felt like my life wasn’t counting. Plus, I was busy, with no family to call my own. I did manage to avoid the pant suit.

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It wasn’t until I had no job, traveling the world (my third dream) and was left in a cafe did God finally had my hearts attention. It was in psalms that the words might as well said, “Dear Monica.” The theology of “follow your dreams” broke off my life, for the first time I could see what I really wanted, was to follow God’s dream. This whole time I had been going about it all wrong. I wrote in my journal. “God, my dream is to follow you. Where you lead, I will go.”

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I went back to my job, but was given a new position. My boss said, “Make the video department yours.” Whoa. God was giving me a place of influence to be in charge of a very large church media department. There has been hard times when I think in my heart, I’m not the chosen one, someone else can do it better. I am reminded by the confidence of my leaders, and those who love me; I am the right person for the task. Its been three years, and I am growing, I am learning, and everyday I am challenged. In a strange way I enjoy the stress, the pressure, the challenge and even talking with people! The first year I was scared to do anything, the second I was starting to get a back bone, and the magic three, I am finally stepping out and owning what was given to me. There has been times where I wish to go back into my editing hole and closed the door, but then I remember my conversation with God. He wants to take his people somewhere better than we can dream. He was even kind enough to bless me with an amazing boyfriend who reminds me to not give up, take courage, and don’t get discourage if things don’t work out like I thought. Usually it works out better than I imagined.

Book: Making Ideas Happen

We’ve all heard, “Fake it until you make it.” Well, I’ve never been a good actor and my awkward facial expressions revile I haven’t a clue what I’m doing.

Last month was one of the most challenging at work, our conferences demand innovations, creativity, and meeting tight deadlines. I found myself with a large work load which for a second I allowed myself to get overwhelmed. I started to ask the questions, “What would I do if I were a creative director? How would I lead my team of designers and other visual communicators? How would I approach clients with ideas instead of waiting for them to give me the answers?”

I began to search for more insight on line and found, Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky. I bought the audio book so I could listen while I worked. It gave me great insight that I wasn’t the only creative who was going through what I was facing. Many big corporations and marketing firms where facing the same issues, “How can we make creative ideas happen? 

It was nice to learn how to be a creative director. I never thought of myself as one, but the more I listened I saw I had been organizing creative ideas with my team for the past year. Here are some of my highlight notes.

Creative plus structure and organization equals impact
Ideas = impact

When having brainstorm meetings leave with action steps. Each person needs to own their action steps, have everyone repeat them back to be sure they understood.

Capture ideas by creating a place where you can save references, ready for you when you need them. I started to save images of instragram photos I really like for later inspiration. Blog: Be Deliberate with Instragram 

Create your “to-do list” with action steps using a verb: ex: capture new footage and delete off SD card.

Write awaiting if it includes another person’s responds. Use the word Insure to remind yourself the task isn’t complete. ex: awaiting video approval, insure Jane approves before it’s uploaded.

Share knowledge with your team: Email team to submit leadership, marketing or production article or podcast: something they learned or that’s interesting.

Have a back binder idea list, maybe now isn’t the time for the project, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be used for the future. 

Get action steps from team confirmed, so you know it’s understood it

Idea: Create an energy line on a white board, create note cards listing projects and place on a line of urgent, importance, future. 

Challenge meetings: this doesn’t make sense, why are we doing this..

Make the changes in the beginning of the projects and not during the project’s launch 

Celebrate progress when task is complete

Idea: Post it note to do list

Allow your team to get in the zone. A good sign is head phones. 

Organization is a major force into making ideas happen

All fantastic ideas for leading a team of creative with major projects that have heavy deadlines. After all was done, I saw myself in a new light. I just added another skill to my resume of life. I later heard a teaching from,  Paul Scanlon who is a pastor in the UK say, “Dress for where you are going… The movement beginnings inside you first.”

After completing the book, I was able to approach stressful situations with an idea of what to do, what to say and what ideas worked best for my team. I was also able to empower those who where making large decisions it was okay to experiment and try different things out.

So I encourage you. – Give your self a promotion and start dressing for the part.

 

Blog: You Are More Than You Think

When I was in Australia for college, teachers from all over the world would come to do seminars. Most of the time I was day dreaming but once in a while they would share a story that would capture my attention.

One speaker told us about two bricklayers. One was asked what he did for a living, he answered, “I lay bricks down.” When the other was asked the same question he answered, “I build cathedrals.”

All through out college in Australia I was told, “Go after your dreams! Change the world.” When I returned home it seemed like all my college mates were doing just that except for me. For years I felt like I was, “just laying down bricks.”

I follow so many amazing people on twitter, sometimes it makes what I am doing seem small.

I started off in the graphics department at The Rock Church updating their bulletin. A year later, I was asked to help out in the video department for some of their conference videos and was soon promoted to be a video editor. Everyday I was learning and growing but I didn’t feel like I was, “changing the world.”

And that’s when I went on a journey.

During this time I discovered my dream is whatever God dreams of. His plan is better than what I can think of. Second is, I’m not just a video editor but I am a voice. I realized all the work I do behind the scenes, has great purpose.

My vision for myself 10 years ago was to create junk mail. God’s vision for me was to lead a media team of an amazing church. I am now the Tina Fey at my job.

We look at our self and only see our ability but when we look to God, we see His, which has no limits.

This song has a great line that spoke to me.

“I wanted fame cause I thought fame would prove to me that I was great. It never came, I was a failure to myself, its the weight of the world that swallow you alive…Spirit First.”

Now, I know I am building cathedrals.