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Alex Bartlett is a graphic design resident with The Austin Stone Community Church.

Only 30,240 Minutes to Go

 
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Six hundred and sixty-three days ago (but really more like 755 if you count support raising meetings and calls) I took a job at a local Austin area church at the vision to be trained and developed in three key areas, the head, the heart, and the hands. Thinking back on my time here and reading through the catalog of updates on my blog, I’m relieved to still be content in my decision to come here and still thankful to have been allowed the opportunity. Every high and low moment has proven to be incredibly beneficial in my development as an emotionally, mentally, and skillfully balanced person. What a great launching point for what may come next.

So what job is next then right? Well, it’s mostly in the TBD category at the moment, but here are some thoughts I have of where to look.

1. Culture

Culture is definitely a key player in where I’d love to be. Obviously, it’s much easier to be all in on a project or job if everybody around you wants to be there. Does the company believe in the product or service? Are they willing to invest in their employees or customers in ways that aren’t just a fat juicy paycheck or coupon? Do they sacrifice profit or individual gain for the sake of seeing their peers and community grow and flourish? A company that recognizes the value of individuals and the power they have to change the world when they are unified around a common goal is where I want to be.

2. Skillset

I still really love creating and being a graphic designer. The process of hearing about a new project or problem to solve, taking it from nothing through the initial concepts, into reviews, critiques, and then creating the final product is really rewarding. I can’t imagine taking a job where I’m not opening up some Adobe software and creating. Fifteen years down the road maybe that looks different than it does next year, but the process of solving a problem through the creation of something new is still really thrilling. If it’s not a design position, then I’m not interested.

3. Location

I love this town and its crazy people for all of the two years I’ve lived here, yet have still only seemed to scratch the surface of its inner core. Part of the reason I’m interested to step away from a ministry job and into the corporate or non-ministry workforce is to broaden my social horizons. I’ve learned a whole heck of a lot here at The Austin Stone and definitely still plan to be a partner and attend church events/services, but because that was the first community I found in Austin and it’s also where I work, almost all of my friends attend or work at the church. It’s really great, honestly, yet I know I’m called to do more than make friends with my friends. I’m excited to step out into the “wilderness” so to speak and engage with people who are different. People who think, act, believe, look, and talk different than me. The residency has provided me with an incredibly rare group of solid friends that I have no plans on leaving behind, but I’m ready to see a new side of the city.

4. Career

There’s still a lot of unknown in this area. I have some musings on what life looks like in 5-10 years but I really don’t even like to plan one month ahead so thinking five years ahead seems laughable. My personality is built to live in the moment, (I literally have test results to prove it), but I understand the value of taking baby steps to achieve your goals. I also have recognized that I have a great capacity for leadership, teaching, and relationship building. I seem to also be really good at graphic design work too. My goal with the next job I have is to be in a position to see both my heart for people and ability to create come together to support the growth and flourishment of the lives of those around me.

Also, this isn’t the last update, I think there’s one more in the works as I am still here working until the end of June. It might just be a final update of where I’m headed. In the meantime, I’m still hustling at work with the time that’s left and am ambitiously preparing and sending out job applications. The goal is to finish one job at the end of the month and start the next in July, but just in case I’ve been saving up to ensure I’ll be alright if nothing comes my way for a few months. It can be a little nerve-racking to be out of a job without the next one already lined up, but I’m confident that hard work and patience in the job application process will lead me towards a good fit with a great company.

On to the next one.

 
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