Monday, June 30, 2014

Time for a change... an update from Jeremy

This morning I came into work and my wall clock had stopped.  It made me laugh.  It seemed so appropriate, and also a little ominous.

Today's a big day.  Today - June, 30, 2014 - is my last day as a full time employee in the Computer Services Department at Temple University.

That's a big deal because this department has been a kind of home for me for 16 years.  That's longer than I've been a father!

Today I will bring one longish chapter of my life to a close, and tomorrow, July 1, I'll begin another one.  On July 1, 2014 I will officially become full time faculty in the Fox School of Business at Temple University.  So, while I'm still at Temple, I'll be on a decidedly different career path.

I can't help but think about what's implied here.  Obviously I didn't like my old job, and I love the new one.  I'm leaving the bad for the good.  It's simple.

No.  Not right.

Because really the job I had was pretty good.  I'm leaving a good thing.  In fact, I'd say that I'm leaving a great thing.  But, I'm still leaving.  I'm choosing to leave. Why?

The reasoning behind any big career change has a lot of different facets.  I could explain my choice here from any number of different angles.  There's an emotional angle to it all - and were I to write about that I'd explore my need for a sense of autonomy, competence, and connectedness in my work.

If I were to describe this decision from a financial point of view, I'd be writing about the delicate balance between risk and reward.  I'd have to write about giving up a bit of financial security in exchange for opportunity. 

And if I were writing from a spiritual point of view, I'd writing about passion and calling.  That sense of calling has been and still is super-important for me, and has held a prominent place in my thoughts these past few months.  But it is hard to explain.  How do you explain God's prompting and a long, slow, journey of self-discovery?  That's not a blog post, it's a book!

Instead of any of these other facets, I can simply explain this life-choice of mine with one word: Time.

That's a picture of Ben, my Ben, when he was less than a year old.  He's nine now.  I remember when he was tiny.  I remember when we were "just" a "little" family of Kim, me and four children.

And then of course, there was this guy....

And this one...

How much even these youngest two have grown!

This past weekend we celebrated Cousin Andrew Wissmann's High School graduation, and caught up a bit with Cousin Lauren McManus as she had just returned from an 8 week study-abroad program in Europe.  I remember when those two were toddlers.

I look at my own children, and I realize that there High School and College years are not far off.  And then what?  Jobs? Weddings? Grandchildren??

Time marches on.  I don't want to miss these days.

So, I'm changing careers.  I'm trading out the job I have now for another where I can have somewhat flexible hours in the school year, and extremely flexible hours over the summer. 

It's not perfect.  Nothing is this side of heaven.  It's not easy.  But it’s got some flexibility; more than I have now.  And that is worth a whole lot to me.

It's worth a lot because time is one thing I can't buy more of and, unlike the clock on my office wall, it won't stand still.


"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." -- Psalm 90:12

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