After eight weeks of traveling through Northern California, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, and Mongolia (an absolutely wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime trip capped off by a miserable nine hour layover at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow – horrid place), James and I have arrived in the UK and now begin our life here.
There are so many details to sort out – getting a flat, a job, a mobile phone, NHS and National Insurance numbers, bank accounts, etc., etc. It’s a little overwhelming, especially whilst dealing with jetlag and travel fatigue. We’re also still waiting for our shipment of stuff which was sent from Grand Rapids just over eight weeks ago. It sure would be nice to have that as I’m a little tired of the three pairs of trousers and six shirts that I’ve been wearing for the last two months.
Lots of people have asked me what I’m going to do for work when we move to London, and my standard answer has been, “I don’t know. I’ll find something to do!” Thinking about that while traveling around the world was rather difficult, but now that the travels are over, it’s time to get down to doing a serious job search. One of the challenging things as far as that goes is there is so much I’m interested in doing. It’s a little hard to know where to start. My twelve years working in Admissions at Calvin gave me skills to do a lot of different things: project management, event planning, marketing, public relations, hiring and training, supervising professional staff, public speaking and presenting, hospitality, etc. So that could lead me in all sorts of different directions. My passion for art and culture and my involvement with community radio and with Calvin Student Activities (including planning the Festival of Faith and Music) could also play into a job search.
When I think about what I’m especially passionate about, though, a couple of things particularly stick out: 1) dismantling racism, working toward racial reconciliation, and helping others with the process of discovering how systems of privilege and oppression affect them and the world around them; and 2) working with others to put talents and resources to use effectively to build the kingdom of God on earth, and helping others along the way to discover how they can be part of that grand project. How that translates into a job description, I’m not exactly sure! Some more specific things that I’ve thought about looking into doing include: working with British students who want to study in the US (my comprehensive knowledge of the US higher education landscape could be very useful there), working with international students at a UK university, working for a travel company, leading anti-racism training programs, working for a community-based non-profit or arts organization, or working at a specialty foodstuffs shop. (I know, that last one seems a little random, but I love food, I love to cook, and I love being in those sorts of stores. I’d love to work for Art of the Table or Martha’s Vineyard branches in London, but they don’t seem to exist yet. Maybe I could start a franchise…)
So… all that to say, if you happen to know of a job opening in the London area that might suit me, please let me know (and if you’re interested, you can download a PDF of my CV here). I’d appreciate all the references and advice I could get!