June 16, 2012

New Beginnings?!

A couple of days ago, I posted about how I believed God was telling me to stay put in my career with my current organization, as we had just received a grant and my salary was completely funded for this year.  On Friday, I had an interview with the Alzheimer's Association.  I had applied for this position over a month ago and had a phone interview a little over three weeks ago.  Yesterday, I had my second (and later found out my last) interview.  This position is the Program and Event Specialist and is responsible for an eleven county area in Iowa, developing new programs and strengthening the current ones and raising funds in order to have a world with no Alzheimer's disease!  I went into this interview with a stubborn heart- I was not taking this position, I would just go to brush up on my interviewing skills.  After meeting with the woman who would be my future boss and the Executive Director of the Greater Iowa chapter, I found that we had many similarities.  Not only did we speak about typical interview topics- experience, volunteerism, skills, etc., but I felt comfortable to talk about deeper and more significant topics- my faith, Dave Ramsey, adoption, Lucas, and even her son's wedding!  Can you believe that?!  We spoke of these things in an interview!  The even greater part of this story is that about two hours later I received a phone call saying that they would like to offer me to position.  Wow.  Okay.

So, I have until Monday to determine which direction I should go.  Me, in my very simplisticness (not a word, I don't care..) decided early on that I only had two options.  1) Stay where I am at in my current organization and pass up this opportunity or 2) Quit working at FOCC and start this new path with a stable organization.  However, this is a much larger and complex decision.  You see, if I leave FOCC I fear that it will suffer.  I have built up such a strong following for the organization because of my optimistic, energetic spirit.  I have a way of getting people on board with things I'm passionate about.  I know, as does Travis, my board of directors, and my volunteers, that FOCC will not thrive without my presence.  Yes, it probably will not die.  But it will not thrive and continue to grow without its' spirited leader.  This may be an organizational issue because one person should not make the organization.  But it's true still.  The last thing I want is for FOCC to suffer because of my decision to leave.

I want to take this position with the Alzheimer's Association unlike I have ever wanted to take any other job.  You see, I have been deeply touched by individuals with this disease, from my residents at Oaklane Nursing Home in my high school years, Travis' grandma who has the disease, and honestly from the fear of developing the disease myself.  I believe firmly in the Association's mission of a world without Alzheimer's disease!  I would love the opportunity to fundraise for and represent an organization with as great of a culture, history, and reputation as theirs.  I want to take this position because I could see myself working for them in 10 years and I love senior citizens!  And pros of this position are full benefits (which I currently do not have) and salary.  We would be breaking even with what we bring home now, after taking into consideration daycare and healthcare expenses, but with good potential of quick increases in pay and benefits.

So, I want to take this position and I would passionately love my job.  It would require sacrifices.. I would no longer take Lucas to work with me (but to be honest, it's time for him to go to daycare anyway), I would no longer have the flexible schedule that FOCC provides, and it would be a complete change of pace for me (changes are always hard).  I would be challenged in this position like never before, as I would have a huge territory, lots of travel, and a big fundraising goal to meet.

So, you say, what are you going to do?  As I said before, I thought this was either a black or white choice- I thought I had to either choose option 1 or option 2.  Travis challenged me in this way of thinking.  What if I could take this new position, while still staying on as the Executive Director of FOCC?  At first I thought he was absolutely nuts!  Really hunny?!  Work 40+ hours per week then go to a second office job?  When would I have time to eat?  :)  After calming me down, he explained what he meant... If I take this new position, I will not just leave FOCC.  I will continue to be my team's consultant; my new position will allow me to have my cell phone and email on all day and I will have the opportunity to assist them and direct them in their problems, events, and happenings while at my new job.  I research grants constantly as it is and this will not diminish if I take this new position; I will continue to research and write grant applications in my off hours from my new position in order to sustain FOCC for many years to come.  I would even still have time to have a scheduled team member (staff) meeting each week.  Between all of these activities (on top of assisting with fundraising and special events) I would probably still devote around 12 hours per week working on FOCC related tasks.  Why not keep the title of Executive Director, to maintain our image in our community (we have to think about how my decision to leave will effect our public relations), to not make my team nervous about having no leader, and to benefit my family by providing extra income?!

After a full two days of prayer and discussion with Travis, we have decided to accept the new position on Monday morning.  FOCC has our monthly board meeting on Wednesday and I will give them my proposal at that time.  Please pray for this situation.  I feel strongly that God is present in this decision and He will continue to bless both these organizations and my family.  I am trying hard to allow Him to lead me, and not remain in my comfort zone any longer.

I know this was a crazy long post.  Thank you for listening.  God bless,


  1. I am so proud of you, Alicia! This is a huge change for you and your family, but I know you will be wonderful and welcome it all with a big heart and your beautiful smile. Best of luck, friend! I look forward to hearing much more!

  2. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Paige! I am super excited about this new step and see it as a God given gift. Please be in prayer for this new adventure. I miss you and think of you lots. Supper next time you're in the area?