Saturday, 10 November 2012

Attention Single Girls in Catholic Offices in USA

One of your fellow readers needs your help. We all know how bad the economy is right now, in the USA as much as anywhere, and how scary it is to be a single woman without a decent job. Please read the following and if you have any leads, please get in touch with the reader through me:

From: R
To: Seraphic Single
Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2012 4:08 PM
Subject: single girl job hunting

Thanks, Seraphic, for your blog. I have a very high respect for your advice and constant attention to us poor singles who are so often shunted to the side of the congregation.

I'm 25 and am currently unemployed. I recently left (a month and a half ago) a job that was horrible for me on many levels, and with that decision knew a wonderful, never conflicted peace. Even now, I have no regret about getting out of there.

However, I am job searching and my beloved area of expertise, (for which I have two Bachelor degrees) is difficult right now because it's not the "season" for church ministry job openings (see spring and summer when most people have quit). I have made a lot of connections, even making contact with an archdiocesan vocations director and all of my well-connected friends to find a job in this field, but still, nothing (that is not located in the middle-of-cornfield USA).

I am scared of being unemployed, as I only have a month and a half left of savings to live on (and pay my student loans) and I don't know where I will go if I run out. My mother is poor and living across the country, my sister is newly married and living in a small apartment, and I have very little contact with my extended family. I feel very much alone in that I have no parents to really look out for me and obviously am Single.

But I recently was offered a job working in a restaurant, and as it would only really offer me enough to barely get by on (probably will have to acquire a second job). Also, and more importantly, I know I would hate working there. They want to set me as a "key employee" somewhat like a manager but not, and a feeling of dread fills the pit of my stomach when I think about having to do that in an industry for which I have no aspirations. Before the interview I felt as if I would "do anything" I just wanted to work, like the old American Spirit. But I find after further contemplation there is this pit pit pit in my stomach.

Am I being unreasonable? Which fear here is less important to listen to, the fear of being unemployed or the fear of being stuck in a job I hate? Certainly the money will eventually run out, but should I wait until then before I take something I so clearly am not cut out for?

Thanks again for your time. The advice of my loved ones is split both ways. I am of course praying about this, but for some reason I am unable to discern God's voice as clearly in this....


Dear R,

I am not sure what to advise, but I know I have a lot of readers in Church jobs, including Single Catholic girls with some clout in various Catholic offices (publishing, diocesan, etc.). Would you like me to put up your letter on my blog? And where would you be willing to go? New York? Chicago?

If you like my idea, please write a postscript in which you say what your degrees are in and how long you have been in ministry. I will put it up ASAP, and ask anyone who thinks she knows of a job to get in touch with me.

Grace and peace,

I DO like your idea! Very much so!

My first choice would be Chicago, and then I am also willing to do DC, New York or Boston. I have a degree in Catholic Theology, as well as one in Catechetics (religious ed) with a concentration in Youth Ministry, and I have 5 years of experience, 1.5 of which were in full time ministry with military teens. I'm looking for a parish (or something similar) youth ministry position.

Thank you so much. I wish I could really communicate my appreciation!! At the least, I'll offer Sunday Mass for your intentions.


Girls, anyone? R. didn't say so, but I think at this point she would be willing to consider jobs in her field in any large-to-medium sized city in the east and mid-west.


Tina aka Snupnjake said...

First, if they are government student loans, get them put into deferrment/forebearance. I lost my job and the first thing I did was talk to the loan holders about a deferrment. That buys you some time on that.

I would keep an eye out on St. Louis. There are 200 parishes and lots of colleges/universities. You may be able to cobble something together. I know the UM-St. Louis Campus Ministry usually needs a campus minister every 2 years or so. There are also 15 private Catholic High Schools that hire campus minsters/theology teachers...
This be the website for the Archdiocese:
The St. Louis Review also has postings.

Unemployed single gal as well

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

I sent this to my mom - she has contacts in the Boston area and will see if she can pass it on to anyone. Also, DC/Arlington has a HUGE young Catholic scene, so would be worth checking out. Good luck.


Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Perhaps your reader might reconsider the church ministry jobs that are "located in the middle-of-cornfield USA" -- surely it couldn't be worse than the dreaded restaurant job.

Anna said...

Does the reader currently live in Chicago? I got a job through [university headquartered in Evanston) temp center. In fact many people get jobs in Chicago via temp agencies. I realise those jobs (typically staff positions) aren't probably what she's looking for, but they are often more pleasant than food service positions, and might stabilize her life enough so that she can look for what she really wants to do.

Seraphic said...

@CB. I think I recall that R has already been cornfield and done cornfield! And I really do mean eeny-weeny little town plunked down in the middle of cornfields, the kind of place where when people ask you if you've met a nice eligible man, you can stump them by pointing out that the only eligible man around is Ol' Jasper, whose just buried Bessie, his second wife, and is more concerned about the final payments on the tractor than anything else. That is, if R is the reader I'm thinking of. (Hard to keep you girls all straight in my head!)

Seraphic said...

Girls, thanks for these and your suggestions via email. Please keep 'em coming!

MaryJane said...

Probably R. has already searched these sites, but just in case - has some postings (one current youth ministry job in MD, close to DC); and I use with pretty specific search terms, like "catholic" but not "chaplain, medical," etc.

And of course almost every diocese posts job listings on their websites. If I hear of anything specific I will happily pass it along!

Claire said...

As someone who has worked eight or nine jobs in the six and a half years I've been out of college, I just want to send a word of encouragement to your reader. As a wise woman once told me, job searching is one of the most trying things to the human psyche (right up there on par with trying on jeans), so make sure your prayer life stays strong during this trying time. Also, I would add that this is a great time to remind yourself that are some things you do have control over: start a rigorous exercise program, cook healthy/yummy foods, learn a new skill, organize/declutter your life! Maybe that sounds weird, but it's helpful to feel empowered about things at a time when you're tempted to feel desperate and helpless.

I don't have any leads on church ministry jobs, but wanted to say that has been a great resource for me for finding both occasional and part/full time childcare jobs, which can provide much-needed income during gaps in employment, if you're so inclined. You can also create a separate profile on the site for senior care, housecleaning, and tutoring.

CJ said...

Now, I may be a little biased, but...I would suggest the letter writer also be open to the southwest, which is currently where the Catholic Church in the US is growing. I don't have any contacts, but just doing a quick job search in the Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston, which is one of the largest in Texas, there are some parish positions for youth minister/director/coordinator.