To study or to work?

Some interesting news ….

To preface this, I should first explain that I have been attending Christian-based spiritual counseling sessions for several months now. Basically the sessions are prayer-led and seeking Divine guidance in determining the roots of issues, dealing with the past and learning how to move forward. Some of my Christian friends and readers probably have no problems understanding and accepting this. Some readers will have an extremely hard time with this concept. I’m not going to get into a discussion on my spiritual beliefs just now, but it’s enough information I think to say I fall somewhere between the two. My counselors are aware of my struggles with the process itself as well as personally, and still felt they wished to present an incredible opportunity to me. As for me, well, I’ve had more insight and more understanding and more “progress” through their work than any other counseling I’ve tried, and they have my trust, so I believe I can trust this opportunity for what it has been presented as.

SO!

Last week my counselors told me about this opportunity. The following day they were in a position to discover if I’d be eligible & I just heard back that I am.

Basically, I am being offered the opportunity to pursue my Masters in Counseling.

The school & degree is recognized here. The fees are very manageable if I either arrange to end my severance payment this month and take a lump sum, or if I can manage to work finances out over the next few months (perhaps taking some temporary jobs) and wait for my tax return (which I had an accountant already guestimate) in the Spring.

I see three options at the moment:

  • Option A is go for it & see if EI (our version of unemployment assistance for the non Canadians reading) would provide benefits while studying (I’m assuming I’d have to pay expenses of studies)
  • Option B is to go for it & work part-time (I’d need two one-week periods of free time & 3 weekends of free time and otherwise can set my own hours)
  • Option C is to pass on the opportunity (and obviously continue looking for full-time permanent employment preferably in a communications coordinator type role but at this stage in the search I am having to be much broader in what I’m willing to apply for) .

If I am eligible for EI, or am working part-time, my income goes down, and I will see a reduction in daycare expenses as I am in the subsidy system. I will also be eligible for subsidized rent & I do know there is funding available where I live, so I’m not overly concerned about ongoing expenses. As mentioned above, fees aren’t an issue, though there is a down-side to waiting, as if I hope to go with Option A, I am pretty sure EI would only agree to a year, maybe a little less of EI payments & if I wait for the tax return, I’m putting off starting the course & would need to be definitely finding work before school was done.
I’ll be honest and say that I don’t think my parents would think this is a wise opportunity to pursue. I think rather than seeing the opportunity of returning to school they would see my priority as finding full-time, permanent employment.

My counselors think that after three interviews, which I felt *very* good about and was a strong candidate in each instance, that perhaps God is shutting the door on pursing the “corporate” world, a path I followed mainly because it was expected, because with a degree in English, almost zero self-esteem, and needing a source of income led to temping in offices, led to admin jobs and somewhere along the way teaching myself Web Development basics led to the last position as “Web Communications Coordinator”. The parts of the job I LOVED: the design, the creativity, the working with others, sharing of ideas. What I hated: the routine monotony of maintenance, the way creativity was soon squelched totally, the inability to really make a difference to another person, the inability to inspire or teach or help another person directly and regularly.

My passion does not lie in the business world. I have considered counseling and related fields as areas I’d like to purse since High School. I find myself seeking out opportunities to listen to others, give advice and just offer a friendly shoulder. My one friend jokes that I’ve provided more counseling for her than her therapist and often come to the same conclusions, as he does, lol!

My counselors have offered to allow me to do “apprentice” work with them and have also offered the use of their office space if/when I got to that stage. There would also be opportunities through them to teach down the road. This is something I could definitely do from home, either by itself or whole pursuing perhaps another passion (Val can guess which one! 😉 ) and while probably not lucrative, would certainly provide enough to meet my needs and The Child’s.

As I alluded in my opening statement, I am struggling with my spirituality at the moment. I do not have any sense of whether this opportunity is God’s purpose for me. I DO know it’s a wonderful opportunity that I would love to leap out into. I *also* know it does scare me to consider.

Comments, feedback (including “you’re CRAZY to consider this”) welcome!

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4 Comments

  1. Dianne said,

    October 10, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    i think you should go for it. sounds like a chance to finish something you started awhile ago 🙂 good luck 🙂

  2. Alexis said,

    October 16, 2007 at 11:34 am

    I think God has presented you with an amazing opportunity. I say go for it.

  3. Val said,

    November 10, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Tori, oh my gosh. I think it’s amazing that you’re recognizing this, or that you’ve been offered the position so that you WILL recognize it. You have such a gift and you’ve already showed it to so many . . . like myself . . . I just know this is the right path for you! It’s answer to prayer. And you know what else, PASSION is what God instilled in us to show us what we are meant to do . . . what HE made us to do. That’s passion. I know you have that passion in your to help people and guide people because you already do it and do it so well. To get PAID to do it. Nothing better than to get paid for something you love and believe in! Please do it! Please don’t hesitate to, either. I know this is what you are to do. I hope you know it, too. Acutally, I think you do. You just need people to push you and have faith in you because it’s those things that get you to that point of having a drive to do it. Follow that drive, follow the passion, follow where you’re being led!

    Love,
    val

  4. Val said,

    November 10, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Okay, another thing. I’m thinking about this a lot now 🙂

    Once you do this, once you study and get your degree, all other things will fall into place. It will! All you have to do is have FAITH and God will guide you. You have the faith and He is guiding you, Tor. I’m soooo proud of you. You have came such (SUCH) a long way in your faith and just in your life in general. Keep up the hard work. It’s paying off, don’t you think?! God knows what is best. Keep Him first and all things will just fall into place. Trust me. oxoxox


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