Dream Job

CCS principal Maylanne Maybee writes…

Maylanne MaybeeAs the search gets underway for a new principal, I’ve heard from some, “Oh, I could never do that job!”     I remember when I thought the same thing. About six years ago I had lost a job, needed and wanted another one, and had pinned all my hopes on a position near Toronto, where I lived, which I was sure “had my name on it.”

Well, I was wrong.  I did not get my “dream job”.  In the mean time I had been approached by the Centre for Christian Studies Search Committee, asking me to think about applying for the Principal position or help them find suitable candidates.  “I could never do that job!” thought I, “at least not now. And not in Winnipeg!”

But the other position fell through, and so, on a train between Toronto and Montreal I pulled together my application and revised my CV. Three weeks later, after a trip to Winnipeg and a round of unorthodox, CCS-type interviews, I was offered the job of Principal of CCS.  So THAT was the job that “had my name on it”!  It was scary but promising to discover I was walking into a workplace and situation that had lots of bounce!

Woodsworth House, home of CCSIn the report I wrote for my first Annual General Meeting in 2012, I listed the signs I saw that CCS was a healthy organization:

  • It shows resilience;
  • Its governance structure is working;
  • There is a good, strong staff team;
  • We are paying attention to important but non-urgent things;
  • We have a solid and loyal base of volunteers;
  • There are good communication vehicles; and
  • Our finances aren’t in a state of emergency.

Five years on, there isn’t much on that list that I would change!  To be sure, these organizational strengths have been tested.  Within the space of three years we encountered staff turnover in the Office Administrator position, the Development Coordinator position, and in one of our Program Staff positions.  We learned that The United Church of Canada was planning to make big cuts in their annual grants.  (That possibility has now softened).  Committees and their chairs have ebbed and flowed from one year to the next, sometimes to the point of dysfunction or overdrive!

Yet this is the best job I have ever had.   I work with staff and volunteers who are second to none – committed, creative, hardworking, respectful, patient, funny, knowledgeable, faithful, visionary.  I grow younger every time I interact with our students, either in the Learning Circle or one-to-one.  I get paid for reading and discussing theology and ministry!  I work in a spacious, well ventilated office with clean air.  It takes me 20 minutes or less to walk to work.  These are not small things.

I am confident my successor will find the Centre for Christian Studies in a strong state of wellness and vitality.  We are growing, innovating, reinventing ourselves, and moving forward.

Why not tell people you know that CCS is looking for a new principal and that it’s great work?  Or think about it yourself!