The Right Path

It can feel hard to find a job that is fulfilling. Find out how this woman found her perfect career with prayer.

By Julianne Hinkel, OR

Categories: Guidance, Power of Prayer

I asked Julianne Hinkel how she got her current job -- helping to transform the lives of prisoners so that they become contributing members of society. This is her reply.
Marjorie Foerster Eddington

I believe it was an answer to a prayer. I graduated with a degree in English and Philosophy and envisioned being a teacher someday. With this general degree, I sort of floated around for a few years, teaching preschool, waitressing, working as an administrative assistant, selling advertising for a newspaper, etc. In 1997, I got married and moved out west to Oregon so my husband could finish his degree in Biology at the University of Oregon. It took awhile to find employment, and the job I ended up with was again unfulfilling.

I reached a point when I knew I needed to spiritualize the idea of "work" and employment, and focus on the qualities and the experience I was searching for in order to manifest them in my life. Eventually, my husband had the opportunity to complete his last classes at an extension of the university on the Oregon coast. We were unsure about moving to Coos Bay, as it had taken me awhile to find employment in Eugene.

I remember feeling a sense of freedom and guidance throughout the process -- feeling free to take one step at a time. The idea came to me: "Pick up a local newspaper, and just see what jobs are available. Apply, and if you get one, move. If not, don't." It seemed so simple, and I was without fear.

As I searched, I simplified my desires to this: I know I want to help people. I shared this with close friends and family, reaffirming it all along. I knew I wanted to help. As I scanned the classifieds, my eyes fell on an ad for a temporary position with the Oregon Department of Corrections. They needed an assistant for the program manager to the Oregon SUMMIT program. It was in a prison. I hesitated briefly, but was inspired to submit my application. Two weeks later, I interviewed, and out of 120 applicants, I got the job. The temporary status shortly changed to permanent, and before I knew it, I was promoted to a counselor position, working directly with inmates. I was helping people. The job was the manifestation of those spiritual qualities.

Interestingly, I have left the prison on two different occasions and then found myself working there again. The first time occurred when my husband and I relocated to the Midwest in order for him to pursue a new job. But we both missed the Northwest, so we chose to return after a short time. Just as we moved back, a position opened up at the prison, and I was rehired. The second time, I had my daughter, and chose to be home with her full-time.

Eventually, I needed a part time job. I was willing to do any job that fit our family's schedule. The Pathfinders program, in which I now teach, always had evening classes, so I contacted the manager to see if they had any openings. He told me they had such a small staff that he hadn't seen any turnover in many years. He asked me to send in my resume, just in case.

A week later, one of the facilitators had a family emergency and had to leave town for several weeks. I was called to sub for her, as training would be minimal since I had worked at the prison previously. A few days before she returned, another facilitator got a full-time job she very much needed, and I was hired permanently with Pathfinders. Once again, I was given an opportunity to help people that fit just right with my life circumstances. I have been blessed by this job for the past nine years.