31 DJFJS Day 26: Bucket Lists


There are 2 types of Bucket Lists – Life and Job Search

Job Search 

In the early part of your job search one needs to create a bucket list of employers you want to work for and develop contacts inside the companies.

I’ve been blessed to work for 4 “bucket list” companies here in the Cleveland area

  • Major Bank – where I worked for 13.5 years in the collections department. I enjoyed developing relationships with clients when I had control over what number I called. Taking the time to get to know the customers, their reason for delinquency and working together to figure out a repayment plan was enjoyable and enhanced the bank’s image. (call center job)
  • Yard Products Company – High, high volume of calls for parts in this seasonal call center representative position. I amazed myself at how well I could learn parts for yard machines. Too bad they only hired 3 out of 10 people who interviewed for permanent positions.
  • Greeting Card Company – I did a temporary job there this past Valentines Day helping the over 75 year old’s send e-card to family and friends. God bless them for learning how to use the computer. (another call center)
  • Major Insurance Company – Love this job because the people on the phone were dealing with life and death situations and 99% of them were nice. If my house were to burn down, I would morph into the wicked witch of the west. Again, not enough positions open after 5 of us completed a training program. (yet another call center job)

Would I work for these bucket list companies again – yes, just in different departments.

Now I have to figure out what other companies to put on my bucket list. I can think of one but the commute across town would be a nightmare no matter what time of year.


You have probably heard of this type of bucket list. It contains all the places a person wants to see before they die.

I do not have a bucket list. I have a “If it happens fine, if not – fine” list.

  • Hawaii
  • Alaskan cruise
  • Salzburg, Austria and surrounding region (where they filmed the Sound of Music)
  • Grand Canyon
  • England, Ireland, Scotland (decedent of the Maxwell Clan)
  • Australia

If I do not get to these places before pass away, then I will visit them afterward. Air fare will be much cheaper.          😉

I’ve always had an issue with this type of bucket list, but could not figure out why. That is until I read Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way: a daring path into the abundant life. 

This quote from Chapter 6 What’s Even Better than a Bucket List, took my breath away:

Jesus won’t be asking to see any bucket lists. Giving a glass of cold water in Jesus’ name may be more fulfilling in the long run than filling your own bucket.  

Checking items off a bucket list makes your life all about you and what you can accomplish and not about helping others. That is why deep down inside the idea of a bucket list did not set well with me.

In the book Ann quotes Matthew 25: 34-36 and 44-45 as proof. (The Message version)

34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

44 “Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’

45 “He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’

So go ahead and have your bucket list and periodically check items off, but remember it will not matter to Jesus if you completed your bucket list. It will matter if you emptied out your bucket by caring for others, especially those of us who are considered the least.

Instead empty out your bucket and once it is empty, you can refill it. Bucket’s are unable to be filled unless emptied. The more you empty out your bucket in helping others, the more you are able to refill your bucket and the more abundant your life will become.

Bucket lists only matter in our job searches as a way to keep us focused on our goal of getting a job with a company we respect and admire.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She encourages widows and educates society by sharing her widowhood adventures. A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in communications, she has used her skills in the banking, collections, insurance, outdoor products and social media industries. Michele is a bookworm, lover of golden retrievers and an amateur photographer. You can view her photographs at OgleOhio.com, her photography blog, because one blog is not enough.