I’ve been fortunate to have had several jobs in my very young life. I use the word fortunate because each occupation was different from the last, with its own unique challenges and required skills. I’ve gone from my very first job at Quizno’s Subs to my short stint as a legal assistant for Binder & Binder to working as an administrative assistant at a law school, with a few retail and school district gigs in between. I’ve never been ashamed of any of my jobs as I’m a firm believer in strong work ethic. What I appreciate about all my work experiences is that they have allowed me to figure out what I do and don’t like. They’ve also helped me to determine what my professional strengths and weaknesses are. What I realize is that there are many people my age that still don’t know what sort of career they want to pursue. They are still trying to figure out their passion. Much of this is due to a lack of exploration of different career paths. I’ve found that it’s important to try different things in order to find your purpose in life.
I am currently in the non-profit sector and I absolutely love it. It’s challenging. It’s different. It teaches me so much and each day I develop a new set of professional skills. In the year that I’ve been with my company I’ve picked up networking and community outreach. I’ve also been able to sharpen the skills I already possessed such as case management, organization, leadership, and event planning. Most importantly I’ve learned a lot about the housing, real estate, and lending market. I’m the type that likes to master a task before moving on to the next challenge. This characteristic tends to leave me bored with a job fairly quickly. Yet I haven’t felt that at all. It appears that I’ve found my home in non-profit work. It suits me and is definitely something I’d make into a career. As a fatter of fact, I’ve been playing with the idea of starting and/or running my own non-profit organization.
Non-profit work and volunteerism naturally go hand in hand. Though my schedule is hectic I make time to give my services to other causes. These causes don’t pay me monetarily but I gain a lot in other ways. What I love most about my job is interacting with our clients-advocating for them, educating them, empowering them, and helping them reach their goals. It’s the same sense of satisfaction I get serving as a youth group mentor or while volunteering at the local domestic violence shelter.
My point is that whichever career path a person chooses it should be both sustaining and fulfilling. It’s great to be able to pay the bills. It’s even greater to know that what you do for a living makes you (and others) happy.