One minute you’re pulling all nighters cramming for exams and writing copious amounts of research papers. The next you’re walking across a stage accepting a piece of paper that confirms you have completed the last four years to the institution’s liking and are then released out into “the real world”. For me, I had a plan. I was going to spend the summer messing off, then buckle down again come November to prepare for the LSAT, apply and get accepted to law school, become a powerful lawyer, then partner… a la Jessica Pearson, and live happily ever after.
However; this is real life, and as much as everything happens for a reason, things also sometimes do not go as planned. In my case, when I left the confines of school I came to realize how many other careers and possibilities there were outside of law and began considering them. As a result I also began seriously wondering whether or not law was truly what I wanted to do. I had too many people in my life giving me their views on what I should or shouldn’t do for a living and even how to go about it. It became very overwhelming. I became paralyzed in uncertainty and fear of failing, fear of choosing the wrong career, fear of wasting time and money, fear that I was no longer going to make my family proud.
I spent the following year going from career aspiration to the next: law, business analysis, cpa, and sales. It was always the same routine. I’d have an awesome conversation with someone I looked up to, they’d mention that they could see me being (insert awesome career here) and I’d sit there and think, hey maybe you’re right. Yeah, I think I could see myself doing that too! So I’d go away and do all this research and formulate a plan on how I’d become (insert awesome career here). After not long into pursuing this new, awesome, career I’d just quit. My heart was never there it always felt like I was, as my friend Rachel would say, allowing the clothes to wear me, when I should be the one wearing the clothes.
I definitely realized that whatever it was that I should be doing should be something that is an extension of myself and that comes very naturally. Organic. Not forced. Why would you want to go to work everyday acting out a role? Unless you’re an actor/actress then by all means act on!
Nonetheless, I can appreciate the fact that sometimes before we can get to that dream job or career we have to work some unrelated jobs to build towards it. That being said, I decided very early on that if I’m going to have to put in time in a job that isn’t what I want to be doing for a living then I at least would like this job to be bearable. It needs to be able to afford me things, now, that will help me get through this stage of my life where I’m building and working towards my future. When I say afford me things to get me through I’m referring to things such as: paid bills, a roof over my head, trips, and organic wholesome food. Having all of these things now doesn’t make the climb feel so strenuous.
Mind you, having an undergrad, work experience (started working when I was 14), and being bilingual has helped me a great deal in getting to be the one choosing where I’d like to be employed in the interim. But I’m aware that not everyone has options. I didn’t always have options I used to be at the mercy of recruitment agencies and just take the first thing offered to me. Until I realized that there is only one of me and so many agencies/companies. So I figured out what it was that they are looking for and incorporated that into the way that I market myself. With my new found confidence I even learned how to negotiate my salary! I am now content working a bearable 9-5 while I, more importantly, also work towards what it is that I truly would enjoy doing everyday.
Thus, after time working different jobs, much needed reflection and some inspiration I have realized that being a teacher is my true calling. Just even saying this gives me butterflies. Now that I know I’m like, duh! How did I not realize this sooner?! I’m a nurturer, I nurture anything that comes into my path. I bring an intuitive touch to everything that I do. The idea of me becoming a teacher brings me the most peace that I’ve had since leaving school and rethinking my entire future.
So if you’re reading this and you’ve ever felt or experienced anything close to what I’ve described I hope that you will find comfort in knowing that I get it. Maybe you finished high school and are taking some time off to work before continuing your education or maybe you already completed your post secondary education and are already working but don’t know who you want to be. Whatever your case I hope you figure it out soon for yourself too.
Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.