A Career Change From the Heart

A Career Change From the Heart

For the first time in my career, I made a decision with my heart instead of my head. I took a chance. My intention for this year was to have more courage, and this definitely took a hell of a lot of courage. It’s not easy to make a big change, and I’m so proud of myself! I feel as if a weight has lifted off my shoulders, and I want to shout from the rooftops, “I DID IT!”

A little background

I have always been an over-thinker, preoccupied with wondering if I’m doing the “right” thing. I like to feel like I have everything figured out when in reality I rarely do (nobody does). When I was in college I spent every summer interning at a different company because I thought that was what a good college kid did. All of my internships ended up focusing on social media marketing, so I decided that was what I would do when I graduated.

I still remember my last semester of college as if it were yesterday, frantically applying and interviewing for jobs I felt completely qualified for, only to be rejected or “ghosted” by all of them. In hindsight I wonder if that was the universe trying to send me a signal. “Do you really want to go down this career path or do you just think it’s your only choice?” 

I finally got a job about five months after graduating, worked there for a little over a year, decided I hated it, moved on to another job a few months later, decided I hated it and got fired…I see now it was a vicious cycle I needed to break, but it just took me a while to come to terms with that fact. I think deep down I’ve known for years that social media and marketing wasn’t fulfilling me. I didn’t feel challenged or satisfied, and I felt a sense of dread every Sunday when I thought about going back to work the next day.

A discovery period

I knew I was ready for a change and was optimistic that there was a better career fit out there for me, so when I was fired a few months ago, I took the time to do some soul searching. I applied and interviewed for a lot of different types of jobs, from event planning to recruiting. I was waiting for an epiphany to happen, where I would suddenly realize what I was wanted to do. It felt as if it would never come, but then, when I was least expecting it…

BOOM! Suddenly it all became clear. I want to work with kids! Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved children. Starting around age 10 I worked as a “Mother’s Helper”, then a Babysitter, then a camp counselor. I’m the type of person who will stop and stare at a cute baby on the street before I notice the cute puppy. Being around children brings me a certain joy, similar to how I feel when I’m outside on a beautiful sunny day. When I thought about working with young children, I felt happy. It felt right.

But I was still scared. Am I crazy? Should I really make this big of a change in my career? CAN I really make this big of a change? Will anyone hire me? What if I don’t like it after all? All of these questions ran through my head over and over again, but I knew I had to give it a try.

And boy did giving it a try pay off! I applied and landed an interview, and then a position as a sub, at a preschool here in Austin. They let me try out subbing for a couple weeks to get a feel for the school and see how I liked it, and to see if they thought I’d be a good fit.

The preschool is unique because it was created with a yoga-type philosophy, focusing on social & emotional development, play, and mindfulness. I really resonated with the mission of the school, having gone to the Austin Waldorf School when I was young, which has very similar values.

A new chapter

As of last week, I am officially an Assistant Teacher at the preschool, working with the youngest group, ages 18 months to 2 years! I’ll be completing trainings over the next few months, and will get the opportunity to do yoga teacher training this summer. I love everyone I work with (kids and other adults) and I’m so glad I took this leap!

I feel happy at work. HAPPY. This weekend I actually felt excited to go back to work on Monday. EXCITED. No more of that familiar Sunday Dread. I feel challenged every day, and no day has been the same. I’m constantly learning and growing and observing. I can already tell the kids are going to teach me just as much as I teach them. I’m just feeling genuinely content with where I am, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds!

If you’re feeling unhappy at your job, maybe it’s time for a change. Don’t feel stuck just because you have a certain college degree, or you’ve been doing one kind of job for years. It’s never too late to change course. What do you love to do? What skills do you have? When you close your eyes, what job can you imagine yourself truly enjoying? I promise you have more possibilities than you might think. You just have to be brave!

Exciting Life Update!

Exciting Life Update!

I have some great news to share with everyone! For those of you who have read this blog post from a few months back, you know that I have been searching for a full time job since my graduation in May, and was beginning to feel a bit defeated that I hadn’t gotten one yet. Well….drumroll please…I GOT A JOB!

So here’s how it happened: a few weeks ago a woman from a social media marketing agency that I interned for over the summer of 2013 emailed me to let me know they had a job opening, and wondering if I would like to meet for coffee to catch up and discuss the opportunity. Of course I said yes! It seemed like a great position and I had always raved about the agency to my friends and family and frequently referred to my experience there as “my favorite internship I’ve ever had” (I’ve had four total). We met and discussed the position, what I’ve been up to since we last spoke, and what I’m looking for in a job.

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I felt the conversation went well, but was slightly worried I didn’t have quite enough  experience for the job. Still, I was optimistic and couldn’t help daydreaming about what a great time I would have working there again. Flash forward to this past Friday, I get an email from the woman I had met with and she tells me they are offering me a position! I couldn’t believe my eyes! I got so used to hearing “no” that I almost couldn’t believe it when I finally got a “yes”, which is a little bit sad but anyone who has ever gone through the struggle of job hunting will relate I’m sure.

I am still smiling about it and can’t wait to get started on Monday! I’m excited to meet the new faces and say hi to the old ones, I’m excited to have a routine and schedule every day, I’m excited to learn new skills and use old ones, and mostly I’m excited to be a part of a team! I love the feeling of being part of a community, whether the community is my theater friends in high school, my sorority sisters, or now my coworkers!

The word ‘community’ is also relevant because it will be in my job title! I will be a Community Manager, which includes tasks like creating content for social media platforms, analyzing the engagement of audiences on the platforms, responding to customers online, and even writing blog articles! For anyone who knows me, all of this is right up my alley and is similar to what I have done at most of my internships.

communitymanager

Thanks so much to everyone who wrote kind words on my blog post about not having a job. I hope this post brings hope to anyone out there who is still looking. Your perfect job will present itself before you know it, and all of the waiting will be worth it! If you’d like to keep up to date on my daily life and hear how my new job is going, follow my blog and follow me on social media! Since I’ll be working at a social media agency, I will have no choice but to keep up my personal accounts.

Twitter and Instagram: @shellycrossland