Career Chameleon

Some people are blessed to know exactly what they want to do with their life.  I am lucky enough to be one of those people.  I knew from very early on that I wanted to be a writer.  Not necessarily a famous, world renowned author who is sought after.  Rather, just an author who makes a positive impact on the world around her.  Someone to give a voice to those that have none.  That was my lofty dream.  And still is.

Some people are blessed to know exactly what they want to do with their life.  I am lucky enough to be one of those people.  I knew from very early on that I wanted to be a writer.  Not necessarily a famous, world renowned author who is sought after.  Rather, just an author who makes a positive impact on the world around her.  Someone to give a voice to those that have none.  That was my lofty dream.  And still is.

I was further encouraged to follow this dream when I won a Young Author’s Award in 1994 and again in 1997.  It was clear that the profession for me was journalism.  After finishing my Associate in Arts degree at SWIC, I headed off to SIUE to major in Mass Communications:  Print Journalism.  I was told by my counselor at the time that it was a “great field to get into.”  I later won the Outstanding Journalism Student Award in 2006. 

Upon graduating in 2007, I thought that my dream job would begin.  I would soon be writing for a newspaper and telling the stories that I always loved to tell (and write).  Only, I found out that most newspapers were going digital.  Then, the economy went south.  Newspapers were not interested in hiring new reporters.  They were desperately clinging on to the established reporters that they already had.  I was not going to get my chance to use my talents and skills in the ways that I had hoped.

I should mention that I briefly worked as an Editor for two newspapers.  However, the pay was less than desirable and no health benefits were offered.  Not a good combination for an engaged college graduate.  I needed a job that would provide for me (and my soon-to-be husband) financially.  That is when I became a career chameleon.

Soon, I found myself applying for jobs that had nothing to do with my actual degree.  Openings for administrative assistants and secretaries seemed to be the next logical step for me.  I figured that I could at least use my proof reading and editing skills.  When no responses came, I then began to apply for every and anything I could get my hands on, even if I just met one of the qualifications.

I am not so foolish (or narcissistic) to think that I am the only one in this position.  There are hundreds of freshly graduated students as well as established professionals that are still searching for THE job.  I do not expect to be handed my dream job.  I am fully prepared to work for it.  In fact, that’s what I was preparing myself for while in school.  That’s why I EARNED the 3.8 GPA and the honor of graduating Suma Cum Laude.  But, I find that people are now going back to school to “go where the jobs are.” 

No one should have to deny the skills and talents that they were born with in order to fit in to some sort of career mold.  We should not have to completely give up on our dreams and attempt to be something that we are not.  While a chameleon is quite content to change its skin, I am not.  So, I will continue to follow my dream, no matter how frustrating the journey may be. 

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