It really can happen. It isn’t always all that difficult either.
Sometimes it just takes a forceful push out of one’s comfort zone directly into new territory that does the trick.
Seriously … you really can teach an old dog new tricks. The proof is in the pudding and I’m the pudding!
You know, that whole fish outta water feeling?
Yea, that was me a year ago.
One sunny, summer day last June I unexpectedly & abruptly lost my job. A job I held for about 8 years. A job, that quite honestly I never thought I’d have but generally liked well enough given the circumstances & situations. It provided me with experience & afforded me to meet some pretty amazing families, teach some pretty awesome kids and work with some pretty outstanding teachers. For a time I got to do what I loved. Teaching for several years followed by management positions for a few until that split second when I just WASN’T.
Suddenly, I wasn’t sure what to say or think; feel or do as the proverbial rug was pulled out from under me & left me lying flat on my face.
Needless to say I had some trying days to follow. Trying to figure out what I was going to do & where I was going to go. I just didn’t know. I tortured myself over what I could have done differently throughout my time there which may have possibly led to a different outcome. The thing was I couldn’t think of anything. The cards were already written by someone other than myself. Quite simply I just came to the realization that my time there was up. Deep down I knew I should have moved on from there years before but never did; comfortable in my surroundings which in hindsight was more of a false sense of security.
I applied for a TON of jobs both in the field & elsewhere. It was the WORST time to be doing the whole job search thing. Naturally I began looking within the field of education …. in the midst of summer when school is not in session … just after an absurd amount of statewide budget cuts, layoffs & furloughs within our education system… interviews that were scheduled within daycare/preschool settings just weren’t cutting it.
As each day went by I found myself filling out more & more applications outside of my field ; taking a stab in the dark as I wasn’t quite sure how my skill set would fit into the throngs of corporate America. Call centers. Administrative assistant. Front desk for a chiropractic office. Nothing that was screaming at me but I continued applying.
It made for some stressful days & many headaches. I was determined that SOMETHING was going to come my way. Even if it wasn’t a perfect fit I was willing to take the bullet until I figured out WHAT I could do. The thing is… you never know what you can do until you try.
Who knew that a call to take photos of concrete for four days would be just the ticket I was waiting for. Four days turned into a couple of weeks which then led to helping out with this & that in other departments. Fast forward to October & I’m trained & working in a FT temporary position. Fast forward again I’m interviewing for a permanent position, training someone for my temporary position & accepting the permanent position.
I was ecstatic!
And totally out of my element. This is where the whole “fish outta water” feeling kicks in.
One day I’m working with 1-4 years olds and another with scientists, engineers & concrete.
I once used gloves to change diapers now I’m using them for handling samples. Progress reports & potty schedules swapped for expert reports & prep priority schedules. Magnifying glasses to look at bugs on the playground have been trumped by microscopes & aggregates.
I blindly entered this foreign world a year ago Never once thinking I would find a permanent place amongst the labs & offices. Yet, here I am and haven’t turned back since… A full 365 days later, loving what I do in a field COMPLETELY different in every conceivable way possible from what I set out to do.
Labs. Analyses. Work orders. Reports. Projects. In a sciency setting. And I’m working here. And I like it. A lot.
I’ve learned more in this one year about things I never understood or even knew existed than in all my undergraduate & graduate work. I was challenged from the get go and accepted it. Not without a minor freak out moment or 2 along the way. But nonetheless, I put my existing skill set to work in a different environment.
Who would have thought I would be doing what I’m doing now? I certainly didn’t. If you would have told me a year ago I’d be working with samples & scientists I probably would have laughed at you… those of you that know me would have laughed too because you KNOW science and I NEVER got along. Apparently, I was wrong.
If this last year & all the changes I have endured has proven anything to me it is that you can do just about anything if you’ve got the determination to do so and supportive friends and family backing you up.
I was fortunate that I was only unemployed for 2 months to the day. For that I am thankful.
Sometimes in life you have to take chances on people.
Sometimes in life you’re dealt a hand that you don’t know how to play or what move you should make.
Losing your job isn’t an easy pill to swallow, but I lived through it. And looking back at where I am today compared to where I was then? Totally different.
I am a far better person for having gone through that whole ordeal. People that have had things handed to them their entire life will never understand what it’s like. I do. I’ve worked hard for what I have and where I am doing what I do. I’ve learned so much about myself. It provided me with time to reflect on what I want, where I want to be and who I want to be surrounded by.
Proof in the pudding my friends… it’s all in the pudding. You can teach an old dog new tricks….
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