Our jobs give us more than just money to make ends meet. They give us perspective on where we are in reaching our dreams. We all start off going to college finding what it is that we want to be when we grow up. Some of us find out that answer, others need a little extra time.
A few days ago I sat down with one of our salesmen and we got to talking about jobs and careers. I don’t even remember how we wandered onto the topic of discussion, but we did and boy was it an eye-opener. After talking about college, student loans and part-time jobs he shared the story of how he didn’t go to college, but was so excited at the great opportunity to go. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have the support to make college work. He then shared that he may have chosen a different career which would’ve taken him on a completely different path. That is when he said something that struck a cord with me. He couldn’t go back and change his path, after all that would mean relationships he now had, like his wife and children, would be different.
I just looked around the store that has been my part-time job for four years, as I work myself through college and to my master’s degree. I see how he didn’t have the support to get the college experience, but I did. I had two parents willing to sacrifice a lot to put me through college. Not to mention they were trusting enough to allow me to make my own decisions when it came to my future and not try and tell me what to do.
I see how he wasn’t thrilled with his current career, but I am on a path to finding mine and loving every step I take in getting there. It hasn’t always been easy and I changed majors adding a few here and there along the way. Trying to find my niche in three majors that I loved proved to be a big puzzle, but a puzzle I have loved trying to figure out. In fact, in the midst of trying to figure out which path is best for me, a friend told me to take my skills and talents that I am most proud of and that I love to use everyday. She said I should use use those skills and talents to find a career that best utilizes them, not using your skills to try and find a job that may or may not put your skills and talents to their fullest potential. Now I see how blessed I am because I know my skills and talents, and I know what I want to do even if the job title isn’t so clear.
But what was most important in our conversation was his ability to put all that aside and still find happiness in the cards he was dealt. And so it is my lesson that I will try that with every card I’m dealt, even if it is not what I have planned, or even if it takes away from what I love to do, I will take it and play it the best I can.