The winding road of my professional pursuits

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
(J.R.R. Tolkien)

I moved to DC five years ago to get my Master's degree in Foreign Policy and pursue a career in the intelligence community. (I touched on my background here.) After graduation I looked, and looked, and looked, for that 'dream job' for two years, and nothing every came of it. I watched my friends get those high-powered jobs, and after observing their lives and finding the climbing community, I've become much more content with where I am both personally and professionally.

I was miserable for those two years, and continuously asked myself why I wasn't getting those jobs, when people less qualified than I were. I was pretty unhappy with where we were financially and professionally, and I often took it out on my husband. I wasn't making amazing money doing what I was doing, but my husband struggled to even find full-time employment for much longer after he graduated than I did (yay law career - don't do it, kids.) I ended up making a lot of changes within myself and in my social circle that have vastly improved my outlook on life. I think focusing on my own happiness, my husband's happiness, being content, kind, open, honest and patient, avoiding people overly focused on the material, on themselves and their relative success compared with others and just letting life come to me has showed me what I'm truly passionate about and what I should really be doing with my life.

I wrote in the post referenced above about how finding climbing has impacted my outlook on life. I've developed a love for the sport that extends beyond the sport itself, and have started becoming interested in pursuing a career in the climbing community. Since I was in college, I always felt like if I wasn't making six figures, what I was doing wasn't worth doing - to the extent that I was willing to sacrifice my work-life balance and do something I didn't love. I think part of my personal maturing experience has led me to understand that you really only do live once, and that we really don't need a significant amount of money to achieve what I'm envisioning for us, if we're smart. And so, I've redirected my professional focus.

I'm currently working full-time as an administrator with a nonprofit organization. I may never have pictured myself where I am, but it all has worked out better than I could have envisioned at 21. Nonprofit work is the bomb in many ways - I know where I am now is way better than where I would have been if I had gotten a government job. My job is relaxed, my team is relaxed, and I have a very regular schedule that provides me plenty of free time to pursue my hobbies.

A few weeks ago, I started studying for my personal training certification. My entire goal with this certification is to have it and a few specializations (youth fitness, strength & conditioning, and nutrition….maybe yoga) as a foundation for coaching and instructing climbers. I haven't really decided whether I want to pursue a coaching and instructing career alongside my nonprofit career or if I want to make a full-time transition, but if I've learned anything in the last few years, is to let God lead me where He feels I am most valuable. We have pretty much everything we need, and tend to focus more on conservation and sustainable living more than we do on "bigger, bigger, bigger, more, more, more" anyway. So really, life has led me perfectly to where I am now, and I'm happier than I've ever been before.

Even the tiny house thing is fascinating to me, and maybe if we were at a different place in our lives we could have experienced that for a bit. ;) Buncha hippies.

3 comments:

  1. I love this post. I totally understand the journey of changing career paths and goals. I mean, I grew up adamant I would become a vet, I got a degree in elementary education, and now I schedule dumpsters for a living. But I'm totally okay with that, and I realize now that sometimes what you think you want isn't what you actually need. Also, #yolo

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this post. I totally understand the journey of changing career paths and goals. I mean, I grew up adamant I would become a vet, I got a degree in elementary education, and now I schedule dumpsters for a living. But I'm totally okay with that, and I realize now that sometimes what you think you want isn't what you actually need. Also, #yolo

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.

© Haynes, Her Way, AllRightsReserved.

Designed by ScreenWritersArena