Taking a Leap #SOL17

When I was a new college student, I got a job at a retail department store near my house. I quit the other retail store I was working at because I was starting to feel pressure from managers about not opening enough store credit card accounts each month. I was 18 years old and just not comfortable schmoozing people into opening up a store account when they didn't want one. So, I left one sales position for another.

I hated it almost instantly. At my other job, I worked in the costume jewelry department. I was allowed to go to the ladies room when I needed to without asking permission. I was trained to handle transactions with the register. At my new job, I was stationed in the sock and handbag department for hours on end. I was not on the register. I was not allowed to go to the ladies room if I needed to without a complicated permissions procedure. There are only so many socks one can fold for hours on end without going crazy. I knew right away that this job was a mistake.

My second day there, I was utterly miserable. I needed money to help pay for expenses as a college student (living at home and commuting), but nothing was worth this misery! I told the managers I would finish my shift but wouldn't be coming back. 

At my college, I noticed a job posting on a bulletin board. It was for a project assistant at and office in the National Center for Disability Services, which also houses the Henry Viscardi School. My uncle had been working there for years and used to take me there in the summers to volunteer in classrooms. It was a school I adored. The project assistant position would be helping put together a manual on Early Intervention Services. 

I applied for the position and got it! The job was a fabulous learning experience. Instead of standing on my feet staring at a bin of socks, I would sit in an office and help type articles, make phone calls, send letters- all while learning more about how Early Intervention works. I'm a fast typist today because of all the articles I had to type then. The job paid far better, was more interesting and I got to see my uncle sometimes too!

I was reminded of this story this weekend when I chatted with a dear friend who finds herself miserable doing work that she hates. I think when you walk away from what is not for you, doors will open for what IS for you. I believe better opportunities await and life is too short to spend each day feeling awful. Taking a leap is hard but I think you have to have faith in yourself that you will find what is meant for you. I'm hoping my friend chooses happiness over the security of a job that makes her stressed, anxious and sad. 


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