A question that I have been struggling with for quite some time is “What exactly do I want to do with my life?” As a 30-year-old single female living in New York City, I have had many experiences when it comes to my career. From working 9–5 jobs, waiting tables, freelancing, and even dog walking, these experiences have financially supported me, but have not mentally enriched me.
What exactly do I want to do with my life?
In June 2016 I was laid off from my full-time office/marketing manager position. For four years I had worked from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, for an industry I had no interest in. I was beyond in a routine, I was settled, working in a position that did not challenge me and one that I no longer enjoyed. My schedule was awful and I was making money that was less than my worth; yet for some reason I was OK with that.
The days that followed my layoff, I immediately scheduled interviews for similar positions. I even got called back for a few, but could not bring myself to commit. I knew I needed to take some time to reevaluate my career choices.
First, I made a list of all the experiences I could remember where I felt mentally enriched.
What did they have in common? How could I build on those tasks? It was clear from my list that I was most fulfilled when I was working on a team, helping others, and had specific tasks to do.
Next, I talked to my friends, family, everyone I could about their career. I researched the fastest-growing industries and started looking into various training programs.
The medical field kept coming up in the conversation. All my friends in the medical industry seem to be fully committed to, and loving, their jobs. In doing extensive research, the healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing fields; it allows for growth and job opportunities pretty much anywhere. But having zero medical experience, could I get a job in health care?
I knew that any position in health care would require additional education. Equipped with a bachelor’s degree, I was immediately concerned with the cost and of course, how much time I would use in pursuing more education. In doing METICULOUS research I found that there was indeed an affordable community college nearby that offers a two-year Registered Nurse (RN) program. In order to apply to the program, you must take the required pre-req classes and the TEAS test. With just a few days till the deadline to register for classes, I got applied to the school and got my class schedule.
Now, to be honest, my classes did get off to a rocky start. Having never taken such intense science classes, Human Anatomy, Chemistry, Microbiology, I was in a bit over my head. But with determination, endless studying, and tutoring, I pulled through. For the first time in a long while I felt empowered. Except, I didn’t get into the program.
Feeling deflated, I knew I was not going to let this stop me. Looking into alternative options.
After careful research, I decided to apply to the same school’s Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program. It’s a shorter, “less intense” program, and once you’re an LPN, you can bridge over to an RN program with some additional classes.
Almost a year after my layoff, I am finally feeling like I am on the right path to securing the best future for myself. I now have a new sense of self-worth. I find myself talking “science” with my friends, listening to interesting anatomy-based podcasts, and reading any health-related material I can in my free time. I can’t wait to start the LPN program and further dive into my future role as a nurse.
A wonderful quote that speaks to me is “Find the ability to give all you have and then forgive yourself for the places you couldn’t reach.”
Find the ability to give all you have and then forgive yourself for the places you couldn’t reach.
I know that even though I don’t have all the answers, I can rely on myself to find the answers I am looking for. I trust that with preparation and hard work, it will work itself out. I refuse to settle for second best or good enough. Right now I am investing in my future and living up to my potential, and for the first time in a long time, I can see my path clearly.