Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kickin' it old school


As some of you might already know, I'll be returning to school tomorrow as a full time student. It's a big decision but one that not only J & H have been fully supportive of but one that I'm happy to make.

For years now, I've been plugging away at various jobs, mostly at post-secondary institutions, where the benefits have been great, the pay fairly decent and the work...extremely unfulfilling. In my quest to find my true calling, I have toyed with the idea of many different professions - some of which I'd even taken courses in or actually tried working in. In doing so, what I've created was an arsenal of experiences and information that, coincidentally, happened to be the makings of a perfect vocation - Career Counselling - which is what I've decided to pursue. Part of my inspiration was a result of my own wonderful dealings with a fantastic Counsellor which I'm very thankful for.

Sure, it isn't the artsy and creative field that I may have (and continue to) dream of but it's something that I have a strong background in through my combination of education (Family Studies degree & Counselling certificate) and experience (both personal and professional) plus it's something that I want to do. The specialized training that I'll be receiving will be the last thing to tie it all together.

The groups I would most like to work with are women, particularly single parents, and newcomers. My hope is to be able to help others achieve their own goals, find their places in the world and in doing so, find peace within themselves.

This decision is not without a bit of irony. In the two plus years since I arrived here in Toronto, I've secured a dozen jobs - some of which I juggled (however briefly) three at a time. The constant changes were, of course, a manifestation of something larger - dissatisfaction, boredom, displeasure and at times, embarrassment. I struggled with the idea of wanting to do more than glorified office work yet felt the pressure of keeping benefits. Also, without knowing exactly what it was I wanted, I kept searching for something more fulfilling or at least, which paid more. Luckily, this pattern will finally change.

[On a side note - I do have to say that being able to secure constant employment isn't without merit. I can write a mean cover letter and perform well in almost any interview. Hopefully, I'll be able to transfer some of those skills to my clients!]

In previous years, staying with office jobs was necessary as a single parent. I don't regret those days entirely as they provided me with the stability I needed and allowed me to take care of what I needed to. It also introduced me to some very special people who have impacted my life in many ways and for that I am grateful.

Now...is a different time. A moment that I've readied myself for and that, surprisingly, I am well-equipped for. What I've surmised throughout all of these years is that experience has been the best education for me - in whatever shape or form it presented itself. And because of this, I think I'll make a fine Career Counsellor one day.

[Now, if I can only get through the next 12 months...] :)