Look at me! I have a job!! :] Exactly a month after SNL ended I begun a new endeavor at Pacific Clinics as a Mental Health Worker, aka. case manager. To say that I was officially hired full-time has been a huge blessing in my life. It had been one and a half years since I walked across the stage to receive my diploma from my very expensive university; and, as time passed without employment the harder it was becoming to pay back my loans. And let me tell you, having those payments over your head without money to pay them… not fun at all.
To think back to how I was linked to this job has been interesting. Though I did not realize it until now, all of the little steps that I have taken to this moment began when I started interning with the USC: Behavioral Employment Program study under Dr. Stan Huey a year ago in September 2009. After not having any luck with my job search, I decided to reach out to get more experience in psychology research since I hadn’t done much during my undergrad years. Working as a research assistant, I was exposed to many new things, people and experiences; every session I sat in, every data entry shift, every phone interview, I learned something new. The BEP study taught me a lot, especially under the mentorship of Caitlin; I believe that she has taught me that it is possible to achieve my dream of working with juvenile youth at such a young age – considering everyone that I have worked with previously has been a few years older than me… Push #1.
Push #2. I volunteered to working with another client with a new counselor I had not met before, Kris. Though you can never compare stories of at-risk youth, I can honestly say that this has been my most challenging so far. I have never felt so connected and emotionally invested in trying to have this young man succeed in life, and, I was very happy to know that Kris also felt the same way about working with this young man. Knowing how hard this particular case was and seeing how much work Kris was putting into it, without any particular benefits or incentives for himself [volunteering besides working full time] reminded me of the passion I also had to work in this field.
These two amazing individuals mirrored to me what I have been wanting to do with as much passion that I want to do it with. They lit my “determination fire” that much more. And to top it off! Not only did they remind me of my career goals, they were also the catalyst to me being employed today. [[If either of you are reading, thanks a million!]]
Though I have gone a year and a half without obtaining a full time, stable job after graduation, I am very happy that I did not give up on my dream and settle for another job – on something that I know that I would not like doing. And although I am also hardly in the beginning stages of my career, I would not have traded this past year and a half for anything else. Thanks for everyone who believed in my goal and supported my decisions. I hope that anyone who reads this post is reminded of their own goals and not to give up on them, no matter how hard the road may be.