Occupation Exploration—Am I Doing This Right?

I shouldn’t be this excited. I just quit my cushy, boring, corporate job and I don’t have rich parents. It’s exciting. And terrifying. But mostly exciting.

Forward Thinking

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life thinking ahead and planning for the future. I decided in 9th grade that I was going to go into marketing because I heard some (likely inflated) statistic that a third of all jobs were in marketing. High school marketing classes introduced me to advertising, which got me to the Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which introduced me to PR and made me realize that people actually wrote magazines for a living. All of a sudden, I was on the hamster wheel.

I got my first communications internship when I was a sophomore. I loved working at the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, but the gig was unpaid. The goal was to get paid for something in my field. So I applied for a magazine apprenticeship program.

Rejected. But a magazine at the same corporation was looking to hire the “almosts.” I was getting paid to work at a magazine; I could check that off of the list. But how dare the apprenticeship program reject me? So after a year of fact checking I reapplied. And I got it. I was on track. But I had an entire summer before it started. So I got another communications internship. It paid. Well.

It was legitimately the best summer of my life. Lots of happy hours, trivia nights, and eating on patios.

No-Plan Panic

As graduation neared, I was panicking. I didn’t have a plan. But my friend Daisha had a plan and it was one I could latch onto. She was assigned to Las Vegas, NV by the Teach for America program. And a roommate would make her rent cheaper. That was enough for me to plan around. But I could never move somewhere without a job; I’d been saying such for at least the past year. So I applied my little heart out.

By the time I graduated I had nothing, so I packed up my Hyundai Accent and headed home. My first full-blown panic attack was a week after graduation, in my mom’s garage, as I unpacked what had been my college apartment. College was really over. And I really didn’t have a plan. I started crying. And then sobbing. And then I couldn’t breathe.

Less than a week later, I had the job.

Desert Disappointment

Now, I had three weeks to get to the desert and start working. My second panic attack was after two weeks of turning spreadsheets into other spreadsheets when I realized I hated the job and I was 1,400 miles from anything familiar.

Occupation Exploration

I pride myself on being decisive. It hasn’t always served me well. Now that I have a smidge of perspective I can see that once my mind was made up, I threw myself onto that path. No looking back, no looking around. I guess now is my time to look around. Ideally, that will come with some income. Regardless, I’m excited to explore.

I know I like to play with words. And that’s what I’m going to do. There are so many interesting things and people to write about. Whether or not publications want to pay for that is out of my control. What I can do is pitch my little heart out, reach out to contacts, and maybe get a gig writing online dating profiles. If you need anything written, let me know (and yes here is a link to my official freelance page). My days are wide open.

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