I recently moved back to the town I call home and I returned to the job that I held the longest, and loved the most. I have an education that has nothing to do with what I am currently paid to do and I could not be more content with this decision. About two and a half years ago, I was looking for a job and for the first time in my life I needed to be able to support myself entirely on my own. I remember the day that a friend of mine told me about a Craigslist ad that she had seen and it said, "Willing to train," and I remember thinking that I had no experience or knowledge about that field and that I would probably never get an interview, let alone get the position.
Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call and was asked to interview for the position. I will never forget the day that the office manager, who is still one of my closest friends, called and offered me the job. My first few months were rough because I was learning an entirely new set of skills and because I had no training in the field, but I got through it. It slowly, and I do mean very slowly, evolved into one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I get to work with people who I love and genuinely care about. I get to crack jokes and develop relationships with the people I serve. I have learned things that I never imagined I would find interesting. I have a body of knowledge and experience now that I find genuinely interesting and about which I enjoy talking.
I fell into my job. It was an accident. I never anticipated that I would spend 8-10 years in college and not use my degrees. I never imagined when I walked into that interview that I would find the thing I wanted to do until I stopped doing things, but I did. I enjoy my job. I am proud of what I do. I was elated to return to my position after less than a year away from it. I may not have the glamorous, prestige of being a college professor (which is what I always wanted to do and what I went to school for) but I have a job that I don't dread. I don't hate Mondays. I don't catch myself staring at the clock every ten seconds, unless I'm hungry.
I believe very strongly in the pursuit of happiness. I do not believe that we should be slaves to the machine. I do not believe that we should spend our lives working for people we hate, in jobs that we don't care about, just to make a living that we don't get to enjoy. I believe that we should go to work smiling and leave smiling and that if, sometimes, that means that we aren't rolling in cash that's okay. Do what you love. Find a job that you enjoy. Make yourself a priority in that way, so that you can better serve your employer and the other people in your lives.
Too often, we find ourselves overwhelmed by bills and obligations. We want things because we think they need them. In fact, sometimes we become obsessed with maintaining or obtaining a quality of life that simply isn't reasonable. If we took the time to slow down and find what truly works for us, we might surprise ourselves. Admittedly, I am not the type of person who becomes easily attached to things. I have no problem loading my things into whatever suitcases I have handy and moving right along. However, I think that part of my perspective is healthy. I know that I am not defined by having the coolest new cell phone or a closet full of new shoes. I am defined by my actions. I am defined by the way I interact with others and the way that I spend my days. I choose to spend my days working a job that makes me feel valued as a person and as a worker because I it's important to me to feel that way. The paycheck is simply the icing on the cake.