Finding Your Career Soulmate

Finding Your Career Soulmate

At Emory, I am surrounded by ambitious, smart, motivated people but a lot of them have no idea exactly what they want to do. But when that moment finally comes, that defining moment of clarity, it is the biggest relief.

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Walking into a local rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, I had no idea what to expect for the volunteer orientation. All I knew was that I wanted to get started on recording volunteer and shadowing hours for my future application to Physical Therapy school. I certainly had no idea that I would leave almost 2 and a half hours later with a smile permanently plastered on my face and a clear picture of exactly what my dream job looked like.

For some it takes longer to figure out than others, but I truly believe everybody has a career soulmate. We are all born with strengths and weaknesses and while some people make a few stops along the way, I think we all have a purpose or calling.

I remember clearly the first time I experienced that moment of clarity that physical therapy was where I was headed. I followed my friend, Kate, to her physical therapy appointment at the Carrell Clinic for her torn ACL. She was kind enough to introduce me to her therapist and I sat in on the rest of her session. At the time, I was working in my high school's Sports Medicine department as a student athletic trainer. I enjoyed everyday of my independent study in sports medicine and owe so much to the athletic trainers, Coach Geier and Crystal Carrizales, because it was through working with them that my interest in PT really started.

Now, several years later, I am getting closer and closer to PT school. I am trying to gain all the experience and knowledge that I can as an undergraduate to best prepare me for my future graduate school studies. I am relishing every moment of college and enjoying all that Emory is giving me, while simultaneously keeping one eye on where I want to go in the future.

I walked back into my dorm room after the rehab hospital volunteer orientation and practically bounced into my roommate's arms. After a few moments of me screaming excitedly at her, she put into words exactly how I feel about my career soulmate. "Now when you have tough days in Bio or you are doing work you really don't want to do, you have a reason. It makes it all worth it because you have something you are so excited to be working towards." Livia, you couldn't have said it better.

I know I am not the only one who feels this way about their future or current career. I think there is this huge misconception that because it is "work" or a "job," you can't enjoy it. But I know that is not the case. There are people out there who don't feel like they ever have to work a day in their life because they genuinely love what they do. It has been my goal for a long time to be one of those people. I just didn't know what career path would give me that feeling.

At Emory, I am surrounded by ambitious, smart, motivated people but a lot of them have no idea exactly what they want to do. And as they say in every college admissions presentation, that is okay. But when that moment finally comes, that defining moment of clarity, it is the biggest relief.

I am aware that I am in an extremely privileged position to be even considering all these potential jobs in the future. I know that not everyone has that luxury of choice. However, even if that choice is not there, it is important to remember that we were all given strengths and weaknesses for a reason. Even if that reason was simply to make us happy by using our strengths for a hobby. There is nothing more inspiring than watching someone work hard to do what they love whether that be for a career or not.

If nothing else, everyone is called to pursue the things they love the most in life. I believe that career soulmates exist and that whether it be for a job or not, we will all find that one thing in life that gives us joy and purpose in our lives.

Now I just have to get in to PT school...

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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