November 7, 2012

The One Year Mark

Today marks one year since I assumed my current position at work. At the risk of sounding corny, one year of work at my absolute dream job. One full year!

I am so fortunate to have landed this job - it is certainly not an easy process. Though I don't want to specify my actual position (I have to keep some things to myself!), trust me to understand that it took a lot of patience and perseverance to get to where I am today.

My attempt to get this job started in approximately 2006, when I was in university and I finally nailed down my career aspiration. From there, I couldn't do much until I obtained my Bachelor's degree, as it is an "essential qualification" of my position to possess at least this level of education. So I completed all four years, and I participated in a field placement program to obtain my Honours Bachelor, which afforded me good experience working on the front lines of my chosen field. Thank goodness I did this, as my experiences in working with my client population was essential when I eventually applied for my current position.

My job is one in which the applicants must "compete" against all of the other applicants - and being successful in this competition does not mean that you are awarded a position, but rather your name goes into a pool of qualified applicants. When I graduated from university in 2009 there were no open competitions for my job, so I continued on with school and I started working towards my MA.

Thankfully, while I was working on my MA a national competition for my position opened, and I was able to apply. I can't discuss the specifics of the competition process, but believe you me that it was not an easy go. But I persevered, and approximately eight or nine months after my initial application I was informed that I had successfully completed the competition and that my name was going to be placed into a pool of qualified applicants. And so my name remained for another six months. Six months of waiting for the phone to ring, wondering if I had chosen the wrong career, debating whether I should give up and throw all of my energy into something else.

I am not sure that I am conveying here how badly I wanted this job. I ate, slept, and dreamed this job. I spent six years in university (Hon.BSocSc and MA) to get a solid education in order to do this job, and I spent countless hours volunteering with the client population in the hopes that this would increase my chances of landing a position. Whenever anyone asked me what I was doing with my life, what I was doing at that time didn't matter, the important thing in my mind was what I would be doing when I got this job. I was obsessed; I wanted this job so bad that I could taste it. I knew that I would not be happy until I got this position, and every other job that I even considered was never good enough.

And then one day the phone rang.

When I answered it was someone that I knew from volunteering and doing some casual work at my desired organization, and she was calling to offer me my current position. At the time, she was only able to offer me a short-term contract {which has since been extended}, but I jumped at the chance! I was able to hold it together long enough to accept her offer and write down where I needed to report to first thing on Monday morning, but as soon as I hung up the phone I burst into tears. I was sooooo happy - I had never ever cried from happiness before, but let me tell you, if there was ever an occasion this was it.

Today one of my co-workers asked me how well I am enjoying my job, and if I think I would want to stick it out for the next 30+ years. Again, I don't think I was able to accurately convey how much I enjoy my job when I told her that I love my job and I couldn't picture doing anything else, ever. I am so happy and blessed to be part of a small section of the population who genuinely enjoys their job. I can honestly say that I do what I love, and I love what I do!

Photo Credit: Simple Little Joys

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