Initially, when my friend Barb posted about choosing a word for the year, I disregarded the idea. I didn’t think a word alone could possibly encompass the habits and skills I wanted to develop this year. After giving it some more thought, however, and after reading the subsequent post in which she disclosed that she decided on the word “open,” a word of my own struck me.
I vowed this year that my theme would be “Do More, Think Less.” This came to me late one night a few weeks ago when I found myself in a familiar situation- I was lying in bed, pouring over a stack of notebooks and folders with notes I’d taken from books I’d read and from personal reflections, trying (again), to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. Quotes from the One Week Job Project were particularly inspiring, as well as quotes from a select number of career-related books. One quote that I had written down that stood out to me was from Dr. Phil’s book Self Matters, which said, “You need to know your highest and best use in this world, and then pursue it. How tragic would it have been… if Mother Teresa had been an accountant or a waitress?” Also, from Po Bronson’s book What Should I Do With My Life? there was the riveting quote, “If I were to make an early exit from this world, what will I feel worst about not getting done?” Reading these made me question what I was doing in business classes, and made me wonder what career I could possibly have in business that would bring me the kind of fulfillment and accomplishment I had always desired. I did feel glad, however, that I was studying Sociology, as it is a subject that I am passionate about since it focuses on the betterment of society. With a little more thought though, I felt reassured that studying both subjects would have its benefits, as there are certainly ways to use business skills to make the world a better place. Plus, I like the challenge of business courses so far, something I have yet to feel in my Sociology classes.
I could have spent hours more pouring over my notes. I could have checked out more books. Yes, these readings and notes were inspiring and helpful, but thinking about what I would want in a future career suddenly just didn’t seem like enough. I needed more experience. I didn’t need to think any more if I wanted to work directly with people or not, I had to go out and work with people. I don’t know why this didn’t hit me before, but now that it had, I knew I had to get more hands-on experience.
So I decided to try and find a job. I applied for a tutoring position for students with intellectual disabilities and/or autism at my community college, and I am waiting to hear back to schedule an interview. I went with a friend to a volunteer orientation when she mentioned she was going to check out volunteering for a local Wildlife Rescue.
And I felt great. Finally, I was going to gain more work experience, and perhaps I would finally be closer to coming up with an answer to my long-held question. It certainly couldn’t hurt. I have worked as a water efficiency intern in which I worked directly with people (which at times was draining and other times energizing), I have worked at an automobile company as a file clerk completely isolated from people (which I discovered was very lonely), and also as a babysitter, dog walker, and a brief advertising assistant in which I learned how to design a brochure using Photoshop. These have all been great experiences, but I feel like I need a lot more experience with different areas of interest before I can say that I know what I like and dislike in a job setting.
Thus, the word of the year shall be Action. It’s time for me to Do More and Think Less, and get to work.