Starting your professional life from scratch when you change careers is hard. I expected that, and it’s been my experience thus far in learning how to do social work. But I didn’t realize just how hard it has been until I went back to my old job this week.
My former boss offered me a part-time gig at my former company, basically doing a little of my former job and training the new versions of me to do said job more efficiently. Being as I didn’t have anything else to do for the summer, I was starting to get a little stir crazy after a week or so where all I had to show for myself was going to the gym and watching TV every day, and I could use some extra cash, I decided to take him up on it.
I was fully back in the swing of things in about an hour — a startlingly short period of time. And man, it felt awesome to realize how good I am at doing this job. Sure, I did it for a number of years — I should be good at it. But after flailing through so much of the past nine months, coming up against such a steep learning curve, and feeling such a lack of confidence in my professional abilities, it was amazing to sit down at a desk, have a stack of pages thrown at me, and develop and implement a plan of attack for getting a book that had just started into proofreading off to the printer in 9 working days. Boom; done.
I’ll admit, it’s throwing me for a bit of a loop. I’m sure I’ll be annoyed soon enough (I haven’t forgotten the frustrations that made me want to leave this job and this profession), and it’s definitely different when it’s a part-time thing instead of my livelihood — but it’s been surprisingly nice (and even fun!) thus far. I’m not doubting my decision to change directions; I think it’s good to push myself, learn new things, and see what other options are out there. But it does make me wonder if I’ll ever feel about social work the way I feel about managing books. I hope so. And if not, I guess it’s good to know your strengths.
“god bless the man at the crossroads; god bless the woman who still can’t sleep; god bless the history that doesn’t repeat.” -david bazan