By: Jessica Lee
The reason I began to research successful people, send out dozens of interviews, and dig deep into big ideas such as passion and talent, was because I saw so many of my friends—almost all of them—discouraged and frustrated by their work.
I understand that many jobs require you to start at a base level before working your way up, or sometimes the career you love has no positions open so you take a substitute job to make ends meet. However, it pains me to see my friends miserable, tired, and unmotivated. God never intended us to hate our jobs, feel terrible about ourselves, and feel anxiety or depression just by going to work each day. If you are feeling any of these things, please know that life was not meant to be this hard.
And know that it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it makes you happy. I have interviewed nurses, dancers, therapists, chefs, and teachers, and all of their stories are equally as encouraging. Find a job that energizes you, inspires you, and wakes you up feeling excited to do it all over again.
“It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” —Mae Jemison
Taylor Deysher // Dance/Movement Therapist
By the end of my junior year of high school, everyone had visited a bunch of colleges and I was worried. I hadn't even thought about where I'd want to go or what I'd want to do. I was thinking about physical therapy specifically for dancers. The last day of my junior year I spoke with my guidance counselor and she told me to check out dance therapy over the summer. She was thinking about dance therapy as physical therapy for dancers. When I googled dance therapy, I found dance/movement therapy and had an "aha" moment when it all came together. From that moment on I knew it was what I was meant to do. I picked an undergrad that would prepare me for grad school. I already knew which grad school I wanted to go to from my freshman year of college. Now I'm in my final year of grad school and interning 30 hours a week. It's more than most people imagine in an internship, it's my full time job. I work in a hospital in Brooklyn on three different psychiatric units, both outpatient and inpatient. I cannot begin to describe how amazing I feel every day doing my job. I see my job as primarily an opportunity to show individuals who are stigmatized and often treated poorly that they are incredible, worthy, and special. I work with the healthy parts of people who are often just being shown all the "negative" parts of them. My job is to show people how wonderful they are.
Jonssen Angbetic // Litigation Support Analyst
I got my job by going to a career fair at my university and giving my resume to one of their employers at their booth. Honestly, I completely forgot I even gave them my resume and wasn't even sure who they were. I just wanted an internship. I got a call for an interview for an audit internship. I actually didn't get it at first, then a week before it started, I got a call from them asking if I was still available. After my audit internship ended, they transitioned me into my current role as a litigation intern or forensic accounting intern, then starting full time in as a Litigation Support Analyst in June. What I love most about my job is the people I work with and the company itself. Everyone is extremely willing to help and you're a person to them. No matter what position—lower staff, manager, or partner, it didn't matter—everyone treated you the same and genuinely wanted you to learn how everything worked. It felt like home right away. It's weird, in high school this is where I wanted to end up in. Except I completely forgot about it when I went through college because it was all about tax or audit when you were in accounting. I love it because it's challenging. There's a lot of critical thinking involved. It's sort of like a huge puzzle; you’re trying to fit the pieces together to see the complete picture. Also, I get to work with excel every day, and I LOVE excel. I'll be completely honest and say my biggest struggle is not knowing what I'm doing half the time. I didn't learn these things in college, and I never went through a forensic class. So everything is completely new to me. You need to know basic accounting knowledge which I have, but other than that, everyone I work with has to explain what I'm doing to me because I'm not sure why I'm doing it. After a while I get it, but all the new information I have to learn pretty quickly is intimidating, especially because all our work is very important. Oh, I forgot to mention that I genuinely enjoy the type of work I do. It's not just the people. I find it extremely fun and challenging.
Faith Keller // Healthcare Appeals Analyst
I knew very early on that I wanted to work my way up as high as I could go in whatever field I chose. So, when I started with my company, I started at the bottom! It was a jump up from where I had previously been (within the same healthcare system), which helped affirm that I was making the right choice, as that position was considered entry level. I was a telephone operator. When I made the transition into customer service and working in a call center, it was similar in ability, but there was much more involved with documentation and benefit/healthcare knowledge. Through the year and a half that I was in customer service, I saw there were many opportunities I could take to advance myself. The reason I had decided to move into my current position is because my customer service role was so draining—mentally and emotionally. I would speak with hopeless customers, joyful customers, and very angry customers. As someone who likes to please people, my job was very hard because I couldn’t always say “yes.” But I knew that all I needed was to continue to have compassion—and that always helped blanket the stress that came in that role! One of the avenues I chose to take was in the Appeals and Grievances department. It’s extremely detailed work that requires you to know about compliance and healthcare law. It’s challenging and I have learned a ton! I know that I want to stay in this position for a while because it will prepare me with the knowledge I need in order to become a leader at my company. This is exactly the career that I have been prepared for. God has given me so many abilities that I never knew existed until I was forced to tap into them!
Hannah Smith // Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician
I work with folks of varying ages who have end stage renal disease. I initiate, monitor, and discontinue the treatments. Dialysis cleans toxins and waste from the blood, as well as takes off large amounts of fluid. Without dialysis, these patients would have a very short life expectancy past their diagnosis of ESRD. I got into this job because my uncle works in the field, and put in a good word for me to the boss ;) I knew this job was for me after I got comfortable in the job, knew what I was doing, and formed relationships with each patient. I know each patient so well, and they are all like family to me. The most difficult challenge with the job is adjusting after losing a patient I am close with. It is a close knit clinic and it really is like losing a member of the family. I love my job, and would be more than happy to continue working in dialysis after I graduate from nursing school!