Last Sunday marked one year on my new job!! The year has flown by. When I started the job, my boss and co-workers told me it would take six months to get my bearings and one year to fully understand and be comfortable with the position. That turned out to be completely true. I made the career change because I’d fallen out of love with news and the schedule that news demanded. I accepted this position with great hopes of doing a job I would love and having a lot more time with my family. I’m so blessed that I can actually say that is exactly what I’ve been experiencing this year! Here are a few things I’ve learned and experienced after a year on the job:
- Though the majority of our students want to better themselves, not all of our students are there because the want to be there. Some of them have to be there. When I volunteered before I was hired, I never knew that.
- In addition to being a program manager, receptionist, teacher and adviser, I’m also a counselor. Sometimes students and volunteers just want to tell you their personal problems.
- Managing a work force of volunteers can be a blessing and a course.
- When I accepted the job, I only thought about helping students reach their academic goals. I didn’t think about how proud yet sadden I would be when they accomplished their goals and left the program.
- I never imagined a student would sit in my office and confess the they considered committing suicide on their way to school that day. I’d never felt so helpless, scared and unprepared in my life. Thank god for my cell phone and licensed social worker co-manager!
- I’ve learned that what seems like a no brainer to me, come to class, study, get your GED, get a better job and provide a better life for your family, isn’t so cut and dry to my students.
- Only seeing your boss for two hours, once every two weeks is quite cool!
- Having only female coworkers isn’t as bad as I imagined. Maybe that’s because we all only get together for two hours, once every two weeks;)
I’m extremely happy with where my life is right now and this career change has a lot to do with that. I’m home to cook and enjoy dinner with my family and put my son to bed at night. I can plan weekend activities months in advance without the threat of cancelling because I have to fill in for a vacationing coworker. I really adore my co-manager. I love that I never know what student, volunteer, story or situation will walk through our doors each day. Non-profit work, never a dull moment. Who knew?!