In high school, I thought that I would go to college, take my classes, do my work, graduate and find a job. That was what I had been trained to think, to expect. However, life had other ideas. I graduated all right, but couldn't find work within my field (shocker right? that never happens!) Many people would have been happy to have me come and work as an intern (free labor!) but, uhm, those bills have to get paid.
My best friend and I were in the same boat. I ended up finding work at a restaurant as a hostess (loved that job, and I was damn good at it, too bad it didn't pay enough for me to keep doing it!) and my friend kept working at the used bookstore she'd been working in all through college. And we both kept looking for full time work.
Finally, I landed what was a pretty good job with rather large, corporate, finance company. That was a definite detour. I had not studied finance, or economics or business, or much anything like that, yet here I was. They picked me. I had a job. I had to go out and buy adult clothes (apart from my interview outfits.) It was a new world. And an adventure. I learned what they needed me to know, and I learned how to do my job and do it well. I also learned what it can be like in the corporate world. I learned what having a great supervisor is like. I also learned what having a not-so-great supervision was like, as well as what being micro-managed feels like. I definitely became more cynical when I saw how people were treated based on office politics, and how some people got set up to take a fall. I saw the "golden" boy or girl get all the intangible benefits of being the golden one. I saw office romances bloom, then fade (or in some instances crash and burn horribly and then both people had to keep working together. Oh, that was fun to be around.) I also made some really great friends that I'm still in touch with 10+ years later!!)
But like I said, I was good at my job, which led me on to another path. I got a promotion and moved up north, to snow country. I stayed with the company for three more years after that before deciding to take yet another major detour and go back to school (not once but twice!) Now, I find myself at another crossroads, trying to decide what to do next. There are certain parameters I need- enough income to have a decent lifestyle, maybe some extra to put away, benefits, and preferably, have a feel-good factor in some way to it (still a bit of a hippie at heart and would like to be beneficial and helpful in some way…)
With the years as a filter, I look back on some of those experiences I've had, and think about the people I've known, especially at that first job, and my compassion goes out to most of the people I have worked with, because, in the end, everyone was just trying to survive as best they could.
So, who knows what will come next? Who knows, but I'm sure it'll be an adventure, no matter what! Like I said, I still have a ways to go!