I am a firm believer that in all components of life things happen for a reason. It's impossible to see what's ahead and often things look so dire and uncertain it's difficult to imagine something better around the corner. Keeping the optimism is an exercise of huge proportions, one I often struggle with. When I finally reach the moments where I can look back at the steps I took along the way, and how they led to where I am now, I am always so relieved things happened as they did.
A bit of back history:
My first job was in a dog daycare center. It's true I wasn't allowed to have pets growing up and it's also true that I made it my mission to have everyone else's pet in the neighborhood on a first name basis, but the fact remains I discovered this job because I had friends who were working there. A job of opportunity, it just also happened to be doing something I loved.
While working at the daycare center I learned from a fellow church member, a veterinarian, about an up and coming profession: veterinary technology. The appeal of becoming a vet tech was substantial. Such demand! So many opportunities! So many areas of the animal and medical world to focus on! And it was only a two year degree offered at community college, very appealing to someone who kept drawing blanks in the department of future educational goals.
I moved on from the dog day care center and began hospital hopping to gain experience before entering the vet tech program at NOVA. Starting out as a kennel assistant may not have been the most glamorous way to start, but exposure is exposure and we all have to start somewhere. In the early clinics I learned so much about understanding animals and how to handle them, crucial building blocks for dealing with them on a regular basis. From one referral practice I had incredible exposure to less common surgeries and was inspired to wrap all of my Christmas presents that year as if they were surgery packs. My family was appreciative, even if they didn't understand the artistry involved.
I took an 8 month hiatus to work at a Hallmark Creations store during it's busiest season, because that makes SO much sense... Then I came to my last position as a veterinary technician, where I worked 13 hour days as the sole surgery tech for a man who would inform me I didn't need to eat when I asked for a 20-minute lunch break. He was the type of man who needed a whipping boy, a title I am not built to hold very well.
Towards the end of the year I spent there (a full year no one expected me to last) I began searching in earnest for a new job in a completely related field. I'd burned out on the insanity of vet clinics and was desperate for some normalcy. Wracking my brain for an idea of what of positions I could qualify for with no education and limited experience, I figured my best bet was to pursue the administrative assistant world. I sent well over two dozen resumes out to any job position I was remotely qualified for and heard back from two. One was a placement company, the other was the company that gave me an offer I couldn't refuse.
I stayed at that job for 3 years, longer than any other I'd had, until they could no longer afford me. Thus began the turbulence over the next several years of trying to find a job I could be happy and successful with in an employment market that demanded extraordinary qualifications to stand out in a crowd of hundreds.
Office Two-Face assured security and company growth only to let me go (last in, first out) due to budget cuts after 6 months and having taken on the job responsibilities of 4-6 individuals. The next office lacked structure, required administrating for two simultaneously opperating companies with cross-over employees and hosted sibling fights resulting in excessive yelling and thrown objects. I left Office Crazy to take a coveted position at a Company With Promise which I was very enthusiastic about until discovering their need wasn't for an administrator but a mind reading office manager and/or the girl who had come before me. I was labeled as one of the nicest people the owner of the company had ever known but not a good fit for them for my inability to translate "organize my office" into anything productive with absolutely zero additional input or guidance on anyone's specific needs.
None of these places, not a single one, offered any benefit other than a meager paycheck that barely paid the bills.
If it hadn't been for that string of insane, trying, emotionally exhausting and physically draining jobs, however, I wouldn't have been in the right position at the right time and place to be available for the job I have now. Let me state how incredibly blessed I am to have made it through the storm and found a home on the other side. I daily love my job, love the people I work with, enjoy my commute and am happy with how perfect things worked out. After less than six months I am increasing my responsibilities and will get to move to an office with windows. Exciting for me though I feel bad for my co-worker who will be leaving her view for an interior office.
While the lush greenery in the field and woods across the lot from our building are a tempting enough view, the other view I'm gaining is one of security and longevity. I've said for years I wanted to find a place where I could be happy and stay for years and years and years. With a huge sigh of relief and thankful prayer I think I've finally found exactly what I've been looking for.