Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Building a New Career From Scratch

I have always wanted to be a writer. In high school I wrote for my school newspaper and enjoyed it so much I though I wanted to be a reporter. I started my college career as a psychology major but quickly changed it to communications. Then like an idiot teenager I dropped out and got a factory job.

When I was laid off I found a program that helped pay for school. I was going back one class at a time before I found this program. I figured therapists were in demand and I had a few credits to apply to a psychology degree. This program required that I change my major to one of their top job needs in the area. I found that social work was the way to go if I wanted all of my credits to count.

As I went on in the social work program I realized I liked a lot of things about being a social worker. I also realized there were just as many things that I hated. I got a taste of both worlds as I journeyed through my internship. I answered phones and talked one on one with clients in need. Sadly I found many of the people that were calling were just looking for a hand out. They didn't want any of the services that could help them save money because they had no income and no intentions of gaining employment. In my latest job I  have found that to be true as well.

It was a great pleasure to speak with people in temporary crisis mode that just need help this month because their car broke down or they took time off after having a baby. I enjoyed speaking with them and I felt for them but I couldn't help them most of the time. Many of the services that help with bills require a shut off notice or an eviction notice. People who just need help this month don't want to get that far behind. Overall I am not sure I like the direct service part about 95% of the time. I love it when I actually do help people but it seems like I rarely make a positive difference.

My internship also required me to plan and organize several projects. My first was a large distribution of products to churches. That was a lot of paper work and sorting but I enjoyed it.

The second project was planning a youth group event to raise money for World Vision. I still can't get the smile off my face when I talk about it. It was like one bright area in my time served in social work. I wrote a lot of letters and emails as well as a press release and advertisements. I spent a lot of time working on print media for the project. I had a blast doing this and I would do it again but not as a volunteer. Now where are the jobs for a social worker/project manager? There are none and if you find one they expect you to have your master's degree not a measly 4 year degree.

I really enjoy the writing aspects of any job so I am going to work hard to make it as a freelance writer. I have a Kindle coming today and I will load it with writing books. I am going to take my experience and learn to write for non-profits. I am going to learn everything I can about the things I love to do and then I am going to work hard to make it as a freelance writer.

1 comment:

  1. I hope you make it. It feels good to know what you want to do, but it can be hard to make it happen.

    I know you can do it... never give up.