So I’m sitting in the latest lunch and learn series at my job and we are discussing goals, values and how those things align with your career path and it got me to thinking. I create daily, monthly and yearly goals constantly but I always struggle with connecting those to my career path. I think it’s mainly because of my fear of deviating from “the list.” Now I know some of you are probably reading this and pondering what in the heck I’m exactly talking about, but I’m quite certain that everyone has had some contact with “the list.” For those of you still questioning what the heck I’m talking about watch the video below and then you will be up to speed.
Every time I watch this video, I swear that Drew Dudley has been stalking my life and has created this video specifically for me. I mean I can admit that I was once so attached to my list, my plan that every little decision or new exciting challenge I wanted to partake in, I questioned it and slowly backed away because it wasn’t part of “my list.” Disgusting right!?
So all throughout middle school and high school I was a natural in science and math class. I knew that my future career would have to deal with science and math some way some how. Boom along comes college and I had enrolled to be a Biochemistry major with a minor in Forensic Science. I knew that with this degree I would be able to land my perfect dream job of working crime scenes or working in the lab of some major chemical company. However, I have always had a passion for children and giving back. Yet, non profit work was not apart of my list because it would not land me my dream job and a BIG FAT salary which was needed to proceed to the next step of “my list.” Sophomore year rolls around, I had done a few internships with the coroner’s office and even had worked the cadaver lab at school…yeah that wasn’t where it was at. Being in the chemistry labs all day just wasn’t it for me anymore, yeah I had fun deducing the formulas and blowing things up but the thought of being in Chem lab all day on a Thursday just didn’t excite me anymore. Bam, along comes my monster Dhani and I wasn’t able to be in science labs anymore for fear of inhaling harmful toxins. So being the random college student I was, I had previously taken a bunch of political science and economic classes and those really excited me, not to mention my love for the history channel were slowly making their debut in my brain. So I switched majors, I became an global policy studies major, which is basically international affairs or international studies at various other colleges and universities. I tailored my degree towards my interests, I knew I loved non profits and women and children. So I focused the majority of my classes on human rights, African history and economics. I knew this is what I was supposed to be learning about and this would one day land me my dream job. However, I went back to amend my list, I knew that I had to map out my future in order to hit every single destination on my list. I was obsessed with making sure everything I needed to do would land me in the position of accomplishing everything on my list. That obsession was killing my passion, killing my dreams.
Graduated college and could not find my dream job, I knew I needed more schooling as well as work experience in order to even be marketable to employers. So I took the working route and took a job doing anything that would pay my student loans. WRONG DECISION. I worked a few other odd jobs and even excelled at a few, however I still had that thought in the back of my mind that none of this was part of my list and that my deviation from my list was the worst possible decision. I believe 2013 was my year of change, I was fired from a job that I really excelled at, I knew deep down in my heart that it wasn’t the job I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life however it was paying my bills and still allowing me to live comfortably. So I was fired, working part time in retail but enjoying life. I was able to put more time into working out and even more time was being spent with my monster child. However, my brain was still telling me, girl we have bills to pay & I of course can non forget my lovely mother…GET A JOB. So I took whatever job I could get..which was at a call center working for one of Pittsburgh’s banks and I HATED IT. Every morning I woke up thinking how could I get out of going to this place for the day? Despite me being a natural at it, I loathed walking in to that place and logging in to my phone and talking to customers about their financial needs. I knew I needed to get out and get out fast. A friend of mine told me that Public Allies was hiring and I had always wanted to partake in Public Allies but I never followed through. So I took that leap of faith and was accepted. I’m now working at a non profit, still not doing what I want to ultimately do, but I’m gaining experience and building kills that will aide in my future success.
As previously stated, I love history, I think it’s very important to know your history in order to know where you are going and of course to try and not repeat mistakes. Initially I was crushed that I had allowed myself to deviate far from “my list.” How did I let myself end up here? I was constantly questioning my decisions and it drove me insane. Not sure if I stated this, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I need to get things right..AT ALL TIMES. So with perfection comes madness. My madness led to self doubt. However, thanks to Public Allies, I’m slowly moving away from my doubts, I’m now accepting that my deviations were helpful. Why? They’ve given me experience and knowledge into jobs that I know I will not be successful at. They have also caused me to realize my strengths and my values and use those to evaluate potential employers. I know now that if a company doesn’t align with my values then I should not waste my precious time. I’m still a work in progress, of course striving for perfection still but I now know that my mental list is crazy and I quickly have thrown that thing in the trash.
I constantly watch that video to remind myself that change is necessary and that I have to keep making changes in my life until I get the life I deserve. I love that he states, “we can’t lead other people until we are ready to lead ourselves,” that line is so powerful to me, it’s what caused me to toss out my list because it wasn’t a list created by me, for me. Society and family has helped shape my list and I’m glad that I have now created “ERRICKAS LIST” and I’m comfortable with deviations because I know deviations can lead to new opportunities and new skills which in return help to create an even better Erricka.
Are you bound to “the list?” What things are included on your list? Are you scared of deviations?
Comment and let me know. 🙂
Peace and Love ❤