Sunday, October 18, 2009

following the scent...

Ok, I'm fearing that I'm starting to sound like one of those crazy careers-people who can't stop tweeting their innovative ideas every time they're near a wi-fi hotspot (and lets face it: those scary people are always near one...) But I'll accept the likely chance of sounding 21st century career-junkie during this post, because this weekend truly did ignite a new spark for the work I'm currently engaged in, and the position I'm diligently working to arrange for myself in the future. And it wasn't until after the two days of events and work had ended that I realized how abuzz I felt, even going off of a depleted sleep-reserve. Yeah, the coffee probably had something to do with it too.

Friday was a conference for grant-writers (a rank which I can officially place myself within, now) and a day full of amazing panel-sessions (including a live grant-making session with a proposal on which I collaborated. We didn't win, but there was an unexpected consolation prize that came out of it...) and chances to meet many development professionals from a number of areas in Seattle nonprofits. The best part of this day, for me, was finally being in a room I knew I deserved to be in, and had worked hard to get to. If this sounds like a small accomplishment, well it was. But not small in terms of the impact it had on me. Because following months of rejections and silence from employers and contacts alike, I needed a reminder, a firm push toward the field of work in which I've been trying to carve a place for myself. I had earned the right to be there, as a scholarship recipient, and that tiny achievement had voluminous effects.

Saturday was my interning organization's annual Auction Event, a messy, stressy, but wonderfully satisfying day/night for both myself and the organization as a whole. Again, a day that set my nonprofit embers aglow.

What has probably been the most unexpected and most challenging part of being unemployed, especially having no previous career to go from: continuing to chase the goals I had set for myself long before I knew how difficult it would be. So many times I have considered putting these efforts aside for the time being. So many times I have doubted myself, and my ability to actually get a job that's even partly related to what I want to be doing. And yes, a lot of these considerations have been made out of practicality and the fact that there are just more jobs available in customer-service and retail - and my newly-invigorated aspirations for nonprofit work won't keep me from applying to those jobs as well. Still, its been a hard coin to settle, whether to keep seeking opportunities that will let me down or opt for something that I'm more likely to get, but is uninteresting or worse, non-challenging. And these sorts of set-ups allow ample room for doubt to creep in. Do I really want to be doing this? I can't find a job, which must mean I'm just not cut out for this kind of work...

So I'm happy to say that just in time, this weekend let me know (in a head-throbbingly exhausting sort of way) that I'm sniffing out the right tracks. Which is just another way of saying that my senses haven't failed me whatsoever.


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