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.