I’m now doing social work by helping low-income/poor families find the resources they need to strengthen their family and change their toxic environments. So how did I get here? Well, like anything in life it was a journey. After trying to start a wellness travel business and meeting great psychologists/social workers and reading many psychology/self help/spiritual books I naturally gravitated to the field. Well, even going back to my childhood (like most psychologists like to ask) I was always very curious about everything and enjoyed analyzing people. And then in high school, I loved science especially learning about the human body and how our mind and body works together. Life took many turns and I ended up in a communications/marketing career for over ten years.
Now I know why I had to wait so long to get into the delicate field of social work/mental health because your soul and mind must be strong to deal with the pain and suffering many people go through. It’s a pain I’ve never witnessed before of people lost with no direction of even where to find their basic needs. The stories I’ve heard are ones that make you wonder: how is it that one person could deal with so much adversity and suffering? It really puts everything in perspective. And while the stories are beyond sad I see a humanity of everyday people just trying to make it the best way they can. I see each person, I’ve encountered at my job, like me who just needs help and for someone to validate him or her. I would say even a year ago I probably couldn’t have worked in this field because I was still trying to fight my own demons of guilt and shame. And due to my shame and not thinking highly of myself I was quite judgmental about everyone. I probably would have judged these families quite harshly by saying, “well I’ve worked hard my whole life so why can’t you do it as well,” or “why can’t you just follow directions or go to your appointments.” I also would have been triggered by many of these women who have low self esteem. I’m not saying I’m totally zen and have worked out all of my issues but I’m at a place that I’ve learned to be more accepting of ME, which was the most important part, and accepting of other people’s differences. And I have finally learned to be vulnerable and thanks to that I’m able to feel someone’s pain more which allows me to understand them on a much deeper level.
How was I able to get a job in this field with no experience:
As much as I complained about communications and about writing boring press releases/talking points and pitching media I have to say all the skills I acquired throughout the years helped me land the job. Communications taught me how to promote and market something very well and I used those skills to market myself to this new field.
Here are some tips for those looking to change careers:
- LinkedIn is your best friend-find people in the new field and try to set up informational meetings with them
- Research all you can about the new field and find connections to what you already know
- Many skills are transferable: people management skills, outreach, and coordinating events, etc.. Show how those transferable skills will be beneficial to the job.
- And don’t be embarrassed to blast your resume to all the organizations you’re interested in. Always write a personal email about why you would like to meet the hiring director
- And show enthusiasm in the interview about your strong desire to learn!
In the end everything happens for a reason. I had to acquire a strong background in communications and spend some time healing my wounds in order to be where I’m at now.
Have any of you changed careers? If so, what was your experience like.