Round #1: No Regrets
We make decisions every day. Very important, less important, innocuous. Some of these decisions have far-reaching or lasting effects – intentional, anticipated, or otherwise – and we must deal with the outcomes.
When navigating professional realms, I observed consistencies across the multiple sectors of employment. I noticed that an ability to adapt to new environments, engage with an unfamiliar group of peers, and to keep your personal objectives as a top priority are significant factors to consider when measuring success. Further understanding or identifying what is most important to you and what you want to achieve will surely help you to make your future decisions with confidence!
ADAPT AND DIVERSIFY
Life is not a one-size-fits-all experience. We can understand this when determining the skills we want for our life path. For me, studying the social sciences made sense because I lacked the aptitude to pursue the fine arts and I loved interacting with people! I’ve studied nations and states, philosophies and economics, I’ve analyzed patterns of individual and group behavior, and applied theoretical knowledge to provide a greater understanding of complex global and social issues.
At every stage, school has improved my ability to communicate ideas of all sizes to audiences made up of all sorts of people. Realizing how effective studying interpersonal communication was for my everyday problem-solving, I understood its power in global arenas. I wanted to analyze public policy and create the change that makes the world a better place for all of us!
Today, I can apply my communication skills in different environments – they are part of the transferable skills we all love to include on our resumes! Remember, when an opportunity presents itself, it’s up to us to figure out how to incorporate it into our career path! Team-Builder! Problem Solver! Ok, let’s go!
The Realpolitk of Dancing
Being of service and helping others is an overriding goal in my life. Graduating in 2008 during the Great Recession with a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and no relevant work history meant my application to federal government positions were rejected due to a lack of experience. My dreams of immediate job placement upon graduation were dashed – I just wanted to travel the world helping the disenfranchised and wear power suits!
With insurmountable debt, my search for gainful employment in Small Town USA was redirected to the private sector. I decided that I could spend time honing my interpersonal skills and found a server position at a local hotspot where I had innumerable conversations with all kinds of people!
While I wanted to pack and move to Big City USA, I was unwilling to take on additional financial risk with a global economic crisis disrupting a general sense of stability. So, I adapted to my surroundings and found a way to use sidetracks to my advantage. Diversifying my toolbox reinforced my adaptability and marketability in the long-run. Focusing on my weaknesses was beneficial to my self-esteem, and it took me out of the insular comfort zone created by higher education.
My perspective was that customer service is demading work, and those who are skilled in it probably know how to diffuse conflict. We can talk about confrontation and negotiation all day long, but at some point we just have to jump in, assess the situation, communicate ideas, negotiate terms, and solve some problems! Dealing with hungry people face-to-face was the perfect place to observe social interactions and put my skills into action! Most importantly, I was able to identify areas for personal growth and seized a less-than-perfect opportunity to gain useful experience.
We can learn a lot about ourselves when talking to strangers …