I'm sure that many of you can relate to the fact that you've had a pretty good idea of what your ultimate career goal has been for a while, especially if you pursued higher education.
I had been concentrating on one specific career goal since I was 20 years old. I even considered the completion of graduate school as just a stepping stone to making me a more desirable candidate for the position that I had sought after for so long. That's one expensive stone!
But then I was faced with a twist that threw me for a loop.
There I was, finishing my final internship in forensic psychology and at the same time completing the application process for my "dream job," when my internship site offered me a job doing forensic assessments. Although I had my heart set on a career in federal law enforcement, I was now being offered something that I'd really come to love doing. It was extremely confusing at first. This wasn't the way things were supposed to go. I was on track with my 10 year plan. Was I seriously considering staying in the field of psychology and throwing away a mindset I had come to know as "how it's supposed to be?" Who am I?!? It was in that moment of decision-making (of which I am famous for overanalyzing) that I realized my goals had in fact shifted. I did some serious self-reflection and realized that the person I had been 10 years earlier was not the same person I was now. The fantasy dream job was still do-able but it was no longer what I actually wanted for myself. I was immensely enjoying the work that I was doing at my internship and I was just starting to understand that I was making a difference in people's lives.
So I decided to take the assessment position and embrace my new calling. Okay. Decision made. Time for new goals!
After being introduced to the opportunities that presenting at conferences could provide (which you can read about here and here), I decided that my new goal was to either present at a conference or publish something each year. Especially fresh out of graduate school and being unlicensed, I knew that I may not be able to travel out of the country every single year. I'm now at a point where I attend a national conference in my field every other year and submit a presentation to the international conference on opposite years. It remains fulfilling and keeps me busy and driven. I found it is a good way to prevent burnout and stay on your game in your chosen profession. The key to career happiness, for me, is variety and a goal-driven mindset. I hope to bring future posts on these topics and I certainly hope you are enjoying the blog thus far.
Please let me know what other topics you would like to see on A Distant Mentality!