So I have to confess; even though I’m the Director of the Career Centre here at UTM, my story is not the perfect career story, following all the “right” steps along the way. I was not officially focussed on my career at all as an undergraduate; I did things, but wasn’t connecting them to a career goal in a specific way. I volunteered with an Occupational Therapist as part of a service learning course, worked in retail to make the cash I needed, got some supervisory experience at Ontario Place, but never really went farther than doing things because they were interesting or they made me money. Until I was in 4th year. Then I realized that the end of studies meant the beginning of my career.
How did I figure it out? It was a long and not always intentional process. I went to a session on what you can do with your Psychology degree and although I didn’t want to do what the panelists did, I liked the sound of what the Career Centre person did. So I talked to her, got a chance to volunteer and then started to make the connections that got me started.
There were some crossroads where I wasn’t sure what to do; did I want to be a counsellor? Could I get in to a Master’s program? Should I keep working at the University or look at the private sector? Is supervising people and administrative process my thing? Those questions don’t stop, they continue with every choice I make.
What do I take from all this? I’m happy I did some exploring (even if I didn’t think of it in that way); it made me more confident in my choices. I’m glad I did some things that made me really uncomfortable; talking to strangers is not something I crave to do, but I’ve learned a lot from asking people about their careers and asking for opportunities. I wish I’d paid more attention to gaining a focus; I probably could have accomplished more or gotten there faster if I had. But I’m really happy with my results; a job I love, working with students who are a constant source of inspiration, with a team who want the same things I do. That’s what is important to me; what do you want?