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Making a Change

July 30, 2012

When I was a junior in high school, I was firm in the decision that I wanted to be a nurse some day. I wanted to work in Labor and Delivery. At my high school, we were given the opportunity to do a job shadowing experience and I chose to do mine in a hospital. That day was eye opening for me. I decided right then that nursing was definitely not for me. I couldn’t handle the smells, the sounds, and everything else that went along with the job.

At the time, I was working at a child care center in my home town. I absolutely loved working with the children. My biggest dream was to be a mom some day. So, I decided that I would pursue early childhood education as my career.

I had the best four years of my life at Oklahoma State University studying Early Childhood Education. I learned so much and truly developed a passion for the field. At the time, I wasn’t sure that teaching was what I wanted to do forever, but I knew that was the logical direction that I should take. So, upon graduation, I applied to several schools. The job search was really hard, but in August of 2007 I took a job as a 4 year old teacher at a company in Tulsa that runs all Tulsa area Head Starts.

 

 

The 4+ years I spent in that position were both challenging and rewarding. After a year of teaching , I began pursuing my Master’s Degree. Even though I knew I didn’t want to teach forever, I was very passionate about Early Childhood, so I spent a year and a half getting my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. At that point, I really started looking for other jobs. I applied for state jobs, national jobs, and jobs at different agencies. When people asked what I was looking for, all I could say was that I wanted to be in the field of Early Childhood, but wanted something more behind the scenes. I interviewed for a few jobs, but didn’t end up finding anything.

After starting my 5th year as a teacher, I applied for a supervisor position at a company that was very similar to the one I worked at. I got a call from one of the current supervisors (who I had worked with previously) saying that they didn’t have any supervisor positions open, but they did have a 3 year old teacher position open. After much thought, I decided a change of scenery was a good idea. I interviewed for the position, but was very open with my intentions of moving up to a supervisor position when one became open. I was offered and accepted the teaching position and was really excited for the change. It re motivated me for teaching.

 

 

The company I work for, focuses on lower income families. I truly felt like I was making a difference every day. But, I quickly became mentally drained from the position. I knew it was really time for me to pursue something out of the classroom. When it became obvious to me that I wasn’t likely to get a supervisor position any time soon, I started looking elsewhere.

 

 

One of those places was a local university who runs an Early Childhood Institute. They worked with the company I was working for, which is how I learned of the Institute and their careers. I applied for several positions at the University and was called in for an interview for a supervisor position. When I left the interview, I had a feeling that they really liked me, but that I probably wouldn’t get the position. I started thinking that it would be better to take a lower position and work my way up.

Weeks went by and I didn’t hear anything. I was a little discouraged, but knew that I had a job that I enjoyed (most of the time), so I would be okay. Then, as I was on my way back from vacation, I got a call saying they wanted to interview me for a different position. I scheduled the interview for the following Tuesday. The interview went really well and I left there knowing I would know something by the end of the week. I also had another interview scheduled with them for a different position on Thursday. Wednesday afternoon, however, I got a call saying they loved me and thought I would be a perfect fit for the position. I quickly accepted.

Last Friday was my last day as a teacher. Wednesday I start a position as a Research Associate. It is exciting and nerve wracking. I am going to be doing something completely different than I have ever done before. But, in my heart, I know this is the right career choice for me.

 

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