"Life is not always a straight path..."
These wise words were spoken by the man-- the brilliant scientist-- who gave me my start in the science field almost 6 years ago. I paid him a visit during my lunch break to have an open conversation about my frustrations in trying to start my career and to seek advice from someone who has been in the field for over 50 years. I told him how I finished school the year after my summer internship there. How I applied to over 860 jobs during that time period, and only ended up with a job as a bank teller. How I don't even know what I want to pursue anymore because everything that I've gone after thus far has been one big disappointment; and how I was grateful to be back in the hospital where I started, but it was still not where I wanted to be. He listened quietly and after I had said all that was on my heart, he spoke softly and said "Life is not always a straight path, but you will get to your destination at the right time."
Those words have stuck with me since, and has sort of become my mantra. I now see life- especially in regards to goals and dreams- as a really long journey. One will lots of rest stops, flat tires, and detours. We are not just born and then zip-lined through all the major milestones and goals to our death. No! We have to fall and scrape our knees before we learn to walk, and we have to have our hearts broken by silly boys in high school, before we meet the loving husband of our forever. We have to go through the disappointments and rejections to grow thick skin. And we have to start from the bottom to be able to survive at the top.
Tomorrow, I begin a new position in Clinical Research. This comes only 10 months after I left the bank and started working as a data coordinator. I am incredibly grateful to be one step closer to my career goals. Which, to be honest, I don't even know what that looks like anymore, but I know that this is a step in the right direction, and just one of the many curves that life has thrown me into.
As I enter into this new chapter of life, I can't help but look at where I have come from. As a bank teller, I learned to speak up, get over my severe social anxiety, handle various personalities, and become well versed in finance- something I was never interested in before. As data coordinator, I was able to take my communication skills up several notches. Working with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, lab technicians, secretaries, and sales reps would have worn this introvert out if I did not have the experience of working at an extremely busy branch and dealing with strong-willed, loud mouth customers. Not only was I able to interact with different personalities in that new role, but I was able to communicate information effectively and properly manage the work-flow of a lab that was becoming increasingly busy.
I'm not sure why advancing from the bank took 2.5 yrs and advancing from data coordinator only took 10 months, but I am more than certain that the lessons learned are absolutely necessary for where life will take me.
Here's to another stepping stone. Another meaningful curve to life's path.