I am graduating with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in two weeks. It is a very exciting time of transition for me as I start my internship and leave my current job of 8 years. As I take more steps toward work in the anti-human-trafficking field, I feel like I am coming alive. I am truly excited to start this work.
This feeling of excitement is a new feeling for me. This decision to switch careers feels like the first decision in my life that is coming from me. It is the first decision I have made without any outside influences. The funny thing is that most people think this decision is crazy. Honestly, some days, I think it’s a little crazy. The main driver for the perceived foolishness of this transition is financial. Nobody can understand why I would leave a nice-paying information technology job with great benefits to be a social worker.
I guess I look at this transition as coming back home. I was never meant to work in information technology. My path to IT was certainly not a straight line. My first degree was in finance, but I found my way to IT through a passion for project management specifically related to financial systems implementations. So, I went back to school for an IT degree. I was told by everyone that technology was where I should be. I was definitely a logical thinker. I had the drive. Most importantly, it was easy to be financially independent while working in IT. And deep down, that was all that mattered to me. I wanted to make as much money as possible, so that I would never have to rely on my parents for anything. And it worked. I was able to walk away from my parents and never look back.
However, I ended up in a career that does not reflect who I am. I know software. I know finance. But I don’t wake up in the morning and feel excited to go to work. I know – most people don’t – but I am not interested in living like most people. I have never had the luxury of living like most people. There is no reason I should start now. I want a career in which I can truly use all of my gifts, especially those that have developed from my life journey. I want a career that makes me jump out of bed in the morning. I am no longer going to make decisions because others tell me it is the right or logical next step. I want to make decisions because my heart is jumping around in chest when I think that I might be able to do it. Even if that decision requires miracles, that’s ok. I have had plenty of miracles so far.