|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on February 7, 2015 at 3:25 PM|
One day in the distant future, you will be faced with trying to decide what career you want. It’s a right of passage that we all go through, and it can be quite daunting, especially when you’ve been taught that you can do anything you put your mind to. My advise to you is that you consider not only what you want to do for a career, but how you want to make a living. How you want to spend your days, because you will spend a HUGE amount of your time doing your job. A job that you work five days a week, eight hours a day, fifty weeks a year, equates to about two thousand hours a year of you doing your job. I suggest that you do something that you enjoy.
When I was in high school, I found micro biology fascinating. The idea of these tiny microbes living in a world only visible by microscope was incredibly interesting to me. I decided that I wanted to be a microbiologist. I knew that I could be anything I tried to be, so why not that?
Our high school did a work experience program and I was able to go spend an eight hour day in the labs at our hospital. There was an incredible array of high tech equipment used for diagnosing peoples ailments, some very nice men and women who were very kind to me, and a behind the scenes view of what happens in labs to help people. The nice lady in the microbiology departments was very kind, and she showed me what she does on a daily basis which was taking samples from patients, putting them on Petri dishes, then incubating them to see what would grow. After the samples had time to incubate, the type of microbe could then be identified and a patient would be diagnosed.
Fascinating, but not for me. I found the lab to smell really bad, which makes total sense because you are, after all, growing microbes from stool, urine and bile samples. Of course that would smell bad. It was also dark, because that too, is useful for growing things that like the dark and damp environments.
The ladies spent their day in the lab, save only for leaving for lunch and coffee breaks, which consisted of going down one level to the cafeteria. They didn’t see fresh air for the whole day. I knew after one day, that that wasn’t how I wanted to spend my two thousand hours a year. I’m very thankful for that work experience though, because it’s a hard lesson to learn after you’ve spent four years in college getting trained for a profession that you won’t actually like doing.
I make my living working on a ferry boat. I make a great wage with good benefits, and I get to be outdoors. I get to talk with people all day long, and enjoy the gorgeous west coast scenery that we’re famous for. I revel in the joys of watching dolphins, hump back whales and killer whales on a regular basis. I thrive in the routine of going back and forth from dock to dock, four round trips a day.
I help load traffic onboard, then I go steer the ferry to the next dock. I am highly trained to respond to emergencies on board, like fires, fuel spills, crash landings and evacuations. I am confidant in my job, and I’ve been given great opportunities working in my field.
I had to make a decision about how I wanted to make a living. It was hard for my parents to accept that I was dropping out of college to pursue my marine tickets, but they were, like they always have been, supportive of me. Eleven years later, I know I made the right choice.
I encourage you dear daughters to consider not only the career you want when you grow up, but to consider how you want to make a living.