My name is Lindsey, I’m 27 years old, and it finally happened: The Job. Your reading and supporting this blog is a huge part of it, so THANK YOU.
In 2008, I graduated from college with my Social Work degree. Like most grads interested in future employment, I began job-hunting midway through senior year. I really wanted to work for a small nonprofit, with a special interest in homelessness or senior citizens. I went to the job fairs, wrote a stellar resume, e-mailed organizations left and right. (Oh, and this is during the height of America’s current recession). Nada.
Later in 2008, Andrew and I married and he got The Job shortly before our wedding. He majored in film and landed a spectacular job in television (that he still loves), while Little Miss Social Work Major has no luck. For several months I was churning out resumes full-time, my heart filled-to-the-brim with discouragement and self-doubts. Planning our nightly dinner menu was the most exciting part of my day. And then I realized I had a knack for cooking. Later, at Andrew’s insistence, I began this blog about that passion.
In 2010, I began graduate school for Nutrition. I still had a great interest in working with the homeless, but actually began the program thinking I might start an independent company to serve marginalized seniors. I focused most of my grad projects on food insecurity and hunger in the District of Columbia, as my full-time job in Elementary Special Ed had me interested in meeting the nutritional needs of children. Getting a full-time job as an instructional assistant (4 miles from my house) while in grad school was an amazing and fulfilling opportunity. But the lingo was frustrating; I didn’t complete 7 years of collegiate work to think about standardized tests or gain know-how on severe behavioral issues. And I worked for three years beside many passionate, inspiring teachers so devoted to their work. I admired how much joy they took in their work, because it was the profession they had set out to do. Despite my absolute dedication to my very special students, I felt afflicted like Shel Silverstein’s Missing Piece, wanting so much to find the place where I really felt my life’s calling.
And then it’s that chance thing: I ran into my friend Nate Ho at our gym’s water fountain when he asked me about my job hunt. I shared my discouragement, having now completed graduate school and always making it to the final round of job interviews with limited experience leaving me out in the end. Nate said, “Try informational interviews.” And that, my friends, nearly a year later, finally did it. IF YOU ARE SEEKING EMPLOYMENT AND KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO: CONSIDER INFORMATIONAL INTERVIEWS! So I went to nearly every foodbank in Virginia, Washington D.C., and one in southern Maryland; I introduced myself to Executive Directors, asked them to talk for an hour (often more!) about the work they do and how my skill-set might fit into the food assistance field.
I began my informational interviews in August 2012, and got The Job Offer just two weeks ago in May 2013. Since 2007, I had sent out countless resumes, cover letters, and applications—then I changed my approach. That’s six years, people. Six years. But it happened.
Now I am the NUTRITION EDUCATOR for a large foodbank. (And it’s one of those nonprofits Doing It Right, I love that.) I just started this week! My job will entail traveling to homeless centers, women’s shelters, schools and community centers to demonstrate healthy cooking techniques and do food tastings. Back at the warehouse, I will also do food demos and tastings for clients waiting in line for food boxes, and hold regular nutrition classes for clients. It is humbling and rewarding work already.
THANK YOU for allowing A Pear to Remember to be a place where I really began the journey of teaching others to cook and explore healthy eating habits. Your comments and encouragement strengthened my confidence in this field, and gave me something pretty groovy to put on my resume. You’re the best.