The crowning fortune of a man is to be born to some pursuit which finds him employment and happiness, whether it be to make baskets, or broadswords, or canals, or statues, or songs.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
First thing you should know about me: I have my dream job. Yesterday was my one year anniversary as the manager of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- South Side. I often walk into work and think, “Wow, I get to work here.” I’m surprised I have any sort of career, let alone one that brings me so much personal and professional satisfaction. (See next paragraph.)
Second thing you should know about me: I hate school. I hated grade school, middle school and high school. I hated college so much that it took me eight years to graduate. When I was done it felt like I had completed a prison sentence. I vowed I would never go back. I wouldn’t even go to Oakland.
In 2004 I was hired as a library clerk at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- East Liberty. I loved it. Wait a second! I get to talk to people all day about books and I don’t have to work in a cubicle? Sign me up! I had to grit my teeth, suck it up and go back to school. Gross. But it was worth it. I am doing what I was meant to do.
(Every advisor I ever had dropped the ball on this one, including the jerk who suggested secretarial school.)
Find your perfect career at the library!
There are so many job and career resources at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. One of my personal favorites is a database called Career Cruising. I love the Assessment Tools. Take the Matchmaker test and discover what you should be doing! My first recommended job was cement mason. Roofer and chimney sweep also made the list. I think because I said I like working with my hands and being outside? Or because I love swearing? (I really do.)
There are a lot of other neat tools at Career Cruising, including financial aid and employment searching, resume building and school comparison profiles. And don’t forget, you can always, always, always ask a librarian for help!
I’m not really a Who Moved My Cheese?/7 Habits of Highly Effective People/How to Win Friends and Influence People kind of reader. I’m less Oprah, more this. However, there are a few books that I have found worthwhile, especially when talking about having a calling in life.
The Butterfly Hunter, Chris Ballard
Stories of people who found their callings way, way, way off the beaten path. Learn how glass eyes are made, learn the history of window-washing and meet a dude named Spiderman Mulholland.
Getting Unstuck, Timothy Butler
Feeling stuck in a rut, personally or professionally? Find yourself thinking that there definitely should be more of…whatever? Business psychologist Timothy Butler will help you recognize your rut and unstick yourself from your paralysis.
A little touchy-feely, but if you are like me and define yourself by your job then you’ll enjoy this book.
Do you have a dream job? Or a very, very worst job?