How I Know I’m in the Right Career

The-Perfect-JobBy Sabrina Bong — Remember when I said the Praxis II was one of the scariest situations I’ve been in so far?

Well, I lied.

Applying for jobs is by far scarier than the Praxis II. Turning in my resume and completing job applications – hypothetically, getting my career started! –  is much more frightening than taking a standardized test that determines whether or not you get licensed.

This past weekend, I began seeking a school counseling job. And in between all the cover letter writing, form uploading, and transcript searching, I came across a question that really made me pause.

The question was, “If there were no limitations on you, what would you like to spend your life doing?” At first, I was a little stunned. After all, wouldn’t everyone say that they wanted to be doing EXACTLY the job they were applying for? If you were applying to be a teacher, wouldn’t you say teaching?

For me, personally, I know that no matter what, I am in the right profession. As a counselor, you get to change lives. You inspire people. You may not always get the recognition right away, but you guide people down better paths in life.

I have the best job in the world, as an intern. At the middle school, I get to help students navigate that scary transition between elementary and middle school. It is the most rewarding process at the middle school, because I really get to see the changes I’m striving to make. I run a lunch group that focuses a lot on making friends and social skills, and I have noticed their social abilities grow by leaps and bounds. Each of them has made a lot of progress, and it makes me so happy to see that! At the elementary school, I get to help teach young minds about the importance of being a safe, responsible, and respectful member of the school community. I teach about the effects of bullying, how to make friends, and how to use “I-statements” when disagreeing with someone.

When I’m in the halls and I hear students using their “I-statements” and telling others not to be mean to each other, it makes me smile. When I was at the high school, I helped students with the college application process and gave them advice on various relationship situations. Hearing that my students are moving on to college makes me proud. I live for moments like that. Truly, this is one of the most satisfying careers I know. It’s not always glamorous, and being a counselor definitely has its interesting moments, but really, it is incredibly rewarding.

Seeing that question only solidified my belief that I was in the right profession. After thinking about how I want to spend the rest of my life, I realized that counseling, with all of its ups, downs, and sideways, is exactly what I wanted to do.

Of course, I wouldn’t say no to writing a best-selling novel and traveling the world … but for now, counseling seems like the perfect idea.

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