Hometown: Jupiter, FL
I just started working for a small company here in town that manufactures marimbas. I am currently training as a machinist making parts for the marimbas. This involves operating heavy milling equipment, understanding the computer program that runs the machine, and trouble shooting for defective parts.
Before my current job, most of my professional experience was as a music teacher. I did that for about 5 years. I also had a bunch of random jobs unrelated to music when my wife and I lived in Nashville for 3 1/2 years.
Since college, my perspective has definitely grown to be more holistic when it comes to work. I had the expectation that after college I would just land on one job and find all of my fulfillment there when in reality every job has taught me something different. I wish I had known that career development and fulfillment, is a marathon not a sprint with each job providing a different skill set for your professional tool belt.
" I wish I had known that career development and fulfillment is a marathon not a sprint..."
As a music major I had to balance regular homework assignments in addition to practicing my instrument. I think this prepared me for balancing priorities that may or may not be directly related such as balancing home and work life. They are not the same thing but they definitely affect each other. The second way PBA prepared me was in the community aspect. I made lots of connections with musical colleagues at PBA while practicing, rehearsing and performing in bands together that extended outside of college. In many careers, especially non-traditional ones like music having a network of professional relationships is essential for professional and communal growth.
Your first job is probably not going to be your dream job and that is ok. Go into it with an open="open" mind knowing that there are going to be challenging and uncomfortable things, (that may even make you want to quit) but those are the very things that will cause you to grow if you have the right perspective. When it’s hard (or boring) keep in mind that a job is the daily work that is right in front of you that you have to do. A career encompasses all the jobs you’ll have that move you forward as a professional. And lastly, a vocation/calling is the ultimate why and purpose behind the daily grind. Do the work in front of you with excellence while continuing to dream, you may be surprised where it will take you.
To be honest, in the past I had struggled with “finding a mentor”. That’s was until I began to change my expectations and see the opportunities around me. The people that you want as mentors very rarely have free time just to sit with you. The best way to get mentored is to find out how you can serve the person you want to be like. This could be serving your boss at work, or volunteering for someone you look up to professionally. Figure out how to add value to your mentor.