I got my first job when I was 16, working at an Old Navy Outlet. I had interviewed for a few other jobs, but this was the first one that offered me work! I was so excited, even though I’m pretty sure they only hired me since I am tall. I enjoyed most of my duties there (cannot say I was a fan of cleaning the rest rooms, or scraping gum off the floor!). I learned how to ring a cash register, how to fold and stack clothes, and most importantly how to provide good customer service. I made a good number of friends there too, many of whom I still maintain contact.
In the years that followed, I would entertain a number of positions to include several retail jobs, library work, photo development and even in food service (I was affectionately dubbed the soup Nazi by my Seinfeld loving peers). Each job taught me new skills and valuable lessons. In the period of time that I was in college, I believe I worked at a total of seven+ jobs in six years. I used to joke with my classmates, that I would pretty much do anything legal for money.
When I FINALLY graduated as a P.T., I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. My first job was in a skilled nursing facility in a city. I met a GREAT group of co-workers, and it was them who supported me and kept me sane over the 18 months that I worked in that position. Eventually, I got tired of some recurring issues and when I was offered a hospital job with a HUGE sign on bonus, I leapt at the opportunity. I would then work at the hospital from 2011 to 2015, when I ultimately got divorced and moved away from the area. I still consider my hospital friends my family. I very much enjoyed getting to know and befriending everyone from CNA’s to nurses, techs to other therapists and even the Doctoring Staff. My therapy family supported me through some of the darkest times in my life, and I am forever grateful for them.
It was at this time, that I moved to another state. Unable to find hospital work in this area, I decided to go for a change. However, in the two years that I have been here I have worked for three different companies, and am working on my 6th position change. I have gone from home care (not for me!), to management of a small facility, to management of a large facility, to assistant manager, to program developer and am now taking a position as a geriatric outpatient therapist (the last four all being within the same company). It’s nice to have been able to have so many opportunities at my current company, but there is also a part of me that wants to have that consistency and stability that I had when I was at the hospital.
Much like the jobs that I had when I was in college, the jobs that I have had as a therapist have all shaped me in some way. I am very grateful that I have had the opportunities that I have. I am still seeking a niche, and figuring out who I am. I am hopeful that I will some day find her.