Introducing Fun Friday Interviews

My sister is the person I look up to most in this world. She’s three years older so she’s done almost everything before me (except that Master’s nudge, nudge). I couldn’t think of anyone better I wanted to start Fun Friday Interviews on. Throughout the weeks, my hope is to talk to a multitude of interesting people on things that are important to them, make them unique, or have any stories they want to share. This week is focused on my sister’s new job working in a library and the building excitement she’s feeling as she’s about to embark on a new journey- a Master’s degree in Library Sciences! (Even though her wedding is more exciting for everyone else, especially me, her maid of honor.)

Her words are bolded.

Hi, Lauren, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. I figured that since you are my sister and the bride to my maid of honor, I would feature you as my first profile.

You often use the word “career crush.” What does this mean exactly? How do you pursue it?

I use the phrase “career crush” to describe the long list of careers I’ve considered seriously. At different times, I thought that I wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher or professor, a campus minister, and a college administrator. Each time I changed my mind, I learned as much as I could about a particular job, eventually lost interest, and moved on to something else. I’m interested in a lot of different things, so it was hard to settle on just one career path.

Tell us about your exciting new prospects and your thoughts on “finally” (for lack of a better word, said in a slight sarcastic tone) finding the job of your dreams.

I started a new job a few months ago in a college library, and I’m starting a grad program for library science in a few weeks. Considering my history of indecisiveness, I was a little nervous that my interest in this field would fade as it did before. But I really love working in the library so far!

You’ve heard countless stories about my own experience, but what are your thoughts about graduate school?

I’m a little nervous about going back to school after five years out (especially after hearing what a headache it was for you), but I’m also excited. A lot of people think that libraries are “dying,” but really they’re just changing and growing to take advantage of new developments in technology. There are amazing things being done in libraries these days, and I’m looking forward to learning more about the field.

I’m at the point in my life where I’m looking to start a new career track, which comes with a lot of anxieties and reflections. Often, I have found that I wish I had double majored in college because I think that would lend me more experience with where I am now. Having landed where you are now, do you have any thoughts/regrets/reflections about what you majored in in college and how that affects your progress?

There was never a question in my mind that I wanted a liberal arts education with as many English classes as they’d let me take. Taking English, philosophy, and psychology courses taught me how to think critically, and I’ve never wished that I had chosen a more “practical” major. I’ve sometimes wished that I had double majored in another field, but I really liked the freedom to take a few courses in lots of different fields. I don’t think I’d do things any differently if I could go back.

What are some of the major influences in your college and post-college career that have made you a confident worker?

I’ve gained most of my confidence from experience and the encouragement of my supervisors. Entering the professional world is scary for everyone, but you have to take a leap of faith and trust that your best will be good enough. It really helps to have great mentors who guide you through when your confidence dips.

What is your relationship to work? In this sense, I am thinking how I’ve realized that for me to feel truly rewarded and challenged, the work has to be my passion, not something that is done.

I’ve always wanted to find a career I’m passionate about, which is partly what led me to change my mind so many times. But I also try to think of everything as a learning opportunity. Even the jobs I hated have been valuable experiences in the long run. I didn’t love being a personal assistant for a difficult executive, but the job taught me to be a lot more organized, and someday I’ll be a better manager by avoiding all of his terrible habits 😉

In your advice to me, we’ve discussed the issue of the “quarter-life crisis.” What is this? Do you think it’s an important period of time everyone should battle or am I just being dramatic?

The quarter-life crisis is a real challenge that every college grad seems to experience at some point after graduation. We were lucky enough to be told all our lives that we could be anything we wanted to be, which can actually create a lot of pressure. There are a LOT of different career paths out there, and having so many choices can be overwhelming. It helps if you can take a little of the pressure off and just assume that it’s going to take you a few years (at least) to figure out what you want to do with your life. You’ll probably surprise yourself by hating something you thought you’d love and vice versa. Just try to stay positive and learn as much as you can — even if you decide to change fields, you’ll develop transferrable skills that will be useful no matter where you end up. You’re not wasting your time by exploring your options.

I hope you enjoyed this interview! Especially if you are at a place where you are thinking about what you want to do. Thanks again Lauren for participating! You’ve always been very supportive of this blog and I really appreciate it!

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