Friday, March 13, 2015

Isn't Life Funny? (A Guest Post by Mindy)

We are so excited to be joined by Mindy today. Mindy graduated a semester ahead of Sydney and Caroline. She is now a child life specialist at a hospital in Texas! 

This is her story about the day she received her dream job offer. Sometimes it only takes a couple of months sometimes it takes years. Mindy shows us that patience pays off and how important it is never to give up!

Six months ago I thought this day would never come, the day I officially accepted a Child Life Specialist position. See, thirteen months ago I had just completed my 600+ hour internship in a city where I only knew one person. I had moved in with an unknown family who so willingly took me into their home. The one person I knew was a very close friend who happened to land her Child Life internship in the same city as me; however, she was still living over an hour away. The first day of my internship started only 2 days after my college graduation. I woke up at six a.m. ready for whatever the day was going to bring. By the end of the week I quickly realized this was nothing like I had imagined.
My first rotation supervisor was tough and impossible to read. I spent the first few weeks thinking this is not how my Child Life internship is supposed to go! Four or five weeks into my internship I gave myself a pep-talk… Either I keep drowning in my disappointment or I rise above. Rise above meant accepting I had a supervisor with a completely, utterly, cringe worthy teaching style that did not mesh with my learning style. So I went to work on that Thursday with my head up, unwilling to back down, and a facade of assertiveness hoping to catch her off guard. My supervisor immediately noticed the difference and things began to look up. She challenged and stretched me in ways that I never wanted to go, and she really deserves an Emmy for her efforts, but I admit overcoming those challenges made me so much prouder of myself at the completion of the rotation. Plus it makes for good stories later!
*In the case my supervisor reads this I’d like to make some clarifications! First, I loved this supervisor as a person. She was one of those people who could run endless miles, told awesome stories, and had the best facial expressions while telling those stories! We laughed at each other constantly and agreed to disagree about our dietary habits… I eat vegetarian and she eats paleo. Our lunches were always the complete opposites. Hmm, sort of like our learning styles. For real though, I can appreciate what she taught me and made me endure during my internship now that it’s over!

Rotation two, the Emergency Department, is what I really remember most of my internship. My supervisor was amazing. She definitely made me uncomfortable at times but overall our styles just meshed. The environment of the ED was captivating and I encourage all CL interns to experience the ED. It really is a huge ball field with so much space to grow and explore! Of course the most memorable moment of this rotation occurred within the last hour on the last night of my internship. I was so close to being done… my car was packed and my dad was downstairs in the hospital lobby ready to rescue me and take me home! I did eventually make it out of there over an hour late. One of the best feelings is knowing you accomplished one of the hardest tasks of your life… and lived to tell about it.
            I returned back to Georgia, attended my sister’s wedding a week later, and moved back to my college town. I began applying for my dream job on September 1st. My days consisted of waking up, fighting with wifi to submit job applications, and becoming best friends with the room mate’s dog. Sounds enjoyable huh? Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and I heard nothing from my applications. I blamed it on the fact I wasn’t certified yet and thought all of that would change come November when I took the exam. November came, I reached a milestone, and officially added CCLS behind my name. I continued to submit applications having a few interviews here or there, even making it to the final two numerous times. January, February, March I was still applying. April, I came so close to landing a job. It hurt when I was told to fly out to Texas only to get a call the next day that there was no need for me to come because the other person had “more paid experience.” If only I had a dollar for every time I heard those three words. I remember the pain I felt every time someone asked me about my job search. Everyone always had advice on things I should be doing or I should try. I just wanted to avoid the conversation all together but I felt like everyone else wanted it to be the topic of discussion.  May, June, July, August, September… Many more applications, interviews, those three stupid words, a move to Texas with the boyfriend (whose job search by the way lasted all of one month), all led me to this….
Today, 13 months later, Seventy-eight Child Life applications later, I have finally accepted a Child Life Specialist position in the Pediatric Intensive Care unit. The past year and a half has been a whirlwind. Of course when I finally “give up” and accept it’s not going to happen the job basically falls in my lap. I wrote this blog with the intention of helping so many others out there in my similar situation. You had the 4.0 GPA, you finally landed the dream internship, you cried endless nights during that internship probably miles away from anyone you knew, you studied and stressed too much over the CL exam and finally received that certification. You just knew that certification would land you the dream job but now months later you’re still waiting. My advice is to continue on with life… child life will ALWAYS be there. You have the education and you have the certification. In the mean time, instead of sitting at home being miserable, find something that makes you happy. As much as I hate to admit it, the old age proverb of when you least expect it really is true. In my case, I accepted a job at a local elementary school and fell head over heels in love with it. Waking up at 5:30a.m came easy to me. I was accepting the happiness I was feeling for the first time in so long. I was finally settling into my new job with a smile on my face and Bam… I get the job offer that I had finally stopped scavenging for after 13 months!

Isn’t life so funny?


How long did it take you to receive your dream job offer? If you are job hunting what are you doing to decompress after a rejection? 

Sydney and Caroline