A lady struggling with several bags of groceries, trying to get on the bus by herself… I’m there. A dropped boarding pass right outside of an airline gate… I’ll pick it up and return it to its rightful owner. A sweet taqueria lady who speaks little English trying to figure out her ride home… I’ll muster up what little Spanish I know to figure out directions to her house so that I can tell my uncle, who also happens to be a helper and is going to drive her home.
I bring up these examples to illustrate that I am a helper at heart. Nothing delights me as much as lightening someone’s load for a minute, whether literally or figuratively. If someone is stressing out, if there’s a way I can help, I want to.
I consider this desire and skill an asset. However, though I’ve searched far and wide, between craigslist, monster, and careerbuilder, I have found no company hiring a resident “helper”. Job searching for a helper is not quite so cut and dry. There is further discernment and self-reflection involved.
There are several “helping” professions. I have tried being a teacher, and though it is something I may return to some day, I wasn’t quite ready for it. Being a police officer or fire fighter also not a natural choice for the type of helping I want to do. How can my desire to help translate into a career that suits me?
At first I thought case management would be the most likely fit. Helping all the time to move clients’ lives forward, helping them job search, advising them in credit repair, finding creative solutions for their lack of funding, assisting them in achieving their educational goals, securing them housing, etc. But in the short time that I have had just a snapshot of what case management is like, I have found that I am not quite ready to help in such big ways. In order to really help someone, I need to have a good grip on those things in my own life. And since I am constantly inbetween, I do not.
So now what?
What I’m beginning to realize is that being a helper can translate well into any career. I had it in my head that my job had to be to help people directly, that in order to feel fulfilled, I had to be the one delivering the services. But I am realizing now that I can get my helping fix by assisting the people whose job it is to provide direct service. Even simply helping a co-worker, volunteer, or donor could satisfy my desire to help.
Helping doesn’t have to be my career, it can just be a general attitude I take with me in any job I have. It makes for a more pleasant work environment, as others will likely respond by helping as well. I am in the process of trying to change jobs again. I plan to stay with the same organization, but take on an entirely new role in development. If I get the position, I hope that I will be able to use my helping spirit in a way that I feel fulfilled and it also benefits the organization.
I will keep you posted.
Though the position is full-time with benefits, even if I do get it, I will continue with the blog title, it seems to suit me.