Yes, I know that I missed last week after a flawless streak of posting at 10:00 a.m. every  Saturday morning for months. I have a good excuse, okay?! I had writer’s block or maybe I should call it writer’s dilemma because it wasn’t that I didn’t have any ideas to write but I had so many great ideas that I wasn’t sure which one to flesh out. The words just didn’t seem to be coming to me in the right order (is there already a term for this?) Writer’s bubble? Writer’s Babble, maybe?…

I did what I usually do when this happens; I continued on with my week convinced that the right subject would fall from the heavens and knock me on the head with continuously flowing words and I would once again go into my rain-man like trance writing a stellar post.

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Forcing yourself to write doesn’t always churn out the best material. So, I’m glad to say that it worked, as it usually does. I was having an intense conversation with my significant person about the invisible pull we feel on our lives that drags us toward the calling/purpose meant for us; the only problem is that chasing that Pull often translates into changing jobs often, confusion and frustration. It sometimes includes being jobless, penniless, and clueless.

I wrote about changing jobs in the pursuit of more viable opportunities in my last post but I’d like to contradict myself a little if I may. What do you do when you feel uneasy in every job you’ve had because it isn’t aligned with your purpose. What do you do when the invisible Pull on your life drags you towards something unseen and not clearly defined and is so strong you can’t even settle? In a world where so many of our peers are chasing a check, how do you instead chase the pull? I want to attempt to answer this.

 

What is “Chasing the Pull?”

Have you ever gone to a job where the pay is good, the relationship with the co-workers are good, benefits and time off are plentiful, you even have a boss who adores you but as you drift off into your mid-afternoon daydream, all you feel is this incredible sense that you’re not supposed to be there? Questions like “Why am I here?” “Can I really do this for the next 20 years? and “I love this job but it’s not really me?” ring in your ear. No matter how much coffee you drink, or how much personal news you share you just know that there’s something better out there for you. Something that’s just your size and fit. That feeling is the pull. Your purpose is pulling you toward it but the catch is that it’s up to you whether you actually chase after it or not.

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Chasing The Pull is NOT like chasing a dream, it’s different. The Pull is intangible, invisible and sometimes incredibly frustrating. Imagine an invisible rope being lassoed around you, at moments in your life that rope is slack and you’re able to maneuver around and enjoy your day-to-day. In seasons of transition, the rope is taut, it pulls you out of your complacency and makes you uncomfortable. It tugs on you to leave where you were to follow something you can’t even see and have only begun to understand. That’s the pull. Some people are born knowing their purpose so there is no real pull. Others are in-tune to the pull but have yet to fully understand the purpose. Then there are others who ignore it and stay in a job/place that was never truly meant for them long enough until they no longer feel the pull.

Which one are you?

 

Method Madness

Chasing the Pull doesn’t always look the same across the board. There are many methods to its madness.

Chasing my Pull looks a lot like me job hopping but really it is me picking up skills that will be used later as a great foundation in the next job and ultimately THE JOB. I discovered a while ago that I needed to trust this method and all it’s madness as each new job or opportunity has utilized something from the previous one. Each time I transition after following the Pull, into a new field or career, I begin to get a clearer image of what my purpose is. The out-of-focus purpose gets more defined as I allow myself to be led by the Pull.

 

Be the Horse and Drink

Sometimes we get complacent and forget we have a specific purpose meant for us in our pursuit of immediate money, rightfully so. However, often in that complacency we begin to get this nagging feeling of not belonging. You know I love a good metaphor so let’s start with this; imagine you’re a horse.

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Yes, you can be a white unicorn for all I care just follow me on this.

You’re grazing in a field near murky water and your passenger starts tugging on the reins to get you to travel up the ridge to the other side. All you know is that you like grazing in the grass and even though the water at the pond is murky you’re glad you have it. You’re tired, chilling and are in no mood to give up this certainty of food and water. What you don’t know is that the passenger is trying to lead you to greener grass and clearer waters. You can either resist the pull at your reins or give in and follow its direction.

Choose wisely.

 

You Can’t Answer the Call if Your Phone ain’t On

As with anything we must incorporate the realities of life into chasing our Pull. Those realities take on the name “light bill” “car insurance” “rent” and much more. At some point we must venture into the highly confusing, uncomfortable environment of a 9 to 5 or third shift or whatever; in order to keep the lights on. This does not automatically mean that you are ignoring your Pull but rather that you are being productive in the process of chasing. The chase is not meant to be comfortable. It’s meant to prepare you.

Knowing what works best for your life and situation is essential. While one person can cut all ties to traditional work to chase their pull another may only be able to engage in the chase through various work experiences. Not all entrepreneurs are meant to submerge themselves full-time into the chase. Many times it isn’t practical or beneficial. I mean , hell, even President Obama was pushing the soft serve at Baskin Robbins at one point in his life. How many times do you think he looked down at the ice cream scoop in his hand and thought “This ain’t it.”

 

 

 

On the outside following the Pull can look a lot like slacking off because you’re not necessarily following the traditional path of go to school, land a job, build a career, start a family. Sometimes it’ll look like changing majors multiple times, it’ll look like applying to different jobs with vastly different industries, it’ll look like moving cities every few years or even switching relationships often. It’s the chase of a pull. The real question is, what’s pulling you?

 

Do you have a PULL Builders? Do you know what it is? Comment below and Let’s Talk!

My PULL is helping people, one millennial mistake at a time.

 

#LetsBuild

If you’ve been reading Let’s Build for a while you know that changing jobs is as common as changing panties for me; but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy. Yet, having the right job for the reality of your life is an important tool for building a better life for yourself. In fact, I want to discuss how you can gracefully leave a job you LOVE to go to the job you NEED.

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Why Leave

I know, I know for the millennial generation working a job you love is up there with our other major needs in the workplace like opportunities to lead, working with an impact/goal and paid time off. Goodness forbid we do what our parents did and work a job that sucks just for a steady paycheck and benefits. But let’s be honest, with more of us tackling student loan debt and coming into an age where taking care of baby boomer parents is common due to their lack of saving for retirement, you may find that the job you love is not meeting all of your needs. An article from Bustle explains this situation perfectly in Our Parents Are Broke & So Are We. Now What?.

Regardless of the reasons, our needs change. Something happens and a few extra hundred a month could be the difference between just making it and being able to set up for a better financial future or freeing extra time for family or a higher job title. With a generation so in tune with our wants we often place our immediate needs on the back burner until we start to smell smoke. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that making the most of unexpected opportunities is one of those millennial mistakes lessons that we learned a few years ago.

 

Blazers to Boots

Currently, I work in a slow pace environment with three other people who I’ve managed to form bonds with outside of the awkward workplace tango many of us do when in “work mode.” While working here I’ve managed to tap into my creative side and launch my blog as a result of having the time and resources to focus on the Let’s Build brand. I work with a purpose to uplift an entire community, with vacations, holidays, sick leave, health benefits, and decent pay. I truly love my job. This will all change in two weeks as I trade in my blazers and afro-centric work attire for a uniform and heavy boots. I will trade in quiet interactions for loud voices and a mentally stimulating environment for a physically demanding one.

BUT

I will also be trading in set salary pay for an income increase. I will be trading in a sometimes hectic work life for a more simplistic one because instead of juggling two jobs I’ll be down to one. When I run down the mental list of pros and cons of leaving to embark on a new chapter, the choice is really a no-brainer. My priorities have changed and I now need to adjust my reality to achieve the things that will place me where I want to be in life. So, even though I love my current job I have to take the job I need instead. But just how do you do that?

 

Be Honest

Telling your boss that you’re leaving because you need a job that aligns better with your financial/personal/professional reality can play out in many different ways. You should prepare yourself for the many possibilities.

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A. They could offer to rise to the occasion to meet those needs to keep you as a part of the team. (This may not be an option within their power to do in many cases.)

B. They could be understanding and wish you the best in your pursuits because, ya know, it’s hard outchea and you have to get it how you live.

C. They could even be resentful regardless of ample notice and an exemplary track record while working there because they know that they are losing an asset and will have to go through the process of replacing you.

D. All of the Above

The best way to break the news is to share only what is necessary in an honest way. You don’t have to go on a rant of how the opportunity will be far better than the job you’re in now but don’t shy away from saying that it’s simply the best choice for your life at the moment.

 

Don’t Apologize

As a society we have a tendency to over apologize whether we actually mean it or not, “oh, I’m sorry I got the last double chocolate muffin.” “Oh, I’m sorry I got the closer parking spot.” “Oh, I’m sorry I need to take advantage of a job opportunity that could get me out of debt sooner?…” STOP APOLOGIZING FOR DOING WHAT’S BEST IN YOUR LIFE!

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(unless of course you’re truly harming someone, in that case just be a better person immediately.) But when leaving a good job for a great job or a job you love for the job you need; you should not feel compelled to excessively apologize. If it’s short notice, then yes apologize for that aspect but don’t over-explain why it’s the best choice, don’t inflate the issues it will correct in your life and for the love of all that is millennial DON’T APOLOGIZE for seizing your moment.

 

Ohana Means Family

Having bonds with co-workers can make it that much more difficult to lay on the news that you’re leaving but staying in a job for others is never the right choice. Just as you wouldn’t pass up a great opportunity when it comes to your blood family; you also shouldn’t do it for your work family.

When I first realized I was really leaving I focused heavily on how my boss and co-workers would be effected professionally and personally in their relation to my position and presence in the workplace. I’m not going to say that how they feel should be none of your concern but it shouldn’t be all of your concern either. If the bonds you built with your work family are strong then you will ensure that they will continue even after you’re gone if possible but if say, you’re moving across country, then you still shouldn’t feel that losing a work family diminishes what you built with them in the workplace. Appreciate what you had and hopefully they’ll do the same.

 

When Short Notice is Imminent

It is important to provide your workplace with enough time to adjust and take the needed measures in response to your exit. In some cases you may not exactly have control over getting little to no real notice of another job opportunity available to you. This makes exiting your beloved workplace stressful. When you keep your mind on the “why” behind your decision to leave it will help to alleviate much of the anxiety you feel over a hasty exit. The greater good may not be in the greatest good for your current workplace but doing your part to translate the why, when and how you’ve come to your decision to leave should allow your workplace to adjust from there. Do what you can with what you have and don’t try to control how others react to the news.

 

Builders, have you ever left something you wanted for something you needed (jobs, locations, relationships?) Comment below and Let’s Talk about it!

#LetsBuild

 

 

I found myself sitting in the chair opposite my immediate boss participating in an exit interview after barely two months. “I just want to touch base with you to understand any improvements that we can make to keep people here,” he said. Apparently, there had been several people over the course of a few years in and out of the position that I was now returning back to the company like a bad fitting pair of shoes. I didn’t have the courage to tell him that my feet hurt; literally and figuratively.

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The Truth was…

I didn’t tell him that it was the lack of properly training me before throwing me into such a fast paced environment that was making me leave. I didn’t mention the 10 hour days with no break, the un-organization that I got blamed for no matter how much more organized I made the place since I’d been there.

The virtual babysitting of grown men. I didn’t even refer to the demotion I felt I had received after turning down the offer of a higher position which would’ve required even more of my time and sanity. Instead, I took the cowardly approach in saying “Oh, it’s just… I need to focus on some family issues.” There was some truth in there…somewhere. Maybe.

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But the real truth was more intense because it included mornings I woke up feeling unrested, unfulfilled, and unappreciated. Being a hard worker is something that comes natural to me but after a few weeks, I stopped caring about my work ethic at this place altogether. I then knew something was wrong. I had just come home from working my a** off overseas and didn’t think civilian work should be more draining than that but it was.

 

Somethings Gotta Give

So, why care about providing top shelf performance when they could care less about me? I’ll work, you’ll pay but don’t expect anything extra and especially don’t expect me to stick around.This was the mentality I had developed for jobs notoriously known for their low wages and high employee turnover rates.

Every night I would go home to refine my resume and spend at least 2 hours searching for jobs in my area. EVERY. NIGHT. Every morning I would listen to inspirational sermons and videos on YouTube about people leaving their jobs with or without a backup plan simply because it made them miserable. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. This lasted at least a month until I finally wrote my notice.

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Quitting is not something that’s easy for me. My hard work ethic was a source of pride and nothing could take that away or so I had thought. I had been down this road before and was determined to value myself even if my employers didn’t. You want to know why millennials job hop? Why employee turnover rates are forever high at Burger King? (or wherever) Here’s Why.

 

What the Hell do you Expect?!

It always fascinates me when I see the inner workings of places that offer low waged pay. Productivity must always be high! They demand this even if that means going into a zombie-like trance after scrubbing the ice cream machine that doesn’t work for two hours on a slow day. Time theft is real. I get it.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE ALWAYS WORKING!

Meanwhile, as I’ve leveled up into more professional jobs, I’ve found that with better pay and an understanding that I am actually human, and not a robot, productivity and high turnover rates are not issues my employers are faced with.

Productivity doesn’t have to mean constantly moving. It took me being at my current job for months before I knew it was okay to sit at my desk without fear of backlash from my very sweet manager. And, alas! my productivity, contributions, and creativity are at an all time high.

I’ve been in some high points during my working history like being given an A/C cooled suburban truck to drive in the desert for work, while my superiors were walking in 140 degree weather. And low points like being a waitress for a restaurant after earning a college degree because I couldn’t find better work and rent was due. The high points vary but there are so many similarities in the low ones like…

No respect for schedules. If there even happens to be one. Sometimes I seriously think those things were suggestions. Just save the paper then.

No work/life balance. Due to the lack of scheduling you can virtually be called in or asked to stay. Whatever you had planned can wait because apparently your job should come first. YOUR JOB IS YOUR LIFE. Saying no too many times is unwise. I don’t know about you but No life + hella insomnia + crap pay makes me a very grumpy girl.

 

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No real raises and promotions are few and far inbetween. I was 17 working at burger king when they raised the minimum wage from $7.25/hr to $7.50/hr. Big deal for me but not such a big deal for a mother of a young son in sports with rent, insurance, groceries, phone bill, light bill, water bill, gas, and let’s just hope she or her son doesn’t get sick. Rent continues to rise despite low quality housing, grocery prices are crazy, and gas companies are trippin’.

Side note: I’ll never understand how we can justify paying people crap money for our convenience appetite/services but we’re okay with paying congress and other elected officials like they should all enjoy summer homes and country clubs. Meanwhile, they do a government shutdown almost every other year in which Soldiers don’t even get paid. Remember that next time you go order that #3 with cheese and a tea, it comes with a side of attitude for a reason.

Resuming…

No authentic relationship with bosses high up. I always hated that mad dash to make sure everything was in tiptop shape for store owners or whoever. Fake smiles and fake concern accompanying them through the door. In my eyes, if you bleed red then I can talk to you about real issues and try to come up with solutions.

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Putting owners/bosses/superiors on a pedestal because of their position is just doing them and you a disservice because you’re not gonna be real with them about what you want and need to be the best employee. I’m not saying ask for a $10 raise but do mention the ice cream machine stays broke because they keep sending a mechanic to fix a 25 yr old machine instead of replacing it. It’ll save you getting cursed at the drive thru everyday and make them more money than they spent replacing it.

 

No real concern for who employees are. I had one boss who I had several great conversations with. Customers gave him glowing reviews about me and still he couldn’t remember my name even after 12 hour work days, coming in when called and with a name tag on. Apparently, KRYSTAL wasn’t significant enough to remember though I  earned regular customers due to my performance. It really is the little things that matter. Sometimes employees don’t want a trophy, they’d just like to actually be acknowledged as a vital part of your operations.

 

No real reason for me working hard besides making money. “If you take pride in your work it makes me money and that keeps your paychecks coming.” Yea. Okay. That’s all dandy but while you’re taking a break in your office eating for the 2nd time today, employees who have been on their feet for 8 consecutive hours with an empty stomach feel unappreciated. Sometimes, making you money just feels degrading especially considering my minimum wage paycheck after taxes.

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No real solutions to fix issues. Getting called in early for meetings always erked me. Not because I’m opposed to meeting and talking about what to expect but because I’m not here for the fake pep rally. Generally, you just wasted my time because the meeting didn’t address real issues or provide any solutions. We’re just meeting for the sake of saying we did.

 

No communication skills. I am not your child. Do not speak to me as such. I’ve watched as employees (other than myself because they knew better than to try it) got berated and “talked down to” by managers, owners, or other staff. “Everyone here can be replaced.” There’s no quicker way to get me out the door than hearing that. If you think just because you’re paying someone that you’re doing them a favor instead understanding it’s a mutual relationship then you’re in for one wild turnover roller-coaster ride baby.

 

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Personally, when there is mutual respect with the people I work for there is almost nothing they can’t ask me for that I won’t trip over myself to make happen for them. I do this because they’ve proven that they’d do the same and more importantly, I’m valued. So, you need a kidney sir? I GOT YOU!

Often immediate managers or bosses deal with their share of these things, so they could care less about your complaint OR they’re so far removed from this with their set schedules, weekends off, and higher pay that it really is no concern of theirs whether you feel valued or not because they’ve been shown that they are.

It’s up to workers to know their own value. Once they come to this realization many leave. Those blessed enough to have savings or fall back support would rather deal with no job at all than to deal with some of these incompatible, hectic, and unimpressive conditions. Those not so lucky are explained in the book Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America  which is one woman’s take on the poverty situation in capitalistic America. The book is truly amazing in so many ways in explaining the plight of those unfortunate enough to be low income or impoverished working in America. It was partly an inspiration for this post.Hand_to_Mouth_-_Living_in_Bootstrap_America_(book_cover)

 

 

 

The real inspiration, however, was for the young adult reading this wondering whether to leave their current crappy job. I can’t answer that for you.  I was that young adult a year ago. I went from one stifling job to the next. This process is referred to as millennial job hopping as mentioned in one of my earlier posts https://letsbuildfutures.com/2017/10/20/the-glass-slipper-job-hunt/

I don’t know if the reasons are the same for the corporate world but as a former (slightly current) low income young professional I understand. When starting from the bottom and working my way up, it was always weird to hear the shock companies express when discussing high turnover rates. Nobody wants to be miserable at a minimum of 8/hrs a day for 5/6/7 days a week for $8.50 an hour!! Not even for $10! Saying, “thank God I even have a job,” wears off  when the job puts more of a strain on you than unemployment did.

Looking back I wish I would’ve had the balls to tell my manager the real deal, respectfully, as to improve the environment for employees coming after me and especially for the poor sap replacing me. How can I expect them to improve if I don’t point out places in need of serious repair?

If you know your value and have the ability to move on. MOVE. Don’t apologize. Don’t berate yourself. Just move on and be honest with your ex-job about why you’re leaving.

Now, I had some savings which allowed me the luxury of hopping but a week later I ended up in another terrible work environment just to ensure I had money flowing in. Eventually, God looked out and placed me in a job I don’t just tolerant but I LOVE.

Coming for lower income beginnings can place us in some pretty uncomfortable jobs at first but we have the ability to aim higher, for better and land closer to that Cinderella job. So throw those deuces✌🏾 when you need to and #LETSBUILD!

 

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When it comes to jobs I’m like Cinderella’s prince with the glass slipper. I have tried out jobs, painfully forced myself into jobs and sometimes actually found the right fit. But what is it about this process that has come to be something I’m not ashamed of?

In the course of my young adult life, I’ve had about 10 jobs since the age of 17. I’m now 26. It’s not so shocking when you find research like the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows the average young adult has held approximately 6.2 jobs by the age of 26.

I’ve read articles that focus on this phenomena as a negative but I’ve found that it’s helped me hone into what it is I really want and what I don’t want in a career.

I’ve tapped into my strengths and weaknesses and learned valuable skills along the way. This post will be mostly about my experiences in an effort to show how attempting to find that Cinderella job isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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I started working around age 12 or 13 for my mother’s side hustle catering business. My sisters and I were expected to dress in conservative black and white while we served wedding guests and bridal parties. I learned early on what a great work ethic could get you through my mother who would pay me $50 after each event. Ballin’!

My mother was the queen of side hustles, she catered, did professional cakes, braids, and decorating all for money that would add to our household. What made this unique was that all these were things she was passionate about.

Fast forward 15 years and now here I am on the same search for exploring my own passions. I’ve always wanted to do a number of things with my life.

Being ultra-multifaceted and highly curious has lead me on some strange paths. On these paths I have learned more than an education alone would have given me. My lists of job titles have included but are not limited to:

 

Waitress

-Housekeeper

-Burger King Cashier (Twice)

-Bath & Body Works sales rep

-Security Officer

-Customer rep w/ an Auto shop

-Writing intern at a Police Department

-Summer Orientation Leader

-Soldier

 

And honestly, I can’t even remember some right now. I always wanted to learn about cars so I took a job at a Jiffy lube. There I learned about tires, oil, price markups and tricks I could use to save money for vehicle maintenance.

I also learned that a work-life balance was important to me. I don’t enjoy working 10 to 11 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week, with no lunch break just for money. I took another job after this realization that included a pay cut from what I was making.

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As a security officer I learned that I value being rewarded for my hard work through pay and respect with a proper work-life balance. I worked third shift at this job and would often (damn near all the time) be called to work extra shifts or asked to stay over to cover down on other individuals at the last minute.

I decided to leave this job to pursue one with set hours, vacation time, and better pay. But, as a security officer I reinforced what I had learned as a Soldier regarding integrity, personal courage, and resilience. Karsten Strauss says, “Younger generations are willing to make big professional changes to be happy.” That is definitely true for me.

 

 

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Millennials often get a bad rep because they don’t believe in blind loyalty to any one organization. Instead, many millennials are loyal to the prospect of a stable income, work-life balance (meaning you’re not working so much you can’t enjoy life), and the opportunity to train and advance.

Those who have two or four year degrees sometimes find the job market unforgiving.

In a time where companies are highly selective on the qualifications expected of candidates; why can’t potential employees also expect more from companies?

Personally, I can’t get down with companies benefiting from my degree, work and military experience but not willing to match my skill set with pay and benefits. Taking on a job to secure an income until the next best job offer comes around is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not saying take any job, or quit jobs after 2 months.

If you are someone who is seeking to discover the right career path then you should start with your interests and stay for as long as you feel that the job is actually contributing to your life.

 

After deciding on a topic I often like to find other articles that relate to ensure that my topic is relevant. I came across this awesome post on the Forbes website by Kaytie Zimmerman who wrote,

“Many individuals will actually take a pay cut to change jobs, though. A culture mismatch can drive an employee out the door faster than a smaller paycheck can. Poor work-life balance can also contribute to a job change. Working for a purpose is especially important for millennials. Any of these reasons can cause an employee to accept a lower salary in order to change.”

Full article:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kaytiezimmerman/2016/06/07/millennials-stop-apologizing-for-job-hopping/2/#5ebd839c677e

 

There are countless different reasons why changing jobs can benefit a young adult. Older generations believe that they often secured a job early on in life and stayed put through to retirement. However, statistics show that every generation in their 20s has changed jobs at a similar rate.

 

I found myself in a pickle when I thought I knew what I wanted to do upon graduating from college. I got placed on a deployment and came back with different interests that didn’t fully align with what I thought would be my career. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what purpose I was to serve in life.

That was a hard time for me but in taking on jobs that incorporated things I was interested in, I carved out a career path that makes sense to the person I am and the person I aim to be.

I’ve kissed a lot of frogs in terms of jobs and found a few princes along the way. I have a job that speaks to a side of me that has been rarely exercised and I love it. Will I find my Cinderella job? Who knows…but I plan on making the most out of the search.

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I share articles often in my post because many have great information that I may not touch on. Check these out below as they better explain the concept of millennials “job-hopping” in the workforce today.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/21/the-no-1-millennial-need-from-a-new-job-and-new-boss.html

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