Look out for unexpected turns

Economic uncertainty can leave you out of breath, treading just to keep your head above water.

After obtaining my journalism degree from USI in 2007 and working in the field for a few years, the economy took a major hit.

I found my newsroom making changes. They were moving people out with experience and hiring entry-level workers.

The economy drives business decisions and I am not a naïve person by any means. My new boss didn’t want me to work harder, he wanted to bring in someone for less money.

Using my research skills, I decided a decision had to be made and I had an opportunity to move to another newspaper. They said I could work for them for a couple years and they would have me on my way to a large daily in a city. The pay was not great and that would be three moves in five years.

It was time to get down to brass tacks. I changed my research from news openings, to separate careers with the best job outlooks. I wanted to make sure that my next career would leave me indispensable. Every search pointed straight to a medical career.

Nursing would allow me to get a job anywhere. The pay increase looked nice and I noticed there were many different areas of the field that I could transition into throughout my career. Job satisfaction and appreciation received high marks.

Could I do it? How would I take being a minority in my new career? These questions plagued me for a short time. I decided to take Anatomy and Physiology, while working at the newspaper.

New leadership at work was giving me the cold shoulder, but I was thick skinned and afterbalancing studying and working for a semester, I decided this was the right move.

I took a job making less money at a drug-rehab facility that got me into the medical field. I studied hard while at work and school andure enough, I was admitted into the nursing program at Ivy Tech.

Working full time was a necessity as I did not come from money and I had to support a family. I transferred to a night shift hospital position as a patient-care associate.

They offered to pay for my school in exchange for my future employment as a nurse.

I began that job, quit smoking and started nursing school the same week. I completely immersed myself into nursing, and decided it was all or nothing.

This was a difficult two-year program.

They prepare you to enter the nursing world and save lives. I graduated and passed my boards. Stepping on the floor, a cold reality hit. I’m responsible for people’s lives, every shift. I wondered if I made the right decision.

A good support group at work helped me settle into the job. They were available for questions and I had some great mentors.

I didn’t know how to alter myself into being a nurse, mentally. Between being there for family members, showing patient’s respect, educating and maintaining dignity for the patient, a transformation happened. I realized I was meant to be a nurse.

Fate did put me into the direction of writing again and I write the sports section in Mount Vernon for the “Posey County News”, along with columns.

It was a spiritual journey to say the least.

God led me, even when I was not aware. Writing was my first professional love and I didn’t have to walk away forever.

Here I am back in school at USI on track to get my bachelor’s degree in nursing by summer of next year and I plan to apply for the Master’s program.

I’m sure many of you have your major planned out and maybe even your career.

Life changes.

Step outside of your comfort zone. Chase your passions and dreams, but also have a plan ‘B.’ College is an investment in you. Set yourself up for success. Maybe that means minoring in something difficult or learning a skilled trade.

The world will continue to move, just make sure you are ready for unexpected turns.