Some of you might know that I’m a qualified Occupational Therapist (OT) but have never worked in a hospital or traditional OT role since I graduated 5 years ago. I fell into my previous job with a Disability Employment Service as I did my prac there and loved the job so much, that I never left. It wasn’t your traditional OT role, but I did enjoy the OT aspects of the role which included researching new equipment for clients and assisting them with obtaining funding for it. By the time I left, my traditional rehab type OT skills were non-existent, shall we say.
In my final year at work, I took the plunge and seriously explored library work as an alternative career. Why? Cause Matt made it look so enticing and to be honest, I’m a book nerd. Hey, I was always told off for reading at the table and actually tried to run my own library at home. Surely that was a sign? Anyway, it took me about 6 months to run the idea through before actually taking the plunge to start a Graduate Diploma in Information and Library Studies. I’m in my second semester (just over halfway through!) and I’m loving it. Ok, maybe I’m not loving all the assignment and essay parts of it all, but I’m enjoying that I’m being stimulated intellectually (oh, the irony!) and have goals to work towards.
I suppose it is quite tough moving from one career to another and I can attest to that. I’m currently unemployed and looking for work mainly in libraries as a library officer. Starting from the bottom, yo! I actually don’t mind it. Some people have the impression that I’m just settling into whatever job I can find, but honestly I love it. When I completed my 3 week prac, I was over the moon with what library officers to. There was little to no stress and pay was higher than my previous position (if you don’t look at the car and petrol part). I’ve put in some applications to libraries and hoping to hear back from them. I’ve also put in some applications for non-library roles, which are actually higher paying, but I’ll have to see.
Changing careers in your late 20s isn’t the easiest thing. But I figured, if I’m not happy where I am, I should do something to change it. I might not make the most money or be a millionaire by the time I’m 30, but I’ll be happy. And I think that’s the most important variable in this all. Plus, since I won’t be so stressed, I’d have time to pursue hobbies and things I like doing, rather than having sleepless nights thinking about things I need to do at the office or worrying about how my clients or their families might hate me and blame me for what’s happened to their kid. My health cannot take that kind of a lifestyle anymore. I’d rather be happy and do the things I love.