Following Your Passion May Mean Changing Careers

By: Jade Sobczak, Health Care & Science Career Community Advisor

What are you willing to give up to have the life you keep pretending you want? — Elizabeth Gilbert

At age 24, for the very first time, I was working a full-time job as a medical professional at a world-class hospital utilizing the degrees I had worked hard to earn. I was living in the beautiful city of Chicago, and I had been blessed with an army of incredible family and friends who treated me better than I deserved on most days.

I would wake up in the morning feeling like I had a purpose, which motivated me to utilize every minute of my day. But despite it all, I still found my mind often wandered to a time far in the future, and I couldn’t help but wonder if what I was doing was enough. I would ask myself questions like:

  • What am I doing now to ensure I feel fulfilled later in my life?
  • Am I on track to reaching my greatest potential?
  • Do I give enough of myself to others?

I wondered if I simply hadn’t mastered the ability to stay in one place long enough to grow where I was. I went back and forth with myself trying to resolve this internal struggle, but I couldn’t shake the feeling. There was something terribly off, and I knew it.

It was that gut feeling that led me to consider a career change. 

Today, I’m working in the Career Center at DePaul University as the Health Care and Science Career Community advisor. I have the privilege of working one-on-one with students and alumni interested in the same field I worked in and still love, despite my career transition.

Sometimes when I tell people about my experiences and they find out what I’m doing now, they say things like, “Wow, that’s really different from what you were doing” or “Don’t you feel like you wasted your degree?” The truth is, no education is education wasted.

Don’t let people guilt you into staying the course just because it’s the course you’re already on.

Looking back, I believe there were a lot of factors that contributed to my career change. I was experiencing some serious patient burnout, there were some big components of my job I didn’t love, and I recognize now I had serious lack of energy. I loved my patients, the people I worked with, and the environment I worked in, which made showing up and working long hours every day a little less excruciating.

How did I know it was time?

  1. Negative energy was quickly creeping into every aspect of my life. I had trouble seeing the good in anything, which was out of character for me.
  2. I began making careless mistakes.
  3. I dreaded getting out of bed in the morning. And once I did, I continued to watch the clock all day long.
  4. I began feeling mentally unhealthy and lost my appetite almost entirely.

What did I do about it?

If you’re unhappy in your current major or career, start by giving yourself grace. Then, make ample time to research other options, conduct informational interviews, and continue building your professional network. Don’t forget to talk to people you trust about how you’re feeling! The people closest to you just want you to be happy, so they’ll be supportive… even if it takes them time to come around.

Appreciate where you stand, what you’ve achieved, and all that it’s brought you, but never feel sorry for wanting more or something different. Make the choices that bring you happiness, even if that means choosing to walk away from something that no longer helps you grow.

No matter what your future holds, happiness will forever be enough. I urge you to have the guts to choose it.

 

The Career Center will support you in a variety of ways including helping you explore how your interests, values, skills, and personality fit into different career paths.

Schedule a career advising appointment on Handshake today!

Harnessing the Power of an Internship

By: Jade Sobczak, Health Care & Science Career Community Advisor

An internship is the perfect opportunity to learn valuable skills and to begin building a vast professional network.

As many of you continue to search for, and even score, the perfect summer opportunities, you’re coming into the Career Center looking for advice. The advice you’re seeking varies, but the sentiment is the same: you want to know the secret to standing out.

The bad news is that there is no secret. The good news is that while each internship is completely unique, there is always one common factor – you. And you have the ability to control so much of your experience.

So while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all piece of advice, start by showing up and by being true to yourself. Remember, a positive attitude goes a long way.

And while you’re at it…

  • Take some risks, and if you’re gutsy enough, take plenty of them.
  • Seek a balance between hustle and rest and strive to be compassionate about both.
  • Stay in touch once it’s all said and done.
  • Think of failure as a positive thing. Learn from your mistakes and fail smarter next time.
  • Do work that you love and nudge those around you to do the same.
  • Be persistent in your search!
  • Keep in mind that sometimes done is better than perfect.
  • Break out of your comfort zone and try something that seems a little scary every day.

You only get as much out of your experiences as you put into them, so learn something from everyone around you, and be devoted to your work… ultimately, your success depends on it.

Good luck!


Internship Resources

  • Get your application materials ready by making an appointment with a career community advisor or stopping by our offices (LPC/Loop) for walk-in resume reviews with peer career advisors – no appointment necessary!
  • The Internship Plu$ Program provides $1,200 in financial assistance to eligible undergraduate students working in a quarter-long, unpaid internship while enrolled in a UIP or departmental internship course.
  • UIP’s practical 4-credit courses can help you make the most of your internship experience and fulfill DePaul’s Experiential Learning graduation requirement.
  • There are thousands of internship opportunities for DePaul students and alumni posted on DePaul’s Handshake platform. Check back regularly – new opportunities are posted every day!