Selling vs Serving

To those of you who hopped over to this blog because you liked the food I was cooking, I apologize. My culinary inspiration sessions have been pushed by the wayside for a while, and I have returned back to the original intent of this blog. I started this blog 11 months ago as a narrative of life as a 20-something year old who has finished college and faced the harsh reality that the American Dream ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. I found myself with a professional certification, a BA in English, some office and childcare work experience, and a lot of volunteer credits to my name. I had believed that if I worked hard, treated others with kindness, and excelled in my work, that I would have my pick of jobs when I finished my higher education career. I was shocked to discover that this was not the case, and even more shocked to find that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

One consistent factor in my life for the past ten years is that I really like to serve others. I enjoy empowering others to make the most of their own strengths, and to accomplish their own goals. This makes me a great coordinator, a great assistant, and perfect for the non-profit arena. I hold a strong distaste for anything that is considered “selling.” Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that this disinclination really limits the types of jobs that I find myself wanting to apply for now. I can pull things together, mediate conflicts, and I’m a whiz at Word, but as soon as you put me into a position where I need to persuade others to pursue a course of action that they weren’t already intent on pursuing, I get nervous. I worry too much about how our interaction would go that I’d simply rather not try. I like talking to people, encouraging them, and working with them, but I don’t enjoy pitching ideas or asking for money or trying to convince someone that he or she needs a good or service that I don’t truly believe they need.

I would volunteer my life away, but I know that sometime I will actually have to make some money to pay the bills. I don’t want to run back to graduate school because the real world is too scary for me, but I’m afraid that I may end up doing that in the next couple of years. It’s depressing looking for jobs, especially when I carry a sense of skepticism about hearing back from the positions I have applied for. Right now, my desires are to make it back to California, and to hold a job that can pay the bills at the end of the month without me feeling like I’m perpetuating a system of values that I don’t believe in. I guess I’m still too idealistic and yet not hopeful enough. I’m giving myself until September to figure things out. Then, it’s off my high horse about service work and saving the world. Then, I might just have to sell something besides my slowly weakening belief in the goodness of the world I inhabit.