By Caitlin R., CIP Berkeley Student
At the end of my spring semester I was in a work experience that was challenging to say the least. I love working with children so I was happy to be working in my field of interest at a local daycare.
The problem was that the style of the daycare required me to focus on completing series of cleaning tasks while not interacting with the kids whatsoever. At first I was just happy to be working because it took a while to find this opportunity, and I had succeeded through the interviewing process. But soon I began to think this wasn’t the right fit for me.
There were many signs that this job wasn’t a good fit for me, even though I was working my hardest to make it fit. The location was a challenge since it was in a residential hillside with one obscure bus line and very similar looking streets.
My daily tasks weren’t satisfying since they did not involve interacting with children, which is the biggest reason I want to work at a daycare. Each day I found myself more anxious about things going wrong from the shift/tasks to transportation to and from the site, so when my Career Coordinator suggested I look in to another daycare I said “yes, sounds like a good idea!”
When I first entered Peter Pan Daycare I immediately noticed the difference in scenery, it was more colorful, covered in crafts and books, and science projects. Even though the other daycare was very well organized, I felt like this setting was more kid friendly and gave me the chance to interact with the kids using their toys and books.
Once I had the opportunity to read to students again I knew that was the setting where I belonged. I felt helpful and appreciated during my shifts as I was working amongst the staff to keep the kids engaged in their job which is to play.
I started this year with a career focus and it turned out to be a very busy year. Having been through an even more challenging year, I knew that some work is better than no work. This time I learned that even though a position may be in the “right” field with the “right” support it may still be the wrong fit.
I’m glad that I didn’t stay in a stressful position just to have a job, because I probably would still be stressed. Instead I took a leap of faith and kept looking for the right fit, and now I feel happier than ever.