This Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be grateful for.
I know, I say that every year - but this year is different. This year, for the first time in about 4 years, I am able to spend all of the holidays with my family. My 16-hour-night-shift days are behind me, and I’m incredibly grateful for my job that allows me to enjoy my holidays and weekends again.
But that job didn’t just fall in my lap. I had to work for it.
When my entire life was falling apart, I realized I wanted to make a change. A big one. I wanted out of shift work, out of the chaotic emergency room, and out of constant exhaustion. The problem was, I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do. It was like being back in high school, trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up all over again.
So what did I do? I hustled. I applied to a variety of nursing jobs and reached out to contacts I had. One of those contacts told me about a job opening at her organization and put me in contact with the Director.
After my first conversation with the Director of the department, I was sold. The job sounded perfect (as perfect as jobs could be) and I was definitely qualified for it. It was everything I wanted in a job and more.
All of this was happening around the holidays, but I was persistent. It took several follow-up emails, long phone calls, and two interviews (one with the entire organization!) but I landed the job and started in March.
The entire process took months, but I’m grateful for every moment of persistence and hustle. I learned what it was like to work for something, to have to prove why you’re the best person for the job (the woman I was competing with was actually more qualified than I was and had more experience, but I was told I nailed my interview).
I’m grateful I didn’t settle for another job I would’ve hated in the end, and I’m grateful I didn’t stay put in my old job just because it was easier than trying to find a new one. I’m grateful I pulled myself out of the ugliness that was my life this time last year, and I’m grateful I found my inner hustle.
On a more personal note, I advocate for never settling in every aspect of your life. I learned this lesson the hard way, but with the crumble of my marriage came the beginning of a new phase of my life. Now I’m in this amazing phase of self-discovery and growing a (relatively) new relationship that’s turning out to be everything I have always wanted.
So on this Thanksgiving Day, be grateful - and never settle.