I am graduating with a Master’s Degree in Social Work in two weeks.  It is a very exciting time of transition for me as I start my internship and leave my current job of 8 years.  As I take more steps toward work in the anti-human-trafficking field, I feel like I am coming alive.  I am truly excited to start this work.

This feeling of excitement is a new feeling for me.  This decision to switch careers feels like the first decision in my life that is coming from me.  It is the first decision I have made without any outside influences.  The funny thing is that most people think this decision is crazy.  Honestly, some days, I think it’s a little crazy.  The main driver for the perceived foolishness of this transition is financial.  Nobody can understand why I would leave a nice-paying information technology job with great benefits to be a social worker.

I guess I look at this transition as coming back home.  I was never meant to work in information technology.  My path to IT was certainly not a straight line.  My first degree was in finance, but I found my way to IT through a passion for project management specifically related to financial systems implementations.  So, I went back to school for an IT degree.  I was told by everyone that technology was where I should be.  I was definitely a logical thinker.  I had the drive.  Most importantly, it was easy to be financially independent while working in IT.  And deep down, that was all that mattered to me.  I wanted to make as much money as possible, so that I would never have to rely on my parents for anything.  And it worked.  I was able to walk away from my parents and never look back.

However, I ended up in a career that does not reflect who I am.  I know software.  I know finance.  But I don’t wake up in the morning and feel excited to go to work.  I know – most people don’t – but I am not interested in living like most people.  I have never had the luxury of living like most people.  There is no reason I should start now.  I want a career in which I can truly use all of my gifts, especially those that have developed from my life journey.  I want a career that makes me jump out of bed in the morning.  I am no longer going to make decisions because others tell me it is the right or logical next step.  I want to make decisions because my heart is jumping around in chest when I think that I might be able to do it.  Even if that decision requires miracles, that’s ok.  I have had plenty of miracles so far.