Don’t Wait for Opportunities, MAKE Opportunities!

I fell in love with writing when I was nine years old. After years of being an avid reader, I realized I too had the power to influence others with my words. I just needed to write and I did, often effortlessly.

It was exhilarating! Writing became my go-to therapy as I endured the hardships adolescent life.

I learned to pour my deepest desires and pains into my work. By the time I graduated high school I’d created a large collection of poetry along with several short stories, skits and a stage play. My love for creative writing was evident; I just had no idea how to turn that love into a career.

an-obstacle-is-often-an-oppportunity

So, I did what most kids who don’t grow up in wealthy families do:  I went to college in hopes of landing a “good job” after I spent several more years sitting in a classroom. Except, I knew college wasn’t a good idea for me before I even enrolled.  As much as I tried to force myself to assimilate to college life, I just didn’t fit in.

College provides networking opportunities that can lead to lucrative careers; and when you don’t go to college, landing lucrative opportunities can be difficult.

Difficult, but not impossible.

I knew some minimum wage, entry-level, high-school-diploma-only job wasn’t going to cut it for the life I wanted to lead. I was determined to make myself a viable candidate who could stand out in a sea of college educated students and experienced professionals despite my shortcomings.

Over the next decade, I landed jobs as a gymnastics teacher, travel agent, event planner, web designer, an educator at a private behavioral therapy school, a community activities coordinator for a non-profit organization, a life skills coordinator at a group home, and a copywriter/editor – without the required education or experience.

Once, I even talked my way into a teaching position for a Spanish language pre-school class at a women’s shelter and I didn’t speak a lick of Spanish!

How did I do this?

I use what is available to hone my skills, build knowledge and become more marketable so I can compete for opportunities that aren’t readily available to little girls from lower-income backgrounds who don’t have a college degree to “prove” their “professional value.” I simply refused to accept the notion that I couldn’t consider certain dreams because I didn’t finish college, or because I didn’t have enough money or the right connections.

I wanted to become a teacher, I worked my way from the school receptionist to the classroom.

I wanted to be a travel agent, I worked my way from the front desk to an independent agent.

I wanted to be my own boss, set my own schedule, and negotiate pay based the quality of work I bring (versus how many degrees I’d earned) – I became a sole proprietor of my own virtual assistant business that allows me to do all the above.

I wanted to start a blog and help others do exactly what I’m doing as I transitioning into writing full-time – here I am.

I’m blogging to share my knowledge with others who want to create opportunities where there are none. I’m also blogging to create opportunities for myself that allow me to fulfill my dream of becoming a best-selling novelist, screenwriter, and columnist.

I fully believe there are pathways for every person to reach their dreams, if they’re willing to work hard and properly invest in developing the right skills and knowledge. I’m committed to helping others do the same.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying college is not beneficial or advocating anyone not attend college. There are specific fields in which a college education is absolutely required and I think it is extremely important for individuals to gain required education for relevant fields (i.e. doctors, lawyers, scientists, etc.).

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