34 Yr Old Intern

Something happened at work recently that has caused me to feel a crisis of confidence. Changing career paths in my 30s has had the expected pros and cons...loss of income...feelings of excitement and relief from waking up without the dread cloud overhead...confusion about how to break in to a new field...worry about choosing wrong, again. But the most unexpected part of it for me as been the resulting shakiness in confidence. In order the get the job that I think I want in Calgary, I did an unpaid internship last fall for two months.

After that, I went to work as a department manager for Anthropologie because of a combination of factors: wanting to earn money for our household, and wanting to not miss an opportunity to work for a company that had intrigued me in the past. However, that job did not further the true goals in my new career path: learning the process of making clothes. I learned the lesson that when you've gone to the trouble to get the right career, you have to hang in there for the right (albeit beginner) job, at least as much as you can afford to.

So when I left Anthro, I contacted the company where I interned to see if they had any openings, or even any temporary opportunities. They did, which is how I have ended up back there, on a paid, part-time, temporary basis.

That was two months ago (see Job post).  Recently, there was a full-time position available in my area for which I knew I was an unlikely candidate, but I was hopeful anyway.  I was working in the office the day that they interviewed another candidate the position. She was introduced to our team. I was introduced to her as "the intern". I wanted to cry; not because the label was far from the truth (it wasn't really), but more because it was awfully close to the truth. What was I doing??? Suddenly my quest to find a job and career that I don't hate made me realize what has happened...I am a decade behind. I am doing right now what I would have ideally been doing as a 20 year old.

It makes me worried that I won't be able to catch up. I am still not 100% sure what my dream job looks like. Since the job market for fashion in Calgary is not strong (and my visa doesn't permit me to explore jobs in Canada my old career of teaching), being open to multiple position types on this new path is currently an asset.   However, it is still hard to shake the feeling of foolishness at being a grown-up with a newly barren, college-grad resume.