Today I start my fourth job out of college. Crazy, right? For anyone who follows this blog regularly, you may believe me to be a job-hopper. You may even be amazed at how many “first day of my new job” posts I have written.

Yet each time I start a new job, I feel so optimistic.

The truth is I haven’t left my previous jobs because I can’t hold a job; nor have I left them because I am afraid of commitment and settling. (Rather, I would prefer to stay settled…to not go through trainings over and over again.)

However, each job change has brought me closer to my destination–a dream career. Each position has taught me a key component of the ABA field, yet that only means the next steps are an additional piece of the puzzle.

This next placement is where I see myself for a long time. I will be in my dream setting (a school) working as an instructional assistant. Although this sounds like the job I had before moving to Colorado, the job description will be much more involved. It will tie in roles I had as a behavior therapist, as well as more behavior analytic roles as a student’s case manager. I will continue to accumulate supervision for my independent fieldwork experience, and in May when I graduate with my Masters, I will hopefully be promoted to a behavior specialist position.

You see, I look back on my post-undergrad life, and I realize that where I am now is no where near what I imagined.

For one, I am in Colorado. Yes, I am also pursuing a path I didn’t know existed. I had hardly heard of Applied Behavior Analysis, my abnormal psychology class emphasized ASD for one day, and I figured I would end up a writer or a clinical psychologist.

PSYCH.

(No pun intended).

I love psychology, and I love where it has lead me. I love that I am still able to leave work knowing that I am making a difference in this world. I love the puzzles. I love the analysis. I love the direct work, and I love that I get to meet some of the most amazing people on this earth.

Starting a new job can be scary. It requires learning new things, memorizing a new building plan, figuring out who is who and what is what. It forces change, yet it creates opportunity.

Today is a new day, with a new job, in a new place.

Today is the day I gather one more puzzle piece in the mystery of my future career.

And this makes me smile.

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