In 2005, I couldn’t wait to graduate college and begin my career in the “real world”. I envisioned sexy suits and the privilege of spending paychecks on happy hours and making my home look like an advertisement for Pottery Barn. Graduation day couldn’t come fast enough.
After many celebrations and talking with friends about my big plans, I started sending out my resume, responding to job ads that required a psychology degree. I was absolutely thrilled to have two job offers. I ended up accepting the offer that paid slightly less because I really liked the woman who would be my direct supervisor. I was hired by a non-profit organization as a mental health case manager for foster children.
Contrary to my vision of a plush office overlooking the river, I shared an office with four other case managers. I wore jeans and flip flops every day since our agency wanted us to seem approachable to children, and I could barely afford WalMart with my paychecks, let alone Pottery Barn. Our building was a former group home with no hot water and a roof so old that a cat actually fell through and landed on a staff member’s desk one afternoon. True story.