When Trish told me that she wanted to host a themed Carnival of HR around Game Changing moments in your life/career I was thrilled. It’s a great idea and while the posts could get quite personal, what are blogs if not personal reflections of who we are, our lives, and our thoughts? But then, as I tried to think about my own game changing events over my career I found myself coming up a little empty. Nothing felt like it had been a fundamental shift in direction that I could directly link to where I was now. Maybe it’s simply because I am still young in my career, but just as I can’t point to a career highlight I’ve had so far, I couldn’t think of any game changers either. Game changing events seem much clearer as the years go by.
So I went back further, back to college, to try and determine a moment when I felt I started down the career path I am currently on and it hit me: Chemistry. You see, when I started out in college I was determined to become a nutritionist. It struck me as an interesting career in the health services field where I could help others. At first, everything went well. I picked the University of Minnesota, got into the program I wanted, was getting good grades in my generals and I felt comfortable in my decision. I wasn’t going to be one of those college kids who changed their major 6 times because I was set. And then I took my first college level chemistry class. It was horrible. The only D I ever got in college was in Chemistry. I was the first one out of 500 students done with her chemistry final and I. Didn’t. Care. Hell, I had even forgotten to bring my calculator to the final that was how checked out I was by the end.
What’s worse is that I was looking at 5, count them 5, more semesters of chemistry and it was only going to get harder. So after having a nice self-indulgent cry and whining to my older sister about how my life was ruined, I realized that I had to make a hard decision. I could re-take my chemistry class and put myself through hell for the rest of my college career or I could find something better suited to my strengths. So I changed my major to Psychology and while in pursuit of that degree, I stumbled across an Intro to Industrial and Organizational Psychology class and a passion was ignited. I loved learning about workplace studies, training, motivation, etc. That class introduced me to topics near and dear to my heart (and the center of my Master’s Thesis) and led me to seek out internships/student positions in human resources.
So there you have it. I wouldn’t be where I am now if not for chemistry. Well, my complete lack of ability to grasp chemistry.