I've really been looking forward to joining this "Toddle Along Tuesday" link-up about occupations or dream jobs hosted by Growing Up Geeky , because I'm always interested in learning about what other people do for a living. That is until I sat down to write my own post. Answering this question is hard for me. I always tick off the "other" box on surveys or forms that ask my occupation. When pushed for an answer I usually say "I work in research and planning" - but with such a degree of uncertainty that I can tell the person asking is assuming I made it up on the spot. On my actual business card I have two titles - Social Planning Associate, and Coordinator, (project name - I'm leaving the specifics out). Unfortunately, those titles don't translate well. In fact, if I say I work in social planning, 90% of people assume I plan parties (I wish).
So, what do I do?
Our community has a poverty elimination initiative. Different sectors of the community, such as education, health, business, government, etc., work collaboratively to engage community members and to advocate for long-term strategies that address the root causes of poverty. At the core, there are 30 members, but the initiative links with various other groups that focus on specific issues (i.e. food, housing, income, etc.). Each of these groups has anywhere from 5-200 people they work with. The groups each have their own projects - whether it be starting community gardens or advocating for more affordable housing stock. In addition, the poverty elimination initiative is heavily invested in research and policy. There are four interns from the University that work directly with the poverty initiative and the group works closely with lobbyists, councillors, Members of Provincial Parliament and Members of Parliament to advocate for and influence policy at all levels of government.
Are you asleep yet?
I know, I still haven't answered the question.
Basically, my job is to coordinate it all.
But, what does that mean? Well, it pretty much means something different every day and that's why it's really difficult to just tick a single occupation box on a survey. Instead, I try to cram in a short novel beside "other."
Do I like my job? Well, yeah, I actually kind of love it. There are things that I struggle with - politics (internal and external), lack of instant gratification (Oh! Poverty was eliminated today! Yay! <-- still waiting for this day), and some of the issues that come from working for a collaborative and not necessarily reporting to one person. However, the good outweighs the bad by a landslide. I do a job that makes a difference in my community. It's exciting and it's challenging and it's always changing. I like that.
Is it my dream job?
Do I want to do it forever?
Do I want to go back to school for four more years and throw away my Master's in Sociology and International Development for something completely unrelated?
So. Tell me. What do you do?