“Thank you for taking the time to chat with me about your career. I learned so much about mental health and youth, and will be sure to check out the latest set of insights and leads you shared with me. I am so appreciative of your generosity with your time and resources. It is evident and clear that you always knew you wanted to be a clinical therapist.”
That email showed up after informational interview I had with a young man. Emails are great; but, I repeat, a real thank you note is better (that’s why you ask for a business card). What struck me about the email was the last sentence. Yes, I always knew that I wanted to help young adults find their voice, but I did not sign up for grad school with the idea that I would become a clinical social worker. When I got accepted to my graduate program I was working on a grassroots program for at-risk girls. My thought was that I would build that into a nonprofit, but God had other plans for my life. I was trying to figure out what they were leading me to when I penned entries like the ones below:
“I am stressed. I am almost 120 hours into my foundational practicum and I am still trying figure out where I am going and how this pertains to MY program or how I am helping the youth at _. What I do know is I want to work with youth and families, and work in a group settings. A title that appeals to me is Educational Group Therapist- which motivates individuals by giving them the tools they need to improve academically.”
“Where am I going? I have started my advanced practicum and the homeless youth clinic and the light bulb moment hit me. I want to focus on youth with mental illness and be able to productively provide them with group and individual therapy, in addition to important everyday life skills to help them live a normal life. Lord, please continue to show me the way and guide me in the right direction.”
Rereading that last entry, let me just say there is no such thing as normal and that I would pen plenty more entries like that before I figured “it” out. I am a firm believer that if something is your purpose you will keep coming back to it and fine tuning it until you can see it in all its glory.