Writer’s Block: Occupational Hazards

By Corinne Wnek

One of the best things about my job as a high school counselor is that I get to stay young for as long as I continue to work in this position. This is because in working with students, you have to stay on top of all the hottest fashions, music, technology and social networks. But I also like my work because I am frequently reminded that what you see is not always what you get.

Over the years, I’ve seen a painfully shy freshman boy emerge as a forensics champion by junior year and a rebellious young lady with a three-year chip on her shoulder suddenly warm to the idea of becoming a peer leader in her senior year. Could this be attributed to my great skill as a counselor? If only. But seeing someone’s life finally take direction after years of wondering if it ever would is a perk even Gov. Christie can’t take away.

As I continue to work with seniors who are awaiting college admission decisions that will impact their future lives, I started to think about my own life and if I would choose the same career, if I had it to do all over again. I would. But I also know which careers I wisely stayed away from and why.

For instance, I could never work in law enforcement. It’s this thing about too many rules to remember. If I can’t keep that straight in my own life, how do I call out other people? Besides, I had to wear uniforms all throughout high school and it is no more appealing to me now than it was back then. Done here.

I don’t think I could ever work in sales either. If I were pushing a product I really believed in and a customer just wasn’t buying it, I know I’d get impatient. “What part of what I’m telling you don’t you get?” would be my likely response, followed soon afterward, I’m sure, by “Where did you say the unemployment office was?”

Working for NASA, when there really was one, might have been very interesting. The problem with most careers in this organization, though, is that there would be lots of math and science to learn. Not a good intellectual fit for a right-brained person like me. It’s a good thing I was never one who wanted to soar to new occupational heights, so to speak.

Besides, at NASA, I’d probably have to wear a uniform of some kind.

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