For about four months now, I have worked as a part-time church receptionist. It's not glamorous or exciting. Many people have expressed surprise that I am working at a job so "beneath" my education and work experience, but in general I like my job and find that it has its own challenges.
The past few days have been really hectic. I was transitioning back after a fantastic week of relaxing, and we have been busy with Christmas concert ticket sales, not to mention IT issues. It is easy to get bogged down with these little headaches and forget what I love about this job, but the past 24 hours have reminded me.
Last evening I had a great conversation with a woman who had basically walked in off the street to ask some spiritual questions. I don't want to share her personal details, but it was soooo interesting how even though we are very different, through my education I understood a lot about where she was coming from, and I was able to use some of what I learned in university to relate to her.
Yesterday a couple came into the church in preparation for their wedding today. They wanted to set up decorations, but were short of ideas on what things should look like. It was beautiful to see two of our employees take some time out of their busy workday to give suggestions. The decorations could not go up yesterday, so my colleague and I came in to assist this afternoon. I got to spend a few hours of my Saturday chatting with the couple's two friends, practicing my Mandarin (they are from China), and helping make a multipurpose room look pretty for the wedding. Even though I don't have much of an eye for decor, it was fun and I never would have had this opportunity if I hadn't been on the reception desk.
In sum, it's easy to look at education as an X --> Y result, like if you study engineering, you become an engineer, etc.; in my experience, however, the things that you learn in school come back to help you in ways you'd never expect, and even if you don't work "in your field", you'll find ways to use your education and be stretched!