Emily’s Story

I had no idea what I wanted to do in high school. I thought maybe I might want to be a nurse, but I didn’t really know. I didn’t really want to go to college and didn’t feel very confident about it but I knew that my parents would tell me I had to. I went to the Evergreen State College because they have an unconventional system of doing classes and they don’t have letter grades. You get to design a lot of what your college experience looks like and that appealed to me and I really liked it. There was a big focus on applying things in real life. 

Looking back, I wish I had the confidence to try going out of state and experiencing something different when I could. I also wish I had known that it’s totally ok and normally to not know what you want to do in high school and you just figure it out as you go and it works out.

I’ve had 7 jobs since high school and they’ve built on each other to the job I have now as an Executive Assistant. My degree is business and leadership studies helped me grow my career because we focused on leadership and project management which is a lot of what Executive Assistants do. I do a lot of day to day tasks of running the office but I also get to do a lot of project management, event planning and travel planning and budgeting. Executive Assistants can really make their job into as much as they want it to be and in a big company there’s lots of opportunity for promotion. This surprised me since I didn’t really know that there was so much opportunity to grow my career. This is especially true at a big company like mine that requires a college degree and gives you the chance to move up to work on a team with the people at the very top of the company if that’s what you want. You can do this by taking on more projects and doing a really good job on them and getting more experience. If you prefer to stay at the level you’re at, you can do that too. 

I love that my job is challenging but I’m good at it and can do it well. I have lots of responsibility for the success of my team and making things go smoothly. It also gives me flexibility that I want and need as a Mom of young children. 

What do you wish you had known when you were a high school senior?

I wish I had known that it’s ok to not know what you want to do! There are so many ways to get to any path, I wish I had lived a bit more, spread my wings, trusted myself and believed in myself more.

What is your favorite thing about being an adult?

I love being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. The downside of that is there is no adult taking care of things for me, I’m the adult now!

What’s the best thing about your job?

I’m like a puppet master! I get to control a lot of what happens and I get a lot of say in how things work and happen.

Read more real stories about adulting here!