How to change profession and upgrade 5 skills in 3 months

February 15, 2022
I can't call myself a purposeful person. But there were moments when I clearly understood: I would go to the end. This story is not a success story, but an example of what a person who “really needs” is capable of.
I'll start with the backstory. I am a psychologist by training.
For reference: the work of a specialist in this profession in a state institution has its own specifics. Often you have to work with an unmotivated audience, in other words, do good to people. After four years of hard work, I burned out and began to think about where to go. To help me in choosing a new direction, the old scheme “I want / I can / I have to” came to me.

So, I want. Despite the fact that I am an introvert, most of all in my life I like to communicate with people. Another person is like the whole Universe for me. Do not feed bread, just let me talk with an interesting interlocutor.
“Can” is skills: what I can and can do. I can write. She wrote from childhood, but never attached much importance to it. And the maximum success was in good grades for school essays. Later, at work, I also had to write articles, but this did not cause much enthusiasm. Rather, I took it as a given that needed to be fulfilled. Everything.
So, I like to communicate and I can write. The profession of a journalist logically followed from these two points. OK, I said to myself, challenge accepted

On New Year's Eve, I sent my resume to the local newspaper. They needed a correspondent for the period of the hospital's main employee. Neither by experience, nor by seniority, I put it mildly, did not fit. But still I decided to try.
A few days later I was invited for an interview and then for an internship. A couple of days later I was sitting in the editorial office and writing the first material. In general, they took me. The whole process took a little less than a week.
So I became a correspondent for the local newspaper. At the beginning it was very difficult: there were not enough skills and knowledge. I literally heard my brain creaking in an attempt to switch to a new activity. The debut material was 12,000 characters plus the front page. While writing it, I thought I was going to die. But nothing, I did it. The first month and a half out of three passed in the "Work / Eat / Sleep" mode, then it became a little easier.

About EGO
The lack of necessary skills was half the battle. A much more serious and large-scale process unfolded inside me: it was a psychological breakdown.
Let me explain: when you work as a psychologist, you are in the role of an expert. You know how. You give people advice. Clients pay money to talk to you. And of course, after so many years, I got used to this role.
No wonder they say that the most difficult thing is to train teachers - after all, they themselves know how to do it right. And here my personal opinion was of no interest to anyone. Generally from the word "absolutely". I am no longer a specialist to whom people themselves come for help, I am a servant. In no way do I belittle or devalue the work of journalists. I'm talking about the psychological side of the issue.
At first, when the leader told me to do something, resistance immediately arose inside and a desire to do it in my own way. Fortunately, I quickly realized that with this approach I would not go far. Therefore, she simply began to follow orders and listen to advice.
The profession of a journalist helped me a lot to become more open and receptive, open to new knowledge, the opinions of other people, and also to reduce my inflated ego.

About trips
I love variety in my work. I also like it when I have to keep moving. For a month and a half, we had trips three times a week. During this time we visited 18 village councils of our district.
As part of the working group, we visited kindergartens, schools, FAPs, houses of culture. My task was simple - to cover these trips.
I also visited a couple of companies. Of course, it is very interesting to observe how the production process goes. True, there is one minus - usually it is very noisy there and the voice recorder is practically useless. The best you can do is take notes on your phone.

funny cases
As part of one of the trips, we visited a military unit. It was located in the forest and was fenced on all sides. A single country road led to the part. When the visit was over and it was necessary to move on, it turned out that a wagon with coal was stuck at the entrance to the unit and blocked the passage. There was no other way. Let me remind you that this happened in winter. As a result, we dug a “detour” with an excavator. The special operation for the release took forty minutes, and so, who knows, maybe we would have to wait until spring until the snow melts.
One weekend I prepared material, and on Monday morning, when I was going to work, I could not find the flash drive on which it was saved. I had to write everything from scratch. As a result, in one day I wrote an article that used to take two. Deadlines motivate.
And once again I didn’t save an important document and I had to do the two-day work from the beginning. Since then, I've been constantly saving everything and making a new copy of the document every time I make some major changes. Previously, when editing, I could delete a piece of text without thinking that it might still be needed.
About the fear of status people
Once I had to interview the head of the district. This is a person who is at about the same level of power as the mayor or governor. Although during my work I had already become familiar there, and we knew each other by sight, but it was still scary. Probably, it was some kind of instinctive fear of a more status person. Luckily, everything went well and we completed the allotted 10 minutes of the interview.
Once I was given to do commercial material. Customers are very serious people. I was terribly worried before the meeting. Plus, I had no negotiating skills, to put it mildly. Fortunately, psychological knowledge helped, which allowed me not to get confused and confidently conduct a dialogue.

Life is the best teacher
To my shame, I did not study very much after college. Apparently, life has prepared a different path for me: to gain knowledge and skills immediately in real conditions. In this situation, you learn much faster and more efficiently.
Although there were mistakes in the work, of course. Some out of ignorance of the principles of journalism, some somewhere out of ignorance of the sphere of politics. Fortunately, everything turned out to be fixable.
1. Time management
The work taught me how to effectively use every free minute. Organize so that there is no "waste time". For example, I used the time on the road to write material, eat or sleep. By the way, the last two points are extremely important for personal effectiveness.
I understood what it means to write on the knee: that is, in any situation where there is an opportunity. I even learned to write on the move in the car, while doing it so that it does not get sick.
I can't boast that I did everything. At first, I often had to get up at 5 in the morning in order to have time to prepare the material. But the goal was very significant, so such moments were not at all embarrassing.
I learned to arrive on time: when a trip is scheduled for a certain time and they will not wait for you, then there are simply no other options.

2. Stress resistance
Now I have become much easier and easier to relate to various life situations. Even in difficult conditions or in a situation of high load, I do not panic, but calmly do what is required.
Therefore, my advice: if you want to become a stress-resistant person, go to work as a correspondent. Or a lifeguard. Or a firefighter. In extreme cases, the dispatcher for an ambulance.
I also learned to work in multitasking mode: when you had to hold a voice recorder, take notes and take pictures at the same time.
3. Finish things
One of the most important skills that I have been missing since high school is the ability to finish what I started. Working as a correspondent, I learned not only to finish things, but also to do it almost always on time. If earlier I myself planned the work schedule, schedule, now there were tight deadlines that had to be met in any way.
When you work in a weekly publication, you simply have no chance of missing something or not submitting it on time: after all, the newspaper cannot fail to come out because of you. Has it ever happened that I handed over the material at the last moment? Of course, who is not without sin.
But, as it turns out, it can be worse. A familiar girl, a professional journalist, said that she worked in a publication where materials had to be handed in every day. At first, she was also very “fun”: “I had to stay up late to have time to finish everything. More experienced colleagues laughed at me and went home, having finished their business much earlier.
4. Keep focus
I've always had trouble keeping my attention. In the process of working as a correspondent, I learned this too. Plus, having a pre-arranged schedule and scheduled breaks helped a lot.
In addition, the work taught me consistency and methodicalness: with a large number of cases, I do not run in a panic and do not grab onto everything, but consistently and methodically move from one thing to another, starting with the main one.
5. Skill of doing
Now I began to devote less time to “hovering in the clouds” and more to do. Yes, it might not be ideal. But at least some result is better than zero. The perfectionist motto “Better perfect, but never, than never, than bad, but today” I changed to “Do it somehow.” Guess which of these two strategies proved to be more effective?
About people
As part of my work, I had the opportunity to meet and communicate with many different interesting people. For example, I once interviewed a veteran of the Afghan war. I learned what it was like to be on the verge of death every day at the age of 19. And once I talked with a girl who alone brings up two daughters and pays a mortgage. Plus, one of the daughters has serious health problems.
When else in my life would I have met these people?

About the perception of the world
Any profession leaves a certain imprint on the personality. This is called professional deformation.
If you are a doctor, then in communication with another person you can automatically pay attention to the color of the pupils of your interlocutor. If you are a stylist, you will pay attention to how people are dressed. When you are a journalist, you involuntarily begin to perceive any person as a potential source of information.
Not a single sane journalist will pass by interesting material. The editor and I once even joked that from each person you can extract information for at least one material.
About guardian angels
Remembering once the most difficult, but at the same time the most interesting periods of my life, I realized that there was always a person next to me who supported me. Guardian angel. In different periods, these were different people.
While working as a correspondent, there were two such angels at once: my editor and my friend's mother, a professional journalist who sometimes helped with the texts.
These two people gave me not only professional support, but also psychological. I am very grateful to them for their help and presence in my life. To everyone who is reading this text now, I wish to have such people.

About self-esteem
Looking back without hesitation, I can say that I am proud of myself. I passed the quest and mastered a new profession in three months. My self-esteem and self-confidence have grown a lot during this time.
When it was very difficult
Sometimes I felt like a marathon runner who is running his last kilometer: it seems that there are no forces anymore, but you need to get to the finish line at any cost. After all, if you leave the race, then all previous efforts will be in vain.
It was a unique life and professional experience. I wouldn't trade him for anything. I was given a chance and I took it.
Now I have returned to psychology again, but I continue to write. I realized that articles are another tool through which I can help people.
Life is interesting and varied when we allow it to be.
My dream is to interview different interesting people who have achieved success or overcome serious difficulties. In doing so, I want to inspire and motivate others. To show that everything is possible, and all the barriers are only in our heads.
I hope that by the example of my story I was able to show that it is not so difficult to try yourself in a new profession. The main thing is to have the right attitude and not stop in front of difficulties.

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