I’ve mentioned recently that I had some changes in my job and personal life that allows me to get on the trail more as well as write here more.
One of those questions you get asked in job interviews is where you think you’ll be in 5 years.
I hate that question. I hate it because I never know what to say. Life has a way of changing what you want.
I worked in parks and recreation in varying degrees since 2000. I started on a summer work crew taking admission fees, picking up trash, and cleaning toilets. I moved on to work in various roles in other land management systems. I helped monitor wildlife health, ran a wastewater treatment plant, worked on prescribed burns, presented educational programs, and more. Despite growing up and going to college in Michigan, life sent me to Indiana.
If you’d asked me in 2000 where I wanted to be in 2005 I’d have told you that I wanted to work in community recreation centers in Michigan. In 2005 I was on a maintenance crew in a state park in Indiana. Where I wanted to be in 2010 was at a national forest “somewhere up north.” In 2010 I was in management at a state park in southern Indiana and wanted to be farther up the food chain in 2015.
But now it’s 2015 and I’m somewhere I never planned to be.
In May of 2014 I made a tough decision to leave my career and move to Ohio with my boyfriend. One of the demands we both had for the relocation was to be close to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which is used as a corridor for the Buckeye Trail and North Country National Scenic Trail. This allows us both to use the trail more, including my long-term section hike of the Buckeye Trail.
Another thing that’s happened is that I’ve been able to take on a new career opportunity: training dogs. I started training and showing my own dogs when I was in 4-H in 1997. Since then I’ve gone on to national rankings, Best in Shows, High in Trials, and multiple championships. Through my dogs I’ve met some of the best friends I could ever have. I’ve had a blast with my critters and am now happy to announce that I’m apprenticing to be a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. My dogs have taught me much over the years and I’m learning more every day.
One of my favorite parts of my new gig is that I get to work with my dogs.
Sometimes they’re more helpful than others.