What in the World Do I Want to Do with My Life?

For Robin Johnson, Class of 2009, knowing what he liked was no problem – but knowing what career he would like was a different question entirely. Find out here what resources he got help from to find a job that was both enjoyable and suitable to his skill set.

Robin Johnson ’09 was a Pacific graduate who knew what he liked, but didn’t know what he wanted to do with his career.

“[After graduation] I was unsure. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree. I didn’t have a clear idea,” said Johnson.

Being a Journalism and Environmental Studies double major, Johnson was searching for job opportunities that incorporated both agriculture and writing. In his first few years after graduation, Johnson worked for AmeriCorps at Pacific and at an organic farm, while also writing for a science fiction blog. After hiking the Pacific Crest Trail for five months, Johnson returned to Oregon ready to search for a job that reflected his passion for writing. What better place to search for career guidance than his alma mater?

A year and a half ago, while working a temporary job at a dog-sitting business, Johnson contacted the Career Development Center Director, Brian O’Driscoll.

“I told Brian I was hoping to focus my career on my writing and he really helped me out by looking at my résumé and helping me beef it up,” said Johnson.

O’Driscoll also assisted Johnson with his interviewing skills, preparing him for an interview at Spotlight, a newspaper in Scappoose, Oregon. Johnson landed the job and has since enjoyed writing for a variety of beats such as city hall, crime, and community events.

This wasn’t the last time Johnson sought the help of the Career Development Center. In June 2014 he will be moving to St. Louis, Missouri, with his girlfriend who is pursuing a master’s degree at Washington University. When visiting the city earlier this year, Johnson met some reporters from the local newspapers. After his trip, Johnson asked O’Driscoll to help him network with people at publications in the area. He is now networking with a reporter who works for a bi-monthly publication in St. Louis.

Even though Johnson didn’t have a definite idea of his career focus right after graduation, he wasn’t afraid to explore his options and ask for help along the way.

“I just explored whatever option I was passionate about at the time, instead of focusing on a specific career after college,” said Johnson. He explained that this gave him a diverse background and time to figure out his ideal career path.
 

Nov. 15, 2016