Every now and then I panic if I’m on the “right track” for what I want to be doing in life. Never mind the fact that there’s no one way anyone’s career goes nowadays. But mid-20s are a weird place where some of us are out of college working, others are in graduate school, and others are exploring the world. It can be tough not to compare myself to my peers, especially when so many of them are doing incredible things. I’ve spent far too many hours looking at my old classmates’ LinkedIns and feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything. If I look back to 4 years ago, when I graduated college, I’d never imagine I’d be working for a supply chain company. That doesn’t sound incredibly interesting when I first say it. In fact, when I first started working in this industry, I was hesitant. I researched it a lot and barely understood what SAP did. 1.5ish years later, I think I’ve gotten a bit better with that last bit, but I’m still learning.
What helped me the most was connecting the dots between my current role and where my interests lie.
Anyone who knows me knows I love fashion. I love the business of fashion, and yes Business of Fashion (link) too. Back in early college, two things caught my eye: the environmental impact of fashion as well as the numerous human rights violations whether it be affecting runway models or factory workers. I’ve written so many research projects and read so much on the topic. And the common feeling I got afterwards was frustration. How is it that we haven’t solved these issues? How can we solve these issues when there are so complex? During the time I was interviewing for my current job last year, I ran into an article about fashion and sustainability and that’s when it clicked to me how a lot of the problems I was reading about did start at the supply chain. It was exciting because by having real world issues that I was truly so passionate about wanting to fix, I could connect the dots between the problems and the solutions. All the complicated and fancy solutions and software made sense and I actually understood it!
The whole world of supply chain solutions is complicated, and there are days where I feel utterly confused by it. But then I look at the bigger picture. It’s not as glamorous as working for giant beauty retailers or wearable tech start-ups (both of which I’ve done), and it’s very different than what I’ve previously worked on. But it’s challenging work, and it’s work that also makes an impact. And that’s what really pushes me forward.
I want to be able to do meaningful work in my life. I love that on the freelance side, I’m working with small companies that are contributing to the world in what I believe to be meaningful ways. And I love that my 9-5 corporate job can do the same. There’s a possibility that my career may take a twist later this year, and I’m learning to embrace any upcoming changes instead of being as apprehensive.