Friday, February 15, 2008

Another tool in my belt

For the past week I have been trying to live my life in anticipation of this upcoming project. I know that trying to make all these changes at once will be too much, I have been trying to take small steps to get myself in a place to really tackle it. To this extent, I have done several things to proactively better my situation. Some of these are discrete tasks, but one in particular is a seemingly small item that will perhaps benefit me in the future.

I asked my boss if I could take a class in AutoCAD, which is a computer program I use for my job, but am not that proficient at. He agreed to pay for it, and I signed up. It is a three-part course at NYU's school of continuing education. I am hoping that not only will this class help me with my current job, but will be a valuable addition to my resume if I have to look for a job in the future.

The last time I decided to make a change in my life was in 2003. I was working as an Environmental Consultant for a corporation in New York City. The work I did was generally monotonous, churning out reports by the boatload. For an environmental firm, it was ridiculous how much paper I used. Anyhow, I was quickly realizing that I did not want to spend my life doing this type of work, and the options in my field within New York City seemed limited. I had enjoyed decorating my new apartment in the city, and was regretting not having pursued architecture in college. I decided that Interior Design was the next best thing. I started taking classes at FIT, in an effort to switch careers. After taking a semester's worth of classes, I began interviewing for design jobs. Eventually, I was laid off from the Engineering company. It was a blessing, as I was able to get unemployment insurance and take a job as an unpaid intern at a design-build firm.

Since that time, I have alternately worked for design firms or as a waitress. I have learned so much in the past years, about design and design resources, patience in dealing with clients, and how to run (or more accurately, how NOT to run) a small business. My ultimate goal is to one day work for myself as a designer. It is a field that is open to such possibilities, assuming you have a network of willing clients. At this point, I do not. Until that time, I hope to gather up as many skills, tools, and resources as I can to best prepare me to step out on my own. Taking this AutoCAD class is just one small piece in that puzzle.

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