Sometimes we find ourselves where we least expect to be. A year ago, I was teaching middle school and trying to find the balance between grading papers and having a life outside of teaching. Twelve months later, I have exited the profession I expected to retire from and am working full-time as a barista for Starbucks. For the most part, I am loving this change of career, but I don’t know if I find myself in the position I would like to be in for a large part of the future.
To do what I do at my current job, you have to have enthusiasm, as well as devote yourself to making each moment right, and that’s something I feel I have strived to do for quite a while. I entered Starbucks after exiting the classroom as a regular customer who was pulled in by the genuine connections that the staff initiated. They never greeted me with anything except smiles and warm welcomes. I felt a sense of purpose there. That was the hook I needed to realize I felt purpose by serving others and making genuine connections with these individuals.
Six months into my current position, I am grateful and appreciative of the connections I get to make with so many fantastic customers, as well as strengthening the team of my fellow partners in my store and other local stores. I have learned a lot about coffee, and it has become more a passion than I could imagine. Tasting coffee and learning more about the origins of different blends, as well as knowing pairings for types of coffees is invigorating. It’s not that I want to feel superior to others about this, but this is not a common knowledge and I like being somewhat of a coffee nerd, so to speak.
As much as I love my current situation, I know there is more, and I want to keep doing more, keep learning more… More than anything else, I want to do something where I help others be able to dream more. Maybe I can do this by pursuing a bigger position with Starbucks, perhaps working my way up to a supervisory position, and maybe one day in management. My manager wants to help me develop into roles where I can do just this. The company certainly presents opportunities for growth and continuous learning.
Outside of the company, I wonder about options in communications fields. I love media, writing, and anything digital. I love designing catchy logos, showcasing cool photos, and telling stories. I idolize (just the right amount) individuals like Chris Thile and Ira Glass, each doing things they seemingly love.
Adventures are long. There may be bumps along the roads, and sometimes there may be detours that lead you to new and interesting people, places, and opportunities. I’m excited and intrigued by what lies ahead. Am I hopeful? Certainly. Am I somewhat frightened? A bit of that, too. Am I excited? Yes. There’s a lot to learn and much, much more to come.