I've seen some Friday Five posts on other blogs that I follow, and I like the idea of highlighting some special things about your week. I start back to work today after 12 weeks of maternity leave, so I thought I'd do a special Friday Five to start out. Here are five little tidbits about my job. :-)
1. I work at a rape crisis center as a sexual assault counselor. I volunteered with the program for two years before starting an internship there. While interning, I was offered the job of Volunteer Coordinator. That was in September or 2007. In December of 2007, I was asked to also take on the responsibilities of the Legal Advocate. At this point, I was training and managing volunteers and accompanying sexual assault survivors to their legal proceedings. I was also finishing up my last year of undergrad. When I graduated in May 2008, I became a counselor and began seeing clients. I worked these three positions until August of 2010. At that time, I was made the only full-time counselor at our site.
2. I've worked with hundreds of clients over the last four years. My clients have ranged in ages from 3-60s. I have worked with men, women, and children. I have worked with wealthy clients and homeless clients. The last four years have been a living example of how sexual violence doesn't discriminate.
3. Part of my job is to accompany survivors of sexual assault to the hospital for sexual assault exams. My co-workers and I rotate weeks on-call. Being on-call can be a pain at times, especially when you're exhausted after a long day of work and get called for a medical exam just as you're heading home. Or when you're sound asleep and the phone rings at 3:00 A.M. But it's a difficult job, and someone's got to do it.
4. I'll be honest. The pay sucks. I have my Master's Degree in counseling and could be making more money elsewhere, but I'm still here. Now that I have a baby and more expenses, I will be looking for a new job that pays better. I'll be sad to leave this job, and I hope I can continue to focus on working with this population.
5. This job causes burn out easily. It's so easy to just get sick of everything pretty quickly. We work our butts off with very little recognition or thanks. It's a good thing we don't do this job for the pay or the recognition. We'd be out of luck. Before I went on maternity leave, I was what I like to call a crispy critter. I was so burnt out that I didn't want to go to work at all. It was getting harder to give my clients my undivided attention, because all I could think about were the things I'd rather be doing (reading, sleeping, eating). Now that I've had 3 months to recharge my batteries, I'm ready to go back. I hate the idea of leaving my little girl, and I would love to be able to stay at home, but I'm ready to go back. The PSU scandal has really reminded me why I do this work.