I am a details person, so please bare with my tendency to become long winded haha! But seriously, this story is a great testimony of God’s perfect plans.
“What’s your dream job, Carly?” has been a question asked by many since I have graduated.
(My BIG dream job is actually not in the field of Occupational Therapy, but I know that I’m not in a place or pursuing that job yet. I still absolutely love Occupational Therapy though and feel so blessed to be in a field that I really do enjoy.)
So besides that tangent that I went on ;) I always respond with, “My dream job would be working as an Occupational Therapist in a school system.”
As I have shared this with other Occupational Therapists that I have networked with, there is a common message of, “You’re probably going to have to pursue other areas first because getting into the school system is really tough, that’s where almost every pediatric OT wants to be.”
So I pursued a job at Pine Rest, where I had my internship and truly loved as well. I love my patients at Pine Rest….A LOT! Ask my husband, he hears me go on and on about them (without personal information of course!). So that is where I have been working since I graduated.
So fast forward, and I took my Occupational Therapy boards in the middle of August. I found out that I failed and was so devastated. I had missed it by 2 questions…TWO QUESTIONS! AH!
The day after I found out I failed my exam, I got a phone call from a principal in the Grand Rapids Public School System.
“Hi, is this Carly Stender?”
“Yes, it is, may I ask who’s calling?”
“Hi, my name is Jean Allard. I am the principal at Ken O Sha. I recently got your name and some information about you from an OT in the district that you have been talking with. He said you wanted to work in the schools, and I am interested in you applying to the OT position at my school. Our OT just notified us of her resignation.”
I told her that I was taking the exam in 45 days (that’s how long I had to wait) and so she stated that they would keep me in mind but that they were going to have to open the position to others as well.
We kept in touch during the 45 days and she shared that Human Resources still hadn’t gotten to the interviewing process. I went and took a tour there to see what it was like. Honestly, I was intimidated and got terrified of the idea of working there actually haha. There were some really involved patients and I felt like such a baby walking in there and thinking that people would be coming to ME for my “expertise.” I figured that they would start the interviewing process before I took the exam though, so I thought that I would be let off the hook.
I prayed, “God, this job terrifies me. Please just close this door if I’m not supposed to work there.”
Fast forward some more and I took my exam on October 10. On October 10 after my exam I got a call from the principal. “Hi Carly, we are starting the interview process next week, are you still interested in an interview?”
I could not believe that the job was still open!! SO, I scheduled an interview (OH and then I found out I PASSED THE EXAM!!)
My interview was….ok. Haha, I did not feel good about the interview actually. It was very straight forward and all about situations (which can be hard to answer when you’re just starting your profession). They interviewed 4 people for this job and the person before me and after me were both older women, who looked like they probably had a TON more experience than me.
As a part of this interview they asked me how long it would take to get my license now that I passed my exam. Most of my classmates shared that it took 3-4 weeks, so that’s what I told them. They said they wanted to fill this position as soon as possible, and so that that time frame might not work for them.
I left the interview feeling disappointed (since this was the door to get into my DREAM job as a school OT) but felt relieved as well because I knew this job would really challenge me and stretch me out of my comfort zone for sure.
One day later I got my license in the mail!!! This 3-4 week process took ONE week for me! I was shocked! Everything seemed to be lining up!! They pursued ME for this job from the beginning, they started the interview process at the perfect timing for me, AND I got my license a lot sooner than expected. However, I truly did not think I would be offered the job because of being a new graduate.
The morning after I got my license in the mail, I got a phone call from the principal asking about my license and I told her that I got it in the mail already! With excitement she shared, “well that works out perfectly because we would like to offer you the job!!!”
WHAT?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me??? I literally was speechless for 10 seconds. She sounded really confused when I was stumbling over the words I was trying to find to say haha. I seriously had a “speech” all thought up of what I would say after she declined the job offer.
So here I am. Walking in God’s goodness…walking in God’s perfect plan, starting my dream job on November 5. I am honored and terrified all at the same time J