Here at TNM, we provide a core group of contributing editors with a platform to inspire people with words, tips, and their real world advice. This month we are featuring some of our amazing contributing editors in the Tell Us Your Story: Contributing Editor Series here on our blog. These editors are the people who create new content for us to share with you on a weekly basis, and now it is your chance to hear their stories.
Our second feature is Rachael Tulipano who works full-time as an administrator to support college students at a local Maine university, and has an immense passion for writing.
1. What did you want to be when you were 5? What did you want to be when you were a teenager? What did you plan to major in in college? What are you doing now?
When I was five years old, I wanted to be a singer. I was obsessed with singing pop songs and truly believed I had a gifted voice. Boy, was I wrong. When I was a teenager I wanted to write full-time. My goal was to write and publish one book each year, much like my idol Jodi Picoult does. I've since learned it's difficult to land a book deal, and literary talents like Picoult are rare gems. I planned to major in English in college (to support my adolescent goal of writing full-time), but I actually changed my major to Communication. Now, I write in my spare time and work full-time in education. I work in administration to support college students at a local Maine university.
2. Where did you go to college?
I attended the University of Southern Maine. I earned a B.A. in Communication in May 2014.
3. What would you tell your college freshman self?
College ends. Even when it feels like you have years to find yourself, it comes to an end and then you thrust yourself into the workforce. Find a job you'll really like. Work hard to take on internship opportunities and seek guidance from others. Try to find your calling as soon as possible so you achieve employment happiness early on in life. The sooner, the better.
4. What was your first job? How did that experience help you later on?
When I was fifteen I earned my first job as a Cashier at a local pizza shop. I learned a lot about customer service practices, multitasking, and earning a paycheck. The experience taught me I didn't want to work in the service industry long term, and that it takes a long time to save money when you only make a few bucks per hour. It made me want more for myself.
5. Was there a time you struggled in your work environment? What did you do to change that?
The odd jobs I had as a teenager and young adult never fulfilled my goals. To be fair, I worked part-time through high school and college while attending school full-time. None of those jobs were ever meant to be "rewarding" in the sense that I would stay long term. Still, it's hard to work at a job you don't enjoy. I just tried to make the best of every experience. Befriending colleagues helped make the atmospheres better. It took me awhile to find the right fit.
6. Do you do anything outside of your “9-5” that you love? If so, why is that important?
Writing is my passion. Since I don't have the ability to write full-time, I write as much as I can outside of my full-time job. It's important to me because it's "me time". I can escape reality by working on a novel and creating characters. It's something I really enjoy doing that I control. It's a place where my creativity shines.
7. What is your biggest passion?
a. How does that play into your job?
I don't write much at work. Emails, yes. But outside of that, my job requires more organization and planning than writing.
b. How do you balance that with your career?
I write during my spare time, mostly nights and weekends.
-Rachael's Perspective of Job Satisfaction-
8. On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you in your job?
a. How did you get to this place?
Working in the same role at the same company for over two years now has helped me become comfortable in my job. I'm also seen as an asset to the team, which helps me with employment happiness because I feel valued at my workplace.
b. What could make it better?
A promotion. Not just in pay (that certainly helps, though) but also a promotion in job title and responsibilities. I believe most employment unhappiness is because too many workers are overqualified for their jobs. Millennials especially are typically joining the workforce with a bachelor's degree and only landing entry level positions. I've found this to be true in my own experience. I have outgrown my role's responsibilities to the point where I am not being challenged by my daily work. A promotion in responsibilities would help foster a learning environment to help grow and acquire new skills.
9. There has been a whole industry created and daily content about job satisfaction and finding your passion. Why do you think that is?
In my opinion their is an industry about job satisfaction because people are not achieving employment happiness. Quality jobs are difficult to find because there are countless qualified or overqualified applicants for the same position. There aren't enough quality jobs to go around. Additionally, the economy is always changing, so sometimes jobs become entirely obsolete, which makes it challenging for workers to follow their passions while also being logical. Everyone needs a steady income to live comfortably. It's hard to pay the bills and be happy at a job that does not fulfill you.
10. Has there been a time in your life you had made a sacrifice or took a risk that pulled on you? Do you think it propelled you to go further in your personal or professional life?
I decided to self-publish my debut novel because I was not successful in finding a literary agent to represent my work. Choosing to self-publish was risky because it meant less exposure, less royalties, and more work on myself. The entire process taught me many lessons and I don't regret it. It was an experience unlike any other.
-Appeal to TNM-
11. Why are you part of TNM community?
I joined TNM community to help others reach employment happiness. I also want to learn tools and have access to resources to help me on my own career path. I think TNM community is a valuable resource for young adults and has made me feel like I'm part of a movement.
12. What does it mean to you write and share your perspectives on career search, job satisfaction, the real world/adulting, etc.?
It's all about sharing my experiences. My experiences are not necessarily right or wrong, but I think they lend themselves to being inspiring to TNM readers. Readers might resonate with my stories, tips, guidance, and overall perspective because we are all in this together. Young adults need support and that's what I hope my writing does. I hope my articles support readers and inspire them to reach employment happiness for themselves.
13. What is one thing you would like to see The Niche Movement do that we aren’t doing?
Post job opportunities. It would be nice if TNM had a tool for site visitors to research jobs in their zip codes. Some job boards out there are cluttered with old job postings or redundant jobs. It would be nice to use TNM to find work in any city.
14. How can The Niche Movement help you?
The blog is helpful for me because I enjoy reading other contributors' perspectives. I would encourage TNM to continue to publish blog posts regularly. These posts have inspired me and I know they are helpful for readers out there.