You Are Never Done Learning New Things
Cindy was born and raised in Mankato, Minnesota. After graduating from high school, she decided to attend South Central Technical College, in Mankato. Cindy wanted to be a Health Unit Coordinator and graduated in 1980. She worked for 20 years as a Health Unit Coordinator at Immanuel Saint Joseph’s Hospital, in Mankato. When helping her friends move to Colby, Kansas, she made the decision to stay in Kansas and find work. Cindy found a Health Unit Coordinator position at a local hospital. After six months she eventually decided Kansas was not the place for her and moved back to Mankato.
Upon Cindy’s return she was hired for a temporary position at a local retail store, which ended up “not being so temporary.” Cindy expressed enjoying her job and worked at this position for ten years. The economy was changing and after experiencing managerial shifts, her work environment changed and the position no longer aligned with Cindy’s values.
Cindy knew she needed a new job, but was not ready to make a career move. She had health insurance and paid time off, which were important to her. The company was downsizing and Cindy was eventually released from her position. Cindy explained this as “One of the best things that could have happened.”
Cindy heard about Life-Work Planning Center from a friend. With the recent layoff, she finally had time to work on herself. Cindy made an appointment and signed up for Life-Work Planning Center’s Personal Growth and Career Development Workshops. Cindy said she enjoyed workshops on boundaries, decision-making and assertive communications. She remembered knowing little of these essential skills. Cindy did not know she had healthy boundaries until she learned what healthy boundaries were. Learning how to be assertive was important to Cindy. Before she had a tendency to speak before thinking, and now she thinks before she speaks.
While attending workshops Cindy was busy applying for different positions. Cindy experienced a mix of emotions; she was excited for new possibilities, and nervous about her bills. It took Cindy six weeks until she was hired at a group home. “It was a relief, and it was something different.” Cindy said, “It has been fun learning new things on the job.” She noted feeling respected by the residents and her peers, which is due to being more assertive.
Cindy came back to Life-Work Planning Center for a refresher course on boundaries, “You are never done setting boundaries, or learning new things.” Cindy expressed an appreciation for the other women in the workshop. “Other people have a tendency to help me, even though they do not know they are helping me. I am not stuck working on things all by myself.”
Throughout Cindy’s time here at Life-Work Planning Center and through her own experiences, she has learned the importance of setting healthy boundaries. “Start small, get it down pat, once you start setting boundaries, you will like it. Do not let others’ reactions to your boundaries scare you, sometimes they won’t like it.”
Cindy has learned a lot about herself while attending workshops at Life-Work Planning Center. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. I spent so much time not asking for help that I stayed stuck, and nobody should have to stay stuck.” She also expressed, “It is better to say no at times.” Cindy has begun to read again. She turns off her phone more often and gets “real time” to herself. She is no longer bound by other individuals needs and desires for her time.
Cindy has now been employed at her current position for three years and three months and continues to learn from her own experiences and from others.
– Sarah Torvick, Peer Counselor