But Caitlin ... what do you actually do for work?
My mom recently called me asking to confirm my job title, because she didn't actually know it. I joked that I'm like Chandler Bing where no one actually knows what I do in my friend groups or even in my family for that matter.
The next week, my friend Liv and I were out for a coffee, and she asked me "I've been meaning to ask, what do you actually do? Like can you explain your job to me in a way I can understand?"
Teacher, lawyer, doctor, real estate agent — there are a lot of typical jobs I grew up with my Barbies telling me I could be.
When I was growing up, I went from wanting to be a painter, to a marine biologist to a fashion designer to an event planner. I took guitar, musical theatre, I was on student counsel, I was in school plays, I was in choir even though I can't hold a tune.
Somehow I ended up studying journalism because I knew:
- I loved to write and tell stories.
- I loved to ask questions and interact with people in the moment.
- I didn't want to be chained to a cubical.
- I didn't want to spend a lifetime behind textbooks or in school.
- I wanted to get my hands dirty in the field with equipment and fast-paced exciting deadlines.
It's difficult to find who you are in a world where purpose is defined by your job title.
After I graduated, I had an extremely non-linear path — working for a local entrepreneur building a writing for the web course, finding my way to Apple, selling sunglasses at Sunglass Hut, working as a project manager for a writing firm and finally stumbling upon Shopify where I really started to fall in love with tech and the amazing global community behind it — now working in the industry at the emergence of tech and fulfillment, building strategic partnerships and aligning product and passion for the ecommerce industry.
What does my day-to-day look like?
- Different every damn day.
- I partner with tech companies that integrate into our warehouse systems to improve our customer and operations experience.
- I connect the dots between a customer pain-point and a creative platform they never thought to explore.
- I help influence process and product to build a world-class solution that benefits all parties.
But I am a far from what I do — I am a teacher, a mentee, a humble learner, an empathic listener, a helper and optimist. I am more than a job title and a pay cheque. I lead spin classes, I help run local industry meetup events, I have vulnerable moments of imposter syndrome and I am way too hard on myself.
What will I do next? Only time will tell. But if my record shows anything, it's a moving target.