The Best Job I Never Applied For

And one I will never get fired from…

Cindy Schreibman

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Marketing & Brand Strategist | Event Producer | Social Media Specialist | Market Researcher | Non-Profit Development

I spend hours most days toiling at a job I didn’t apply for. I generate revenue, attend meetings, mentor others, lobby influencers, and organize events. I pretty much do whatever I’m asked (without complaining to HR) and then ask everyone I know, have known, or think I may know at some point, to support my efforts. I do this without pay, paid vacation or sick leave. I do this because my kid gets no time off, either. My kid has Type One Diabetes.

My son was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, T1D, when he was 14, almost 12 years ago. It’s a complicated stinky disease. Because his pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, a hormone necessary for survival, until March 2015 when he started using inhalable insulin, he had to inject himself with insulin every time he ate just to stay alive and avoid Type One’s not so pretty “complications” like kidney, heart, circulatory, and eye disease.

Recently I asked myself why I work so hard at this job I never applied for. What drives me to give up my time, ego, and bank account? What motivates me to spend less time doing my real job, the one where clients actually pay me?

I’d like to believe that the primary reason is love, and I’m sure that’s a big part of it because I love my kid a lot.

But there’s more than love at play.

When something beyond our control happens, like an unexpected, terrible diagnosis, our minds seize up and we go numb. We walk, we talk but we don’t really say anything or go anywhere. At some point that changes. We arrive at the “I got this” stage, when our feverish search for answers and information turns us into diseasapedias, armed and dangerous with more knowledge than we’ll ever need. What saved me was when I finally landed at the do something era… I call it V day (for Volunteerism); because doing something you can control gives you some.

I’ve learned that, while giving my time and resources helps JDRF, the organization I “work” for, invest in life-improving research, I do this job I didn’t apply for because being in control of some aspect of my son’s disease makes me happier. And more productive. And maybe better at my real job?

Marketing & Brand Strategist | Event Producer | Social Media Specialist | Market Researcher | Non-Profit Development

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Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on July 14, 2015.

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