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Reflecting on my own career today …

My first “real” job was as a life guard at a swimming pool. I was 16 years old when I was hired and I worked at that pool for four summers while I was in college. After graduation, I became a middle school and high school teacher and guidance counselor, later a career counselor for adults.

Now, as a rehabilitation psychologist focusing on chronically homeless people, I feel like I have come around full circle and returned to being a lifeguard once again. The death rate for chronically homeless people is shocking. What I do now is to focus on the people at highest risk of death on the street and work to get them medical care and housing, also to try and keep them out of jail. So far, I’ve been pretty successful.

Over the years, I’ve grown more centered, confident and courageous in my career. It is refreshing to work at a time when women have more options and can be recognized and appreciated for their career achievements.