I am happy to feature a guest post from Megan Atkinson today. Megan blogs at The Life and Times of an Energy Careerist. I loved this post and thought it would be a good edition to the Why We Do What We Do series.
Here’s Megan’s post!
When people ask me why I chose to get into energy, I have a quick answer and a not-so-quick answer:
Quick answer: It’s my passion. Because I would eat, sleep, and breathe the energy industry for free if I were independently wealthy.
Not-so-quick answer: I blame my dad.
Dear old Dad. It’s all his fault.
I grew up in a household where my mother would do her motherly thing after work and run around the house doing whatever it was she needed to do – turning the lights on in every room, at every stop. Then my father would run around after her griping about the electric bills and turning them off. I came to understand the economic value of energy efficiency at a very early age but was generally disinterested.
First I wanted to be a super model, then a forensic scientist (before all the CSI, Law and Order, and NCIS shows), then a teacher. Eventually I got into high school and actually had to assess my abilities and interests before choosing a career. Because really… I couldn’t even model rubber gloves let alone clothing.
This is when my dad really started harping on me about finding a career I love. He would always tell me, “If you can find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’m sure he stole the mantra from some super wise famous guy, but it stuck with me.
First I majored in fine art. That was idiotic. I had the skill and enjoyed creating but had zero interest in having the word “starving” as part of my job title later in life.
Then it was political science and economics. That was fine and dandy, but who wants to have their financial security hang on the re-electability of some skeezy politician? Not me.
So I took a hard look at what I loved about public policy and economic theory – energy issues, how we power (literally) our economy. So I took a wind power class and it was all over from there. I knew I was made for an energy job.
I eventually decided that though I love renewable energy, energy efficiency is where I needed to be. It was recession-proof (recession-friendly, even), an emerging industry with cutting edge technology, I understood the industry jargon much more fluently than I did Spanish, and I had so much fun learning about it.
So I pursued it. The more I kept learning and doing and experiencing, the more I couldn’t wait to get a jump start on my big energy career.
My dad was right. Turning off the lights DOES save money – and having a job you love really DOES make your job feel a lot less like work and lot more like “holy crap, you mean I get paid to learn all this stuff and talk to strangers and nerd it out?!“
Why do you do what you do?
If you’d like to guest post for The Opportunities Project about Why You Do What You Do, contact us.