I came here with the hope that this program would help me find a way. I have interests and I have passions but my issue is that I want to do all of them, there really is no one specific thing that I can truthfully say I would be happy to do for the rest of my life – especially when there is no real space for a bouldering chef (there really should be). Thats probably how I came ‘prepared’ to do marine conservation with a degree in archaeology.

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This is about the Zoox Experience, but this is also about where this will take me. For a long time now I have been looking for a job or a project. In my daydreams it would be faraway, working with communities to protect environments, teaching and learning, integrating into a community that experiences and appreciates the environment. But every time I looked I found myself settling on things which I just might maybe possibly be able to force myself to be interested in; or leaving with a searing headache, because what on earth does “assistant” mean and why does it have to be on every single job title generically attached to a seemingly random word like “collections” or “science”. “Science”. How can you assist science! It very often made me want to gnaw through the fridge.

Amidst the seniors, the mysterious mid level zone, the graduates and the entry levels (I mean come on, if its entry level don’t ask for 3 years experience, you know who you are) I found this “Experience”. This magical word that everyone seems to search for, employer and employee alike. It seemed to fit, and if I didn’t do anything soon I was at risk of losing my place on my brothers sofa (on that note, when getting into to bed is like a game of Tetris, you need a bigger sofa).

It hooked me with the exciting potential it could reveal, but alas was more likely create within me. It could make me that thing that I had apparently somehow slept through for both degrees and work – employable. This excited me as much as a new yoga mat, psyched, seriously. I love new, challenges, opportunities, people and experiences. These were what I knew would open the door that apparently someone had seen fit to seal shut with a bucket of superglue. This experience – and at this time I was going from the desription and talking to the co-ordinator alone – was the very thing that would set my feet, preferably sprinting, on the path toward working. Deploying my skill-set to make a difference efficiently before I melted away into a useless goo of missed potential, or finally got wedged in the sofa.

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Coming here, meeting the people who I could clearly learn so much from (Alan has an app for project management and another for organising ones life – you just don’t do that if you don’t already have your stuff together) just acted to confirm the very thing that I had hoped. I will leave this Experience better. The things I want to achieve will draw closer. But most importantly, the people and the environment that I want to help will receive a better person, someone who can actually make a difference and offer direction and solution.

The skills being developed here go beyond those that you would generally expect, yes of course communication, organisation and all those other interpersonal skills that we all copy pasted into our CV’s from a 90’s looking management website while we were in sixth from. But there are people here to learn much more from. Writing with an openness like this is not something that I previously would have done, allowing passion to enter the sentences of a blog, for the world (the scantly populated world of those who read this) to see is new to me. As you could probably tell. Becoming more open with people and engaging with them without restraint, speaking with passion and delivering a personalised message that comes from my perspective, my experience to convey an idea which is more than a generic framework is just one thing I am learning. For much of the day that message is the role of Green Fins but for a small rewarding part it is more too. Both messages benefit from the development of that openness. When it becomes clear that you care, people seem to find a reason to care, in a way, they connect.

It is this Experience that promised to develop my professionalism and it has, in more ways than I think I can currently write down. But it is the unseen experiences within, the passion of the people – seeing the distress at a missed opportunity; the proximity to those who know; the moments I share that open me – even that as simple as managing to standing in a puddle of spilled ice cream, the perfect end to a moment shared. All of these experiences are worthy. They all add up to the end result of Employable. But it is more than employable, it is a recognition of potential. Of growth.

This Experience is what has helped me realise that my future is no longer a far away land full of mystical possibility but an exciting, attainable reality.

This entry was posted in Panglao, The Philippines, The Zoox Experience Programme, Volunteer Coordinator, ZEP #11 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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