I used to write recommendation letters for students at the university on a very regular basis. To medical schools, law schools, social worker programs, nursing programs, any program that requires someone of a certain “status” to be authoritative enough to be able to write a thoughtful recommendation on someone’s suitability as a doctor, lawyer, nurse, social worker, engineer, therapist, etc etc.
At one time, I had this “status”. I have a few letters behind my name indicating that I’m “educated” and have been in roles where I’ve coached young minds into maturing. That was my life, that was my path, and that was the status I was looking to achieve. My plans were to get as many letters behind my name as possible. Anne-Marie Fischer, BA, CHRL, MEd, PhD, CIM, PMP, etc etc etc.
Then something happened in my life and I made a change, in order to save myself from a path I wasn’t meant to go down.
I’m now a Tattoo Studio Manager and a full-time Cannabis Writer. My work duties or responsibilities haven’t lessened from those days where I was pursuing the ABCs of status, but have only gotten greater with the responsibility of entrepreneurship. Just in a different way.
A few days ago a former student contacted me with a request to write her a letter of recommendation. I had helped her get into an impressive Masters program through my letters, and it was time for her to consider her next pursuit. Naturally, she would hit me up as I eagerly wrote her many “status-filled” letters in the past.
I received all the details of the program, was poised to write a strongly-worded letter about her (incredible) suitability as a future doctor, and then I reminded her of my recent career change.
“Yeah, the selection committee probably wouldn’t look upon your profession too favourably” was the response.
I’ve lost my status. The letters behind my name don’t mean anything anymore.
I watched the flying fucks about my former “status” fly out the window I and diligently and PROUDLY got back to my un-statused duties as a lowly Tattoo Studio Manager and a Cannabis Writer…. and I couldn’t have been more happy and content about it.
A little note to that student if she is reading this: I have no hard feelings about this interaction at all – I still think you’re amazing – if anything, it’s helped me fight harder to legitimize my profession and its given me confidence to own my place in the cannabis sphere 🙂