Thursday, February 21, 2013

Career Change Has DG Alum "Doing Good"

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
– Martin Buber

If you’re a Delta Gamma, chances are you’re a well-rounded woman. The sorority has a wonderful international reputation, and so the women who choose it in college are probably ones who desire high-quality organizations. Then there is the Delta Gamma experience. While in a sorority in college, there are more than just classes. There are formal meetings, social gatherings, philanthropic events and rituals. After a Delta Gamma has graduated from college, she’s been groomed to be multifaceted and have many interests. This, combined with studies showing women have much less linear career paths than men, means that Delta Gammas are likely to have at least one career change in their lifetimes.

Take me for instance; I've recently changed careers. I am a Delta Gamma from Zeta Iota chapter at Chapman University in Orange County, California. I went from a career in marketing communications to teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels. I worked full-time and went to school full-time at Pepperdine University for five years just because I love learning. Toward the end of completion of my doctorate degree, I got called in for a teaching interview at a local university and I was hired to teach on the spot. I had never thought of myself as a teacher, but it turns out it’s what I had been training for all this time. Also, I believe I received an aptitude to teach because my mom and husband, two of the people closest to me, are both teachers. Perhaps I partially acquired the aptitude to be a teacher subliminally through them.

You might be wondering how things went in the classroom. Well, it was love from the very first time I taught. One of the things that all Delta Gammas are taught is to “Do Good.” Teaching is all about doing good. In fact, if you’re not there to do good as a teacher, you shouldn't be in the classroom.

One of my friends is a compensation director. She is analytical and plans things down to the last detail. She recently had a baby and was extremely worried about doing everything right. When she told this to her doctor, he told her not to worry so much about doing everything right because it’s just not possible. The way to good parenting, he said, is to parent from the heart. The same thing goes for teaching. As long as you teach from the heart, the rest comes naturally. Looking back, I also realize that since I went to school while working full-time, I was able to practice what I was learning in my job.

The point of this story is to tell you that if you’d like to change careers, have confidence in yourself. If you’ve been through college as a Delta Gamma, chances are you've done many different things already. You probably know much more than you think you know. If you’re thinking about a new career, what are some things you’ve done in your current career that can apply to the new one you desire? Some of the things that transferred for me were strong interpersonal and communication skills and patience. Skills like these are essential to do almost any job well. The rest comes with practice.

Women are often socialized at a young age to ask people if they’re doing things the right way and not to do things unless they’re perfect. Men, on the other hand, are taught to just do it, and they are allowed to fake it till they make it. You can’t learn unless you make mistakes. So, go out there and follow your dreams. You’re a DG! You can do it!

Dr. Margaret Moodian, Zeta Iota-Chapman, and her husband, Dr. Michael Moodian, live in Orange County, California with their rescue dog, Manny, and chinchilla, Marshall. You can reach Margaret at or follow her on Twitter @mminni100.

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