Career Advancement

3 tips to help you adjust to life after the Peace Corps

Photo credit: Alexander Chaikin, Shutterstock

Photo credit: Alexander Chaikin, Shutterstock

Public service programs are popular among Idealists, so we’re always looking for the latest stories, tips, and resources to help you make the most of your experience. On The Daily Muse, Stephanie Ormston, who spent three years in Azerbaijan in the Peace Corps, shares three tips that helped her adjust to life back home in the United Sates. Here’s one that stands out to us:

Carry Your Experience With You Everywhere

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how what you did in the Peace Corps transfers to the “real world.” But in reality, there are endless stories and attributes that not only should strengthen your self-worth, but are also valuable tools to use in interviews and on your resume—whether or not you enter a field that’s directly related to the work you did. Quantify what you can, but know there will be a lot that you can’t. So think about how it applies to what you want to do: your commitment, loyalty, determination, initiative, courage—I could go on and on.

When I was finishing up my last year in Azerbaijan, I started to apply to business schools in the states. I was surprised to find how much I had to talk about in my applications. Teaching art to students in rural villages may have seemed irrelevant to business, but it showed me the value of creative thinking to those who are least able to access it. Living eight hours away from my supervisor gave credit to my claims of taking initiative, being innovative with limited resources, and working without constant oversight. I extended my contract by six months, showing my determination to a project I believe in. I’ve carried those experiences even further to my current job for a nonprofit theatre company that brings free professional productions to individuals across all demographics.

Read the rest of her story and advice on The Daily Muse.

What advice would you add?