I couldn’t wait to get a job as I grew up. I asked my parents in high school if I could get a job somewhere, but the answer was always no. When I moved to college, which was a whopping 20 miles away, I knew I had to get a job if I wanted to go out and buy things. So I applied to everything I could think of that the school offered and I got a phone call requesting to come in to interview for a position to be a caller at the University Telefund office.

I remember how hard getting on the phone was before getting the job. I dreaded every time I had to call someone that I didn’t know for information or help. And I also distinctly remember being asked if I felt comfortable on the phone during the interview and I said yes, which was a lie. As far as I could tell, the woman interviewing me could not tell. In my mind, I was sweating buckets when I got the job because I knew I had to be on the phone more often than I’d like.

Yup, I was the person that everyone hated getting a call from. Three nights a week, I called friends, family, and alumni with updates and a request for money to fund the school. I never was successful at getting donations and I mostly got yelled at for having the “audacity” to call after they paid so much money to attend.

Despite my phone anxiety and getting yelled at most nights, I learned just how resilient I am. Every day going into work, was a little scary and I was always worried that I would end up crying after a phone call. Eventually, I got really good at calming myself down and walking into work ready to take on new calls. I even stopped pausing between calls to collect myself.

Just those minor adjustments were huge steps forward for me. After my time at the call center, I was able to walk into other jobs with a lot more confidence. I was always able to calm myself down and remind myself that I am doing exactly what is expected of me, even when people get frustrated. I was able to take any phone calls with confidence and assert myself even in the face of angry parents and students. 

Now, years later, I hop into more projects or meetings without really knowing what to do but with the faith that I can handle anything that gets thrown at me.


  • Jocelyn Catano

    I am a writer from Southern California just trying to figure out my life.

    Jocelyn is a writer and creative currently living in Southern California. On her blog, she writes about living life to the fullest and allowing herself to be directed by the forces that be, even if that is not what was planned. She believes in and encourages authenticity, travel, kindness, and giving back. She is the host of the Not as I Intended podcast and is currently working on her first book.