View Full Version : Career Ideas?

1-1-11, 11:28pm
Hi all!

Not sure if this is simple living related. I guess it is in the sense of wanting to spend my days on this earth doing the most good.

I am a teacher now, Spanish for young'uns, and enjoy it. I also have a leadership role as chair of our building tech committee. I like my job a lot, just don't see myself doing it until I retire.

Thus, lately I've started to fantasize about going back to school. Just not sure for what! :doh:

I'm an idea person. I can also implement ideas quite well, except that I have too many to implement all of my own. :~) That's one thing I like about my current job, actually. I am a one-woman department, so I can put into action any idea I get in my head. There is a lot of freedom.

I love thinking about the big picture & big impact. This might lead one to think that school administration is a natural next step, but the continual budgetary stress and confrontation with parents/having to be the big bad wolf is not for me. Maybe a curriculum & instruction role in a district office, like a world languages curriculum specialist. Nothing that involves dealing with wacko parents or having to lay people off.

So now thinking I might need to look outside of education? And then another part of me says: "Don't mess with a good thing."

I thought I'd throw it out there to see what ideas you all might have for areas to look at or even HOW to decide what areas to look at. Doesn't matter how wacky. Give it a go.

Thank you, forum friends!!

1-2-11, 5:11am
I have had numerous friends with the same question and at various points in their career. Each went for career counseling with personality testing and found it very helpful. One man who was laid off and retired found he would enjoy working with children and interacting with the public. He is now working at the Children's Museum and loving it.

One young woman with a good but boring lab job found out thru career testing she would be a good fit for an Epidemiology career. She has just started her Masters program with that focus.

1-2-11, 6:27am
I don't know how you quantify "most" good, but teaching the next generation is a very good profession, especially if with the language lessons you are introducing cultural tolerance as well. If you're bilingual though you can probably do anything you want. I see many jobs in my area that specify bilingual.

1-3-11, 12:26pm
I just finished a book, "Do What You Are" by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. It's a very helpful read for people that are undecided on a career path.

1-3-11, 3:39pm
The job you choose now doesn't necessarily have to be the one that sees you through to retirement. Personally, I cannot see myself being in one type of job forever more. Ideally, I'm hoping to combine part-time jobs in libraries and in translation. But who knows, when I'm 45, maybe I'll want to do something else.

What interests do you have outside of languages and education that you could maybe consider when looking for work? Have you ever worked in a Spanish-speaking country? Maybe you could work for a year in Spain or something; they're always looking for English-speakers!

1-3-11, 4:25pm
You also don't have to do your contributing to the world solely through your job. The job can contribute in one way, and non-profit or volunteer work in other ways.

1-3-11, 9:53pm
I think you have to plan for your next job while you're settling into this one. So often next jobs require experience/skill/education you don't yet have. While school is a nice fantasy (I share it, actually), now might be a better time to look at what your passions are and see if there's another path with paid employment there. If not, as Kevinw1 said: there's a big difference between vocation and occupation.

2-22-11, 9:14pm
I am possibly going to apply for a different kind of teaching job. It is scary. Right now I teach at a school I like very much, but as I said in the OP, I don't feel like I can stay there forever. Maybe it's the pace, maybe it's all the needs, but I just am not as excited about it as I used to be. I look forward to my days off too much . . .

I currently teach Spanish at an elementary school and am going to go for an ESL instructor position at a community college. It's a big jump and I don't have experience in teaching ESL (beyond two short practica), though I do have formal training. I said to my husband . . . if offered the job, do I think I would actually take it? I don't know. Just wanted to put it out there. It closes on 3/1 so don't even know if I can pull together an appropriate application in that time.

Thinking lots of things - I don't just want to jump from job to job searching for the right one. But then again, there is no perfect job. They all have some crap element to them.

Anyway!! Just wanted to throw it out there!

2-22-11, 10:34pm
not as excited about it as I used to be. I look forward to my days off too much.

In my experience, this happens with every job given enough time. Is there anything you can do to mix up things in your current position, to avoid the boredom of a job that has become routine?

2-22-11, 10:37pm
In my experience, this happens with every job given enough time. Is there anything you can do to mix up things in your current position, to avoid the boredom of a job that has become routine?

I think the problem right now is actually the opposite. It's too much variety and never being able to keep up. The pace is frenetic 90% of the time. It's unsustainable. I need to take a step back, or put in some long days to get ahead of the game, or something. Something.

2-24-11, 5:18pm
Hi -
I have worked at a community college for many years and there are many great things about it. The pay is way better than public schools (or libraries - I am a librarian) the students, as a whole, are hard workers and a lot of fun, the other faculty are intelligent and congenial without the snootiness that you often find at four year colleges. Plus, you may still have your summers off!

The only downside is committee work, which can really snowball - you sound like a real team player, so I'm warning you: do not volunteer to be on any committees!

Another idea I had is that you might do something with the homeschooling community. In my area, parents are always looking for Spanish classes for their kids (and parent/kid Spanish classes as well.)

2-25-11, 11:05am
Fidgie, you sound like you'd make a great self-employed person. All of the traits you mention are valuable when you run your own show -- and when I discovered I had those same traits and started my own business, it was just amazing how much energy and joy my days could hold. I get a lot out of reading people like Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter, who help you holistically focus in on what you love and craft a life around it.

2-25-11, 6:09pm
@Gardenarian - thanks. After reading this I decided to give it a go. I had been back and forth and was at the moment not going to do it, but now am!

@puglogic, I have cooked up so many ideas for businesses over the years, but lack the skills to put them into motion. That's not to say I'll never gain those skills, though. In fact, I have commented to my husband that we should start some kind of side business just to get experience in the procedures of doing so. That way if one of us ever gets super sick of our job and that's the route we decide to take, we wouldn't be absolute newbies. I will check out the reading you recommend as I am somewhat worried that just moving into a different "job" will produce the same results in a few years. What is your business, if you don't mind my asking?

I find it interesting that my principal told me today that my role could be changing next year. I don't want to say more since I'm not super anonymous on here anymore, having posted my pic and enough specifics that if anyone who knew who I was were to run across me here, they'd be sure it was me :) Well, isn't it interesting that I've been having this discontent and thinking I need something new, etc. etc. and that potentially my job will be looking different anyway. It's not a for sure - far from it - but I'm not sure it's the kind of different I want to stick with. Need to think on it a little more, and also work hard on my app for the position!

2-25-11, 7:18pm
Hi Fidgie,
I'm in a pretty standard business -- I'm a web designer primarily, though I do a few other small things too -- but I travel in circles with people who do all kinds of things, from petwalking to baking to managing other peoples' gardens (true!). I love to get inspiration from them, and from this site: http://www.springwise.com/ideas/ and from Barbara Winter: http://joyfullyjobless.com/ I found this link the other day too: http://tinyurl.com/4wkdsvg (it's a PDF file but it's safe)

Blackdog Lin
2-27-11, 9:26pm
I have absolutely nothing to contribute to this discussion, EXCEPT: I worked with a young man, 15 years ago, he hated what we were throwing at him, and only lasted 3 years. We had a conversation where I told him "there is no perfect job, get over that idea. Deal with what you have." And he replied to me "There is too. I just haven't found it yet."

Fast forword 15 years: I'm months away from retiring (youngish) because I stuck it out. He has a new (8-yr. or so) career and he can't retire for 15 more years (we've talked). So I hope he found his perfect career, I hope he's happy for the next 15 years he's gonna have to work. But I suspect (really, I KNOW), that he's no happier in his new job than I have been for the last 15 years in my OLD job. The one he could have kept. The one he could be retiring from in just a few years.

You pays your money and you make your choices. Somtimes it's easy choices, sometimes not so much.....

2-28-11, 12:41am
There is no retirement plan that could entice me to stay with a job I hated for 15 years. I might get creamed by a bus after 14 of them, or get cancer, or the company's pension plan might collapse as is happening all over the country.

Perhaps there is no perfect job, but I respect anyone who looks for something they feel might make them happier today.

No easy choices. But lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of options out there.

2-28-11, 8:09am
As an update, I am working on the application for the community college job. I spoke with a former colleague who made the same transition several years ago and she is very happy. She made that leap, and knows others who have, so I am hopeful that I will at least be able to get an interview. Here's hoping!! :)

2-28-11, 10:28pm
O.M.G. I just submitted the application. My heart rate is elevated!! Glad I did it. My principal has been super supportive. She has even made calls on my behalf and was going to call a contact at the college that she made through a co-principal. That surprised and flattered me - I mean, she is a busy lady and has 1,000 other things she could be doing other than making calls for me to be able to leave her employ! Which would mean she'd then have to add a bunch of things to her to-do list to get someone new! So that's pretty damn nice.

Interestingly, today was the first day in weeks that I went back to work and felt good - positive - like I used to feel every day. Was it because I have faced the fact that I'm not trapped in this job? I choose to stay in this job, and it's what I make of it? Could simply applying for another job make this one fresh again? Just philosophizing.

This whole thing is making me think I need to read and recommit to YMOYL. You may have noticed that concurrently with this internal struggle we are debating entering the rental property business and I am weighing the whys of that. Just to have money to have it isn't really my gig. However, if there is a concrete end, a concrete reason for doing it (FI3), then I'm on board. It would sure feel different to go to work every day because I want to and not because I have to.

I will keep you all updated. I appreciate your support and good vibes.

2-28-11, 11:12pm
Way to go, fidgiegirl!! :)