This is not the best economic climate to be contemplating a new career. Nonetheless, it is this very climate that is finally inspiring me to step in a direction that may lead me to choose one.
I left my job at the Chamber because I had a baby and wanted to be with him when he was helpless and dependent, brand new and changing daily. I wanted this as much for myself as for his well-being. I am glad that I was able to stay with him, though it did require quite a bit of sacrifice, from which we are still recovering in many ways. My job was a job. It paid well enough, and I liked the job and the people a lot, but it wasn’t a career. And it wasn’t love. I haven’t found that passion yet, and I’ve been a member of the full-time workforce for almost a decade.
I suppose some people never find it. My mother-in-law was telling me just the other day how she never found it, though my father-in-law did. He’s one of those people who looks forward to going to work. He smiles to start his day and genuinely enjoys his job. My own mother has it. Her physically demanding job is getting more difficult for her to do as her body ages, but she still enjoys spending her days working.
My husband hasn’t found it. Though he’s always seemed to know where to look, or at least in what direction. The sad part has been how unattainable his goals turned out to be. But some days he can make the best of his current position. Other days, it’s not so easy.
We spend the majority of our lives working to earn a paycheck. To support our lifestyles, or at the very least, put food on the table, clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads. It seems like a pretty big sacrifice of our time to do work that does not fulfill us.
I do love my job at the baby store. I like the customers, and I often feel like I am helping them make good decisions for themselves, their children and families. Even if it’s just a minor thing like what kind of bottle to choose. But I am just an associate. And I can’t make a career out of an hourly job that might give me another $0.20 an hour each year I work there. And I don’t want a promotion. I’ve been a supervisor before in a retail environment, and I’m really not interested in climbing that ladder again.
So I’ve been cruising the websites, checking out what kind of jobs are even out there right now. Seeing if there are any that speak to me. I’ve got my masters degree in a subject that tends to draw potential teachers into the university system. But I’ve never really had an interest in becoming a professor. I considered teaching high school once, but I don’t think that’s for me, either. Not to mention my lack of qualifications and experience in that field.
The writing or editing positions seem to all require more experience than I have, but even if there was something entry-level out there, part of the reason I left my other office job was the tedium of having to stare at a computer screen all day. I like personal interaction.
There’s customer service. But most of those jobs are retail-oriented.
The job category that’s been sitting in my head since I started randomly poking around the web, though, is kind of teaching related. Since having M, I’ve come to realize how much I enjoy spending time with babies and little kids. And though I’ve thought of this at other times in my life, now might be the time to start working toward becoming a preschool instructor or childcare provider. I think I’d like to work in a structured setting like a classroom, but I also think it would be fun to be around even younger babies all day. So I applied for one childcare job, an entry-level position that doesn’t require certifications or a whole lot of experience. I think I probably won’t get that particular position, but filling out the application really brought the idea into focus for me. So much so that I might work toward building a resume more suited to this type of career path.
I can’t invest a whole lot of my current resources in pursuing this change, but that doesn’t mean the timing isn’t right. I’ve invested a lot of my energy in the past to supporting my husband’s job search, and then to my son, that it’s been awhile since I really thought about what I should do with my life. I’m still mostly in the thinking stages, but the ideas in my head seem promising.