Saturday, July 30, 2016

Life Doesn't Let You Get Too Comfortable

Life never lets you get completely comfortable, does it?  For the last 15 years I have been working as adjunct faculty for two community colleges teaching adult education (English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education).  I LOVE it!  I love the variety of students I am able to meet, the small but important lessons I am able to share, learning new things myself, and being surrounded by colleagues who want to make this a better world for everyone. The problem? Due to a screwed up state budget, both schools have cut their programs.  I am now facing a year of 50% of the classes I have had for many years.  Unfortunately, our family does depend on my income which means I need to get serious about finding a new full time job or finding a part time job to supplement my teaching jobs.

In addition to teaching adult education for the last 15 years, I have been busy raising my kids. I've always been passionate about motherhood.  While the kids still need me on occasion, they are growing up.  Between my job slowly dissolving and my kids growing up, I feel like I'm in limbo. What's next for me?  It's a scary uncertain time. I want my next phase of life to be just as rewarding as the previous one has been but have no idea what my skills allow me to do.  Plus, once you've been in a position of helping people as a career, it is pretty hard to give that up.

As I slowly prepare my heart and mind for a new job, I know what I don't want.  I don't want to go back to public education.  Teaching fifth grade was a lot of work and I don't have the energy for it anymore.  I don't want to be stuck in an office working on a computer all day.  I cringe every time I try to see myself there.  I like variety.  I also have a few things I want. After twenty some years of teaching, I want to continue helping others.  I love that part of my life.  I love knowing that I have helped many students who have been away from school for many years feel comfortable and component.  Also, after working odd hours for so long, I'd like a regular schedule that also comes with benefits, something I haven't had as adjunct faculty.

Each morning I wake up and ask for guidance on where I am supposed to be.  I search different career sites and try to see myself in different jobs. So far, nothing.  I know there is a place for me and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it won't be long before I see myself in a place designed for my unique gifts and I can continue contributing to our family income while also making a small dent in a better world.   

I am curious, how have you transitioned into a new phase of life? 

1 comment:

  1. I have a couple of ideas. Will email you.

    Have a couple of ideas. One is to get What Color Is Your Parachute — it’s really good in terms of helping you identify your unique skill set and starting to get a sense of where that can take you. If you can afford it, seeing a career counsellor for a couple of sessions might also be good. Have a couple of other ideas, will follow-up in email.
    I think the key to surviving the major transition like this without going crazy is to embrace the sentiment inherent in how the Chinese writes the word crisis. It’s composed of two signs, one meaning danger and one meaning opportunity (supposedly). Although you’re not in physical danger, your life from before is not going to be your life in the future. And it can be really exciting to discover new things you can do.
    (That’s the theory, anyway. Personally, I would be freaking out :))