Work It!

I watched this the other day and it really struck a chord with me. I don’t know how much of it is the “world constantly changing” and Gen-Y attitude perception, but I feel like the word career is more flexible than ever before.

It’s not a secret that teaching is my second career. Up until late 2008, I was working in the marketing and PR industry, at the time doing in-house brand management and PR for an up & coming FMCG company. I was young. Not in the “still a teen” way, but very much in mindset. I was tired. I’d been through a lot in the last five years, including a bout with chronic illness that I had no idea was soon to be cured. I jettisoned an extraordinarily crappy relationship, one that to this day I have no idea why I stayed so long. And looking for a change in direction in my career as well, I decided to return to university and pursue a teaching qualification.

This wasn’t the wrong decision. This is not a tale of regret I’m telling here. Above and beyond anything else, the ironic upside of what was a seriously crappy situation is that I was only working part-time when Mum was diagnosed with cancer and in hospital more than out with neutropenia. Although at times the students bring me to tears, teaching has also been an incredibly rewarding experience that has often brought me a lot of laughs. Teaching has given me some incredible experiences and some even more incredible friends. I enjoy teaching BUT…

Or maybe it’s an AND. I’m not sure. Anyway, I enjoy teaching BUT/AND I don’t know that I’ll teach forever. I might take time out and do something else and then come back to it. I might finally make use of my human resource management major. The idea of managing social media content thrills me. Or I might see some awesome hybrid job that lets me combine my love of education and marketing/PR and go “hell yes, that sounds like me” and pursue that avidly. I think it’s awesome if you are so madly in love with your dream that you can’t imagine pursuing anything else, I really do. On the other hand, I don’t think that you should beat yourself up if you are treading water with still no real idea about what you want to do when you “grow up”. And if you love your job but don’t consider it your sole identity – well, join the club, honey!

I heard somewhere that Gen-Y can expect to have up to seven careers in their lifetime. I’m only on two, so I’m definitely not going to feel guilty if at some point in the future I pursue another avenue. How about you?

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9 thoughts on “Work It!

  1. Keep your feelers out. No doubt the perfect combo position will come along. I am lucky that I have been in the same career journey for the last 15 years but in the last few years I’ve shifted it towards my other interest: food. I think it’s important to regularly assess what you want and hour to get there. Baby steps all the time. Suddenly you look up and your doing it. Dreams are free.

    • I’m not too worried about rushing to get there. I’m enjoying what I’m doing at the moment and learning something new in every position that I take. I’m a firm believer in the flow of life and that some things take time to come to fruition. Or perhaps I’ll always ride the ebb and flow and that’s cool too 😊

  2. Not sure if I managed to write/send last comment as had trouble logging in. But long story short i am katie an ex math teacher from Welly who has followed your blog for ages. Not sure if I have ever commented though.

    A really random question but what subjects do you teach? Am I totally off base thinking its English?

    My husband an ex maths teacher too is now the head of curriculum for a education software company. He has been talking about needing a head of English and reading your post today made me think maybe your a person he should get in touch with. Would it at all interest you?

    Do not want to put my email on here but am hoping you get it behind the scenes. If not will check back in on the comments.

    Sorry if you get this twice.


      • Thought so. Would you be keen for me to put my husband James in touch? The company he works for is called Education Perfect. It’s a pretty cool company in terms of the story behind it and how it has grown. It’s obviously a tech company and from what I know the role would be leading the development of content and kissing and implementation with schools.

        James works from home, but seems to be on Skype a lot of the day, as the company is based in Dunedin. He also goes out to schools in our area and watches them using the software and gets feedback as to how they can make it even better. They don’t seem to advertise jobs. Just headhunt the right people. I see you have an email address for PR stuff for the blog. Let me know if I should pass it on to James.

  3. No worries. Good luck with your current role. Hope full time teaching as a mum goes well. I found it too hard but was trying to Dean as well. Thankfully found a role in the ‘real world’ that has better flexibility and conditions. Doesn’t have the same highs as teaching can have but loving being able to finish work for the day and just leave it.

  4. It’s funny that the multiple careers thing is being attributed to Gen Y specifically. When I was at high school (an all girl’s school), we were often told a woman should expect to change careers up to seven times in their working life. It’s always been such a given for me that I don’t give it a second thought…and it’s certainly been true for my mother (another reason I find it interesting when I read articles or watch talks on millennials or Gen Y).

    I’ve switched careers and focus many times but that’s what having transferable skills is all about! Long long long gone is the single career work life. And that’s a great thing!

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