Teachers in Transition

Teachers in Transition - Episode 24 - What Drives the Career Choices We Make?

September 05, 2019 Kitty Boitnott Season 1 Episode 24
Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 24 - What Drives the Career Choices We Make?
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Teachers in Transition
Teachers in Transition - Episode 24 - What Drives the Career Choices We Make?
Sep 05, 2019 Season 1 Episode 24
Kitty Boitnott

We make different career choices at different times in our lives. Sometimes our choices are based on we are in life. Young people in their 20's and 30's often look for careers that pay well so they can establish themselves financially. They can pay off college loans, buy a home, start a family, etc. By the time they reach their 40's and 50's they start to think in terms of doing work that has meaning and isn't only focused on money. And by the time they reach their late 50's and 60's, they want their work to have meaning and leave a mark in the world. What we choose to do may vary over the course of our lives to meet those different needs. What has driven your career choices so far in your life? Where are you in your career continuum? And are you keeping yourself current on your skills so that if a job disappeared or you decided on a different career path, you would be able to make the transition easier?

For a full transcript of today's episode, click here:  http://bit.ly/makingcareerchoices

Show Notes Transcript

We make different career choices at different times in our lives. Sometimes our choices are based on we are in life. Young people in their 20's and 30's often look for careers that pay well so they can establish themselves financially. They can pay off college loans, buy a home, start a family, etc. By the time they reach their 40's and 50's they start to think in terms of doing work that has meaning and isn't only focused on money. And by the time they reach their late 50's and 60's, they want their work to have meaning and leave a mark in the world. What we choose to do may vary over the course of our lives to meet those different needs. What has driven your career choices so far in your life? Where are you in your career continuum? And are you keeping yourself current on your skills so that if a job disappeared or you decided on a different career path, you would be able to make the transition easier?

For a full transcript of today's episode, click here:  http://bit.ly/makingcareerchoices

Kitty Boitnott:

Are you a teacher who's feeling stressed out and overwhelmed? Do you worry that you're feeling symptoms of burnout or are you sure you've already gotten there? Have you started to dream of doing some other kind of job or perhaps pursuing a whole different career, but you don't know what else you're even qualified to do? You don't know how to start a job search. You just feel stuck. If that sounds like you, I promise you're not alone. My name is Kitty Boitnott. I'm a career transition and job search coach and I specialize in helping burnt out teachers just like you deal not only with the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day job, but to consider what other careers might be out there waiting for you. Join me for "Teachers in Transition." In some episodes I'll be speaking to stress management techniques and how you can manage your stress on a day to day basis. In other episodes I'll be talking about career transition. What tools do you need to be successful in a job search when you're moving from one career into a totally different track? These are questions that you need answers to and I can help you find those answers. My name is Kitty Boitnott. Welcome to "Teachers in Transition." This is Kitty Boitnott of "Teachers in Transition" the Podcast and the YouTube channel, and welcome back for another episode. This week we're going to be talking about careers and career transitions. And it occurred to me to wonder just what causes people to choose particular careers. And then what goes on with them when they need to make a change in career paths. You know, I listen to a podcast by a gentleman who was an attorney in a previous life and he made the comment the other day on the podcast about how a lot of attorneys go to law school, practice law for a little while and then discover that it isn't what they thought it would be or there are aspects of the job that they don't love or that it takes up too much of their time and too much time away from their families and so their, their protocol, their priorities change. And it , it made me think about all the different reasons that people change careers. Not to mention just the job changes. I mean I , I distinguish between a job is something that keeps us occupied and paid but isn't so much a vocation as in a career. Um, I've had plenty of jobs including a library assistant one summer and waitressing a couple of during my college days. But my career was in education and even that I chose is sat kind of a backup plan because for years I had planned to become a nurse. And it was only after my junior year in high school when I realized that I would never be able to hack the chemistry and become a nurse. Not to mention the math, I didn't even thought about how nurses needed to be able to understand math and millimeters and measuring medications and all of that stuff and even thought about that. And I'm a complete mess when it comes to math. So I would have figured it out eventually. But I figured it out my junior year in high school that nursing was off--off list for me and back in the early seventies that felt like only had two options left. Thankfully, women have all sorts of options these days, including law school, which wasn't so much an option a long time ago, not all that long ago. Young women have every kind of choice in front of them that they may want, so choosing, there may be too many choices on occasion and then narrowing down your choices can be difficult. But in my case, I felt like nursing, secretarial work, and teaching were the three options that I had available to me. So when nursing was no longer an option that left secretarial or teaching, and I didn't have any secretarial or business women as role models in my life. So I decided to go into teaching. I had plenty of, those were my role models. And I really was on the fence between majoring in history or English and pretty much chose English just because I don't know if it felt right. History felt like a lot for some reason English felt right. So, I went to school to become an English teacher and then because I enjoyed my work in the library so much and the people in the library, I decided to also get a certification as a library media specialist and thank goodness for that because the year I graduated there were no English positions available but there were library media positions available because the Commonwealth of Virginia had designated 1976 is the year that every school with 300 or more students in it would have a full-time certified librarian. That meant that there were library jobs to be had. And I landed one, and that's all she wrote. I always felt like I had the best job in the entire building and I felt so blessed that I had almost by accident it seemed like, fallen into the perfect career for me. Not everyone is quite so lucky, but I did feel lucky and I felt blessed. For 33 years. I was an elementary school librarian with a short interruption as a half day junior high librarian--assistant librarian--and a half day sixth grade language arts teacher. What but except for that interruption and that exception, I was an elementary school librarian for the rest of the time. And I knew I had found my true calling. Well, what happens when you don't, when you're aren't lucky enough? Do you have found your true calling or if you can't find a job that you're interested in, what do you do then? Well, for some people, jobs come, jobs go, jobs just disappear. Companies merge. I used to do a lot of pro bono work with people who just found themselves out of work. Sometimes overnight the company would shutter its doors and move to another town and didn't bother to invite people to come along with them. Or maybe they invited them, but they had family here and they couldn't move easily. Or you know, companies merge and departments are phased out. People with seniority are often given by buyout packages to cut the payroll and then on their way to find something else. I remember talking to one gentleman who had been selling pharmaceutical supplies, medical supplies for the same company for 26 years and when they, when his company merged, because he was the senior guy, he was let go and he was back to square one. I'm trying to find another kind of job that would be sort of up the alley of what he had been doing, but also having already reached a level in his career where starting out at at level one wouldn't work and being qualified for an executive position was a stretch. And so he was really sort of caught on the cross hairs of a dilemma. As we grow and age and develop professionally as well as in other ways in our lives. I think our needs for careers also change and that impacts what we choose to do. When we're younger. We're looking for something that's going to pay well, that will help us to be able to afford to start a family, to build, to buy a home , um, to, to pay off college debt, hopefully. So financial aspirations drive much of what we do in our twenties and thirties. By the time we hit our forties and we have reached some level of financial security, hopefully, it's possible that our priorities began to change a little bit and we began to think not so much in terms of making a lot of money or making enough money, but in terms of job satisfaction, career satisfaction. Is this a job that you can see yourself doing for another 20 or 25 years? And if it's not, then while you're in your forties that may be, that may be a good time to do what I refer to as a course correction. Changing direction. Figuring out what else you might like to do instead. By the time you get into your 50s and early sixties if you've been lucky enough to have saved a little and and finances aren't as much of a factor, then by that time in your life you're looking for work that has meaning. At least this has been my experience, both my own experience and the experience that I've had working with people who are in the middle of their own career transitions . By the time we are a little older and less inclined to want to have a big paycheck because we've been there, we've done that or we have gotten over needing that. We're interested in doing some kind of work that's going to leave a mark, that's going to make a difference, that will have some meaning for ourselves and for other people. At least that's been my own experience. So, as we progress through our lives, what we need from our careers changes, I believe .it is also true. I think, that we're living in a world that is so rapidly changing that we need to be constantly staying up to date with new job training, new jobs skills, new ways of thinking about work. New ways of looking to way to , to make a living and to make a lasting impact on the world. Because a lot of the old rules have flown completely out the window. It used to be that you could work for the same company for 30 years and then retire with a gold watch and take your pension and relax and enjoy your grandkids and you didn't have to worry about much of anything. Your house would have been paid for. Everything was pretty much settled. And you didn't live a whole lot longer because back in in that particular era, we didn't have the medical breakthroughs that we've had. People didn't live as long, in general. Yeah. Someone who lived to be in their mid to late seventies there was a time when that felt like a long, a good long life. Now it is that approach, it doesn't seem so old. And we are increasingly seeing individuals who are living well into their nineties and they're still vibrant and active and and contributing to their communities in meaningful ways well into their nineties. So I think all of the old assumptions that we may have brought along with this, up to this point, they need to be thrown out the window and we need to be making some new assumptions. We've already begun to see that young people change jobs frequently. That many of the millennials are looking for something that's going to offer them job satisfaction now rather than later. That they are more interested in experiences than in stuff. And so their reason for work is different from reasons that Baby Boomers, for example, might have had in their early twenties and thirties. Our capacity for artificial intelligence for robots taking the role of people who were doing assembly line work, having what used to be great jobs at $30 an hour working in a Ford or Chevrolet factory. Those jobs have been pretty much sucked up by the robots and artificial intelligence , um , designed that's able to do those repetitive tasks for humans. And so humans have to retrain themselves and learn new ways of being in the world of work. And that means you have to be constantly willing to change or learn and grow. All of these factors play into what it is that we decide we want to do with our lives work-wise , career wise. And while it's perhaps not anything you've spent a lot of time thinking about up until now, I want to encourage you to think about it. What does it mean for you where you are in your life right now? Are you just starting out and you're more interested in building some financial security and paying back those student loans? Or are you more of a mid-career professional who , who's already proved to yourself that you, you could make it financially, but now you're looking for different kind of work satisfaction? Or are you already in your 50s and 60s? Too young to retire, retired, too old or want to put up with some of the stuff that you have to put up with in the day-to day-office culture or school culture as your teacher? Uh , some of the stuff that you're asked to put up with. Are there other things that you could be doing with your life that would add meaning to your life and the lives of other people? What would that be? What would it look like for you? So, no answers today. Just questions that I would encourage you to ponder and think about in terms of what is, what was your career path when you first started out? Did you stick with it? Are you still in that career path? What is, what does the future look like for that career path? Is it something that's pretty safe and won't be replaced by a robot? Or is it something that you need to be planning ahead for? What change that you need to be making so that you can stay current and be productive and be a contributing member of society for as long as you want to be, and able to support yourself and your family in the manner in which you wish to as well? All questions? I don't have answers. I'm just offering that these were things that I think we all need to think about periodically so that we know that we're making good choices for ourselves as we go through our lives. And that's it for today. Have a great week. I'll be back next week. So there you have it, an episode of "Teachers in Transition." I hope you enjoyed the information and I hope you'll plan to come back. Please subscribe to "Teachers in Transition" so that you can be alerted of future episodes. And let me know if you have any questions or topics that you would like me to specifically cover in a future episode. I'm more than happy to help with individual questions as well. So email me at KittyBoitnott@BoitnottCoaching.com. If you are interested in finding a new career or just enjoying your life more, this is the place to start. Hi, I'm Kitty Boitnott and this is "Teachers in Transition."