Monday, March 28, 2016

I'll Answer the Call Now


Dreamy job was a web analytics position for a ginormous, and I mean HUUUUUGE, multinational corporate real estate company. Great money. A boss on Park Avenue. The thought of being able to put that money toward some specific goals for our family was appealing, but at the end of the day, when they didn't pick me...I wasn't really upset.

I admit, I had heart palpitations thinking I might put us in the poor house, but that was the extent of my regret.

My ego might be a little bruised. I might be a little burnt around the edges after five weeks of interviewing and waiting, but alas, I had a sneaking suspicion the work would be boring as shit and I'd soon find myself in the same place I ended up in my previous job. Perfectly capable of doing the work but utterly burned out and bored.

Teaching, writing, books, and social media make me happy. I know this about myself.

The happiest I've ever been professionally was in a career college as the director of general education. I taught courses full of students with lives and families and real struggles outside of their studies, I supervised 35 faculty members, I worked on a great team. I also had plenty of time to read and blog. I used my voice in every way I could put it out there.

Ever since I quit my PR job at the university, I've had teaching gigs flying at my head so fast I couldn't commit to them because there was the chance this other job, the dreamy one  would pick me. Through this process, there were plenty of moments when I thought, "This dreamy job is not going to fulfill me. Not really. But I can be bored for this money."

I've known my whole life that I am a teacher. I'm not being dramatic when I say that since I was a kid, what I've wanted more than anything was to help people somehow. I rarely talk about it, and I may never have written about it here because I am certain it's the cheesiest thing you've ever heard...but when I was born, my mom and I almost died. Both of us. Every year on my birthday she's told me the whole story of how we just barely made it. My growing brain and expanding conscience said to me in a loud and unmistakable voice, "You have to do something with this life. You have to be useful."

I have always found the fulfillment of that goal in a classroom. Education has given me the happiest moments of my life, the greatest friends, the fullest heart. Hopefully I've given some of that to my students and peers, too.

There are lots of ways to be a teacher and to share the things that are true and important. To challenge and push and ask people to think and try and push back. I've never stopped teaching...not for 13 years. No matter what I've done, I've been a teacher, too.  I know a little something about it, and I think it's time I got back to it. You can't ignore a calling. I believe that.

I think I'll go back to living it now.








29 comments:

  1. Sorry the dreamy job didn't work out but it was their loss and I mean that sincerely.

    I knew you worked for a university but I didn't know you worked in PR. I am in communications at my university and my director just quit and we have a somewhat difficult work environment (without being too specific) and I am feeling horrible, nightmarish feels over my next few weeks as they figure out what they want to do. The job I can do. But the politics? I know you know what I mean.

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    1. Oh gosh, I know allllll about the politics. That's what soured me so.

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  2. Not getting the job is sometimes as useful as getting it (the money part not withstanding). I hope you get everything worked out in a way that best suits you soon, and you get the added benefit of personal fulfillment too. Good luck. I look forward to reading about your journey! (That sounds a little cheesy, but very true.)

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    1. Thanks, Rory! I'm still hopeful. :) Some good prospects on the horizon.

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  3. I had that experience last fall when I applied for a job, but didn't get it. I was disappointed that they didn't pick me, but relieved that I wasn't going to have to go through with it.

    I hope you find something else that will be rewarding in all the right ways!

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    1. "relieved that I wasn't going to have to go through with it." Amen!

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  4. I'm sorry you didn't get the job, but what I notice most is the contradiction in this statement: "This dreamy job is not going to fulfill me." If it has nothing to do with your dreams then it never would have fulfilled you. So, basically, you lost out on a job that might have made you an ass ton of money, but where you were likely to be just as miserable as the old job.

    Job hunting stinks (I did it for 3 years after being laid off), but I read this and feel that you aren't listening to yourself. Figure out the money you have to have and then go for what fulfills you. Life is too short not to be true to yourself.

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    1. This post is really a brain dump of the last five weeks all compressed into this mess. The realizing that dreamy job--a sloppy shorthand for high-powered job--would not fulfill me. I knew it, whether I wanted to admit it or not. The thought of doing something BIG was exhilarating in its own way, especially paired with getting the hell out of my old, toxic job. I've always known teaching is the thing I should do with all my energy, but there was a time when the prospect of trying to find something full time in higher ed in the Dallas market wasn't worth the effort with very little chance of reward, and at that time I wasn't willing to go into public school teaching. That's why I initially switched to a social media job, and then my PR position with the university. So yeah...I wasn't listening to myself. But now I am.

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  5. I think dreamy job didn't work out for a reason and the right thing for you will come along soon.

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    1. I agree. I totally agree.

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  6. "I had a sneaking suspicion the work would be boring as shit and I'd soon find myself in the same place I ended up in my previous job." As I always tell my kiddo, trust your gut! I'm sorry you didn't get a job that would pay you boatloads of $$$, but I'm glad you won't be out there looking for something more fulfilling in a year or two. My husband quit a higher paying job several years ago, and while we loved the extra money, it was the best decision he ever made. Well, other than marrying me, of course. ;) I am also working for way less than I could probably make elsewhere, but I'm in my dream job and perfectly happy. I'll never get rich working in a bookstore, but I leave work happy and that's worth so much more than a fat bank account.

    Welcome back to the living!

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  7. Losing out on that job you wanted can suck big time! I'm sorry. For me it's painful but always for the best! Do what makes you happy!

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  8. I think you probably needed to "lose" the job to distill that realization. Andi, wherever you end up - job, or otherwise - I know you'll do it with a lot of heart. Happy "living" :)

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  9. Not getting a job can certainly be bruising for the ego but I have always thought that everything works out for a reason. I'm sorry you still have to deal with the job hunting but I get the feeling you are on the right track! Wishing you all the best, Andi!

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  10. Oh, interesting backstory about your birth and how it led you to teaching. It sounds like your calling, along with writing and being an all-around book . . . I don't know, influencer? That word gets bandied about a lot, these days, and I can't say I love it but I can't think of another term. I'm glad you're comfortable with not getting the so-called dreamy job. You don't need more "boring" in your life.

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  11. I was initially bummed to see you didn't get dreamy job, but after reading this, I truly believe it's for the best anyway. This was really telling to me: "Perfectly capable of doing the work but utterly burned out and bored." It's not worth it if you know you'll be back in that same spot after the novelty wears off. I know you'll find yourself doing something amazing and fabulous!

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  12. Andi, you inspire me SO much. I wish I could be your student. :) And, sending you love, and great vibes.

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  13. Well, got to say that the dreamy new job doesn't exactly seem dreamy, the way you describe it. I hope you DO find the total dreamy, the kind that fulfills you entirely!!

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    1. The company is supposed to be a great place to work...a family feel despite the hugeness of it with chances to move around within the organization and stay for a really long time. That part sounded dreamy. The complete opposite of my previous position. We'll see how it all shakes out!

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  14. Job-hunting is already so stressful with all the uncertainty. Congratulations to you for getting so far in the interview process, and I'm glad you're more relieved than disappointed! Hope you find just the right fit soon!

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  15. I'm sorry you did not get the dream job. Not because it really WAS your dream job, but because I know how much it can bruise an ego and shake your confidence to go through a very extended, rigorous interview process and then find out late in the game that you didn't get it. It's emotionally exhausting.

    That said, I love how you have bounced back, and even if it is easier to say it on the blog than it may be to believe it in real life (or am I projecting my own insecurities on you? Probably), I think you're absolutely right that this is an opportunity to pursue your true passion and give back in the best way you can. I know you'll be great. As a teacher once told me, it's not where you go, it's what you do when you get there.

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  16. I'm grateful that you sharing this journey. And what a journey! I feel like you are rediscovering yourself as we go along together. I'm living vicariously through you. I'm having a major life transition right now...well, in a few months. It feels good, but I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. (I'm 50. HaHa!)

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  17. OH!! I can so relate to this, Andi! I'm so proud of you for acknowledging this and taking a risk in order to find career happiness!! I wish I could high five and jump up and down and all kinds of things with you right now. It's definitely cool to think about, and even have (for awhile), the awesome, high-powered job with the big, fantastic, well-known company...until it isn't anymore. I'm excited to see what the future holds for you because I know it's going to be something great for you!!

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  18. Sometimes money isn't everything :) And I'm so glad to hear you have tons of offers coming at you in a field you're passionate about!

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  19. Man, all of this. All of this resonates. The dreaminess of more income, and a big company that might be functional and different, plus the dreaminess of something new, the freedom from anxiety about finances and insurance and all that. And also, that relief when you don't get the "dream" job. I so admire you, Andi, for your honesty and determination, and I appreciate your sharing this with us. Hope the right dream job lands in your lap soon -- one that frees and fulfills while taking care of the material needs you and your family have!

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  20. I can't say that I'm sorry that you didn't get the "dream job" because it could be the blessing that reminded you of your calling. Teaching is definitely my calling, and I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm happy you feel that you are living what you are meant to do. That's a wonderful feeling. :)

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  21. It sounds like this worked out for the best and I admire you for recognizing what you want. Good luck finding a job that's a great fit for you! :)

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  22. It's trite to say but sometimes things really do seem to happen for a reason - this seems to have happened to force you to move in the direction you will really love.

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  23. I recently went through something similar and also concluded that I just need to stick to teaching. Good luck with the job hunt!

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