Thinking of Changing My Career

Roy: [answers phone] Hello IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again? … OK, well, the button on the side. Is it glowing? … Yeah, you need to turn it on. Err, the button turns it on. Yeah, you do know how a button works, don’t you? No, not on clothes.
[Moss’s phone rings. He answers it.]
Moss: Hello IT. Yuhuh. Have you tried forcing an unexpected reboot?
Roy: No, there you go, I just heard it come on. No, that’s the music you hear when it comes on. No, that’s the music you hear when… I’m sorry, are you from the past? –The IT Crowd

This week I’ve been going through a career crisis. I’m good at it, but it was never a dream of mine. I thought it would be a nice stable career, and that it wouldn’t matter that it wasn’t a dream.  I can’t help but feel guilty for complaining about my job when there are so many people without work right now. At the same time, I feel that if I keep going down this career path, I might be one of those people who spends 20 years doing something they don’t like that much, because they were too afraid to branch out and find something that makes them happy. So I’m thinking of getting my teaching credential, eventually.

I’m not going to jump into anything right away, because I have to be practical. I have a good paying job, and my employer treats me with respect, and I feel appreciated. Not a lot of people can say that, and I know I’m lucky.

Let me explain a little bit about my job, so you can get an idea of why I’m thinking of leaving it. I do remote IT support, which means I basically sit at my computer and wait for the phone to ring. I normally deal with some very stupid people, who think I perform miracles when I say the almighty words, “have you tried turning it off and on again?”

I also work in a small office, where 90% of my coworkers are in the field. That means that I rarely talk to anyone in person during the day.I’m a very social person, and I find myself feeling incredibly isolated for 40 hours a week. I used to have a receptionist that I worked with, and while she was obnoxious at times, she was someone to talk to. She was recently let go, and I am hoping her replacement will add a little excitement around here.

So as much as I like my coworkers, when we do get together once or twice a year for our meetings, it isn’t often enough to keep me feeling motivated. Life is too short to not like what you do for a living. We spend so much of our lives working, shouldn’t we be happy doing it? So I came up with a plan. I’m going to take the pre-requisites for the teaching credential, starting next summer, after I finish up my networking academy. I think by doing those pre-reqs I’ll get a feel for it, and decide if it’s what I want to pursue. I can keep my job in the meantime, and see if I will finally get a promotion. It’s possible that with a promotion and seeing more people on a daily basis, I may start really loving it.

After discussing my plan with Match, who agreed that this job isn’t right for me, we both decided that gradually moving forward is the best plan. Just having a plan makes me feel like a weight has been lifted. We’ll see how this next semester goes, and I plan to finish what I started with the networking academy, as grueling as it may be. I am learning a lot, and it reminded me of just how much I missed school. Also, taking my time to get the credential, working around my work schedule, I’m hoping will give the economy time to come back up a little bit.

So how about any of you-have you ever made a big career change? Are you contemplating one? Have you started out doing one career and realized it wasn’t what you thought it would be?

13 Comments

    Iris

    When I first started working 5 years ago, I decided to pursue a call center career. I started off in technical support (because I held an IT degree) and I was good at it, but I hated it, so I ended up shifting to banking.

    After 8 months of counting other people’s money as a teller, I decided to go back to call centers and dabbled in sales then customer service. I wanted to leave and pursue other things every single day, but I just didn’t know what I wanted. I thought a promotion would save me, but when I finally got it, I found myself more disillusioned.

    I eventually quit, moved to another country to teach English, realized that teaching wasn’t for me either, and started writing freelance full time. Now, two years later, I’m still writing freelance. I work from home and just can’t bear the thought of working in a ‘real’ office again.

    My point is it is all a matter of identifying your passions and figuring out how you can turn it into a career. The problem is most of us aren’t really good at identifying those passions. It’s easy enough to say that it’s something you enjoy doing, but with so many enjoyable things to do, the view gets a bit cloudy.

    I’ve always loved to write but I never really thought it was a passion, especially one that I could pursue. If I had known earlier on, I wouldn’t have gone down so many wrong paths.

    Know that finding a career that you can – and will – truly love with all your heart is going to be a hit-and-miss exercise. Don’t lose track of your goal (that is, to find your dream career) and never, ever settle for less than what you love.

    nothingprofound

    You said it yourself:”Life is too short to not like what you do for a living.” Sounds like you’re handling the whole thing intelligently, thinking it out and taking your time. No sense being in a hurry, since your present job doesn’t seem particularly overbearing or oppressive.

    Suki

    Girl, I know what you are talking about. As you might know I would love to be a photographer which is not very easy over here to succeed. And I have to wait until my apprenticeship. It is what makes me happy. Something what lets me keep my head up even in worst times.
    And I feel joyfull over every image I create.
    Go out and look for something like this. Life is too short.

    Bring Back Pluto

    I was a third grade teacher for 8 yrs. I loved it, but after about 6 yrs of teaching, I realized what I really wanted to do was play music for a living. So that’s what I do now. I took a leave of absence for a year just in case I made a mistake, but it was the right decision. It hasn’t been perfect though. And ironically I still do a lot of teaching, but you gotta go for it even if it doesn’t make total sense!

    Christina

    My whole career has been a series of changes! I definitely know how you feel!

    Studied graphic design… not what I wanted, so I studied public address in grad school… worked for a nonprofit as their communications coordinator and wanted to die (cubicles!)… wrote for a gossip site and a non-profit political org… and now I’m teaching speech and interpersonal communication.

    I promise… it’s normal to try something different! And in the long run, definitely worth it. πŸ™‚

    phoebe

    must be something in the air. i’m working on it now… had my epiphany last year that i really hate my job and do not want to be here forever. it’s not what i went to school for and i don’t want to settle. soooo. i’m a (part time) student. i’m getting my masters in teaching. a change in career. however. i must work full time during this transition a) to survive b) so that they will pick up a good chunk of the bill. i hope that you get a chance to go after what you want. i’ve heard that it is possible to wake up each day and want to go to work, haha. lots of luck to you on your quest!! i look forward to reading about it πŸ™‚

    Lora

    I left the classroom to be a nanny. It was a good move at the time. The family spazzed a year and a half later and fired me right as school was starting again…then the economy tanked…then hiring freezes in the school system…so I’m floating between temporary gigs. I actually quite like what I’m doing at the moment. I do envision getting back in the classroom in the next few years, but it’s been a great adventure in the meantime!

    Dale Ottley

    Hey Date Girl,

    I too, live in California and am single, just stopping by from SITS to give a lil’ comment “love.”

    Funny I’m smack in the middle of a career crisis.

    Brittany E.

    I have to say I love that you changed the hair color on your banner, but I still think blondes have more fun :P. I think you would be an awesome teacher, and I think you should go for it!

    Penny Lane

    I took a major detour from the career I started out in too, but like you said, life is too short to stay in something that doesn’t make you happy. I’m glad you realized what will make you happy that you’re brave enough to carve out a new path. Few people do.

    You seem like someone who’s caring and empathetic, and those are important qualities in a teacher. Yay go for it!

    Penny Lane

    Sorry, that should have been “I’m glad you realized what will make you happy AND that you’re brave enough to carve out a new path.” Blah Wednesday.

    tia

    i think i changed my mind about my career about 39 times before i settled into what i’m doing now.

    i think you need to explore your options. it might not work out, but you won’t ever wonder “what if?”

    Melissa

    Hey girl — I say go for it! At least take a class or two for your teaching credentials and see how it goes.

    Keep us posted!

Your comments make my day!