Officially Looking

These last couple of weeks have been really hectic. It was a perfect storm of converging obligations. First there was the end of the trimester, with all the grading and inputting of those grades that entails. Then there was the contract work I agreed to do for the father of one of my students who is putting out an education game for kids in Spanish. I didn’t agree to do this for the money, but because I love working in my second language and thought it would be fun to see what goes into creating an app like this. Also, I think it’s awesome they are making this app and really want to get it for my own kids! (Of course it’s requiring more time than they thought it would, but I’m still glad I’m doing it.) Finally, there was the stress of our Kindergarten placement and my increasing levels of panic as we waited to hear where we got in.

Add in a couple birthday parties, a dinner party at my parents’ house and an ill-timed date night (that my husband just would not let me back out of) and the last two weeks have been super crazy. I’m running on 4-5 hours of sleep and am just totally exhausted.

While all that was going on, my good friend at work (I have a good friend at work! Yay!) alerted me to an email (that I had missed in my own inbox) about job opportunities at a local alternative high school in the area: they were looking for Spanish teachers and she thought I should check it out.

Cue more stress.

My friend got to work investigating the school because they basically had her dream position opening up. I was way too swamped with all of my own shit to do much work on it myself, but the seed was germinating and I had every intention of putting together my application once things calmed down.

I felt a lot of conflicting emotions as I considered applying for a new job: excitement, enthusiasm, fear, anxiety, ambivalence. On the one hand I could finally make a move, once we knew were my daughter was going to Kindergarten, on the other hand making a huge transition myself, when my family would be making the biggest transitions of our (as a family) lives, seemed like a poor choice.

When I found out my daughter got into a school we liked in the city, one of my first thoughts was about the job. Now I could definitely apply!

Except as I looked into it I realized this school was REALLY not a good fit for me. They had an extended day, and school year, and despite working more hours I’d be making less money. At this point I’m prepared to take a pay cut to work somewhere else (I’ll probably have to) but I’m not prepared to be away from my kids more while I take that cut. Especially not next year, when they will both need me more than ever.

I expected to feel a flood of relief once I realized I just couldn’t apply for the job. Instead I felt a very real disappointment. I was actually quite upset that I couldn’t apply for the job.

Then we had a staff meeting where certain realities were presented about what the next couple of years will look like while they build a new campus on our site, reorganize our existing infrastructure to incorporate this new building and its students, and attempt to accommodate 50 more students at our own school without actually building any new classrooms. By the end of the meeting, and the staff bitch fest that followed, I was absolutely crestfallen that I couldn’t apply for that job.

And that’s when I decided that I was going to start looking. Clearly I am more interested in leaving my current position than I realized. When I think about staying here the words that rise up are pretty negative: stagnant, disappointed, uninspired, bored. There are other words, like easy and comfortable that might be worth embracing for a year or two, while my daughter transitions to a K-8 school and my son transitions to group care.

All that to say, I’m officially looking for a new job. I’m putting that intention out there, into the universe, so that hopefully I will find my way to whatever position is right for me.

My friend also decided the alternative school was not the right fit (for different reasons) and we’ve decided to come together in our efforts to find new teaching positions at a higher level. I think with her support and encouragement, I will be way more inclined to actually search out, and apply for, new opportunities.

I know next year isn’t the best for me to make this kind of big transition, but I also know how hard it is to find high school Spanish positions and I really want to apply for jobs that seem like a good fit for me and my teaching style, which will be even fewer and farther between. If something comes up this year I don’t want to miss the opportunity, and if something doesn’t I’ll hopefully be in a better position to find something in the coming years, when a big transition for me won’t be so taxing for my family.

If you’d asked me a month ago if I was going to look for a new job after my daughter was placed for Kindergarten I would have said absolutely not. I just didn’t think there was a high enough chance I’d be more fulfilled in a new position. I was very surprised by how disappointed I was to find out this recent opportunity wasn’t a good fit for me and that I couldn’t apply. I clearly am more interested in leaving my job than I thought, and I’m very thankful this situation arose so I could learn that.

What circumstances have led you to search for new jobs over the years? What were the results of those searches?

15 Comments

  1. I have no doubt that when the right position comes open for you, you will just know it! You are right, spending more time away from your children, and making less money just isn’t worth it. The right fit will come along and I think everything will just fall into place! Our school district just hired a brand new, out of college Spanish teacher here for Fall. Wyoming pays awesome…just sayin’! 🙂

  2. Looking for a job is HARD. I found out this morning that I don’t yet have a job so I’m scrambling to try to find a position. So many applications, so little time. My advice is to consider applying for jobs you may not want so you get some interviews to practice before you get to interviewing for a job you really want. I learned a lot from my interviews about myself, how to pitch myself, and how interviews go. Hopefully all the practice will help me do a good job at the next ones so I finally get a job!

    1. I will definitely be applying for jobs I’m not sure about, and maybe even a few I know won’t work, to practice writing cover letters and hopefully interviewing, if I get any. I have actually NEVER interviewed for a job, as I got this one while I was still in my credential program and they were desperate for someone and were courting me. So yeah, the idea of applying and interviewing makes me REALLY nervous. I definitely need to practice.

      I’m sorry to hear that you don’t yet have a job. That is so stressful! I hope you find something quickly and easily.

    1. I’m definitely ready. I’m not sure if my family is though. We’ll see if I can find something that works for all of us.

  3. What a great way to realize that you need a change! I realized that just before Matthew was born and I went back to work thinking that I’d be pursuing a very specific role at a specific company about 3-6 months after going back. I’d done an informal interview for a position at the company and realized it wasn’t for me, but the company was (it’s where Hottie works). We committed to me going back to work and riding it out for a couple of months while Matthew got settled in daycare while waiting for the position to open up. I went back to work energized that I had something on the horizon. And then I decided to stay home. HA!

    BUT – that whole experience has given me an idea of what I’ll return to some day, and that’s terrific! I don’t want to go back to what I was doing, and this role is very flexible and open to how I want it to be – so less stress and more fun than what I was doing. It’s nice to know what it is I plan to do when (if) I go back to work.

    I am soooooo excited for you! I think this is just terrific!

    1. I hope transitioning back into that job works for you. It sounds like a really good fit!

      I’m feeling less confident that finding a new job is going to be feasible for me. I may focus on changing the way I do things in my own classes next year so that I’m less bored at work. Hopefully I’ll get my new schedule soon and then I can start thinking about it.

      I’m still going to look for a new job, but I just don’t think I’ll find one that fits for a long, long while. Probably years.

  4. I am officially looking for a job now, too. It is filling me mostly with fear, but to some extent I think that is normal based on how long I’ve been at this job. I think you have been at your job much longer, so I can imagine it is a REALLY big step to take. But if looking at a job posting makes you excited, I think it’s the right move. best of luck!

    1. I didn’t realize you were looking for another job. Maybe we can cheer each other on. I’ll FB message you!

  5. It definitely sounds like it is the right time for you to look for another job. I am awful at looking for another job because I had no idea what I wanted to do and how my skills could transfer into another job….but since you know what you want to do it may be easier. Good luck!

    1. The nice thing about teaching, at least when you’re trying to find another job in teaching, is that you know how your skills transfer. If I wanted to look outside of teaching I’d be totally paralyzed.

  6. I think this is exciting! It really does sound like you need a change, and sometimes it’s easier just to do everything at once when big shifts are happening anyway. Look forward to hearing how things go. Do something every day that scares you, etc etc (thank you Eleanor Roosevelt!)

    1. I definitely need a change. I’m realizing that finding something that works for both me AND my family is going to be harder, and take longer, than I thought. But it’s okay. I have time.

  7. About six years ago I was doing the same thing I do now, but in a different division of my company and with a different set of internal clients.

    I was working late and still taking work home with me all the time. While I enjoyed what I did and ppreciated that my boss and senior staff in my client groups felt me worthy to support more high-profile intitatives, it irked me that the two other people that supported my clients as well had fluff projects, left work on time everyday and probably never took work home with them.

    I was getting married that year and I was starting to feel burned out. I knew I had to change something.

    I applied for job with another company that I didn’t end up getting. At the time I was super disappointed, but later found out somethings about the job and the manager that make me think that me not getting the job was a blessing in disguise.

    Shortly thereafter, an opportunity came up in another division supporting another group of interal clients. I wasn’t very optimistic because I had applied for another position under this manager and didn’t even get an interview. This time was different, because a former colleage vouched for me.

    Two babies, one retired boss, and one reorg later, I believe it’s time for another change. I desperately want to find something closer to home so I can spend more time with my family and less time commuting, but positions in my field are few and far between near where I live. I just need to be patient.

    1. I also feel like there aren’t a lot of positions available to me, being a Spanish teacher and wanting high school. I also worry that my status as a non-native speaker will hurt my chances of being hired. Ugh. Finding a job is hard.

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