What should I study? What path should I take? I often hear these questions from women that I coach. Women, more than, men seem to have trouble thinking of themselves having a career. Some are coming out of a divorce and others haven’t found the job that was right for them. Still others need more job training or education to qualify for the career they want.
I had to learn, personally, that living life by default is not the best way to do it. By default I mean just taking whatever comes your way without taking charge or making decisions regarding your own life. I’ve lived by default through many events in my life. It is kind of like settling. Unless you were raised to be proactive, this may be the way you’ve lived your life too.My parents were older than most when I was born and my dad thought I should be a teacher and that I should marry the man that I did. I earned a teaching certificate and I married the man he liked. I generally did what was expected of me. This seemed to work out until I had three babies in three years and my husband left when the youngest was three years old. Then things fell into a horrible heap of hurt and confusion. My children were adorable and I loved them so much that my heart literally ached for what the future would bring-divorce followed by years of disappointment.
I knew I had to work, so I took a temporary job, then another. The divorce decree came the day I was in the bed with the flu. I had a teaching certificate and began earnestly applying for a job. My certificate, however, was for speech/theatre and art. These positions are few and far between. Theatre teachers must work after hours directing plays. Nothing was opening and I was advised to earn another certificate. I returned to our local university for a teaching certification in English and had a job the next fall.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. As a senior now I can look back and hindsight is 20/20. I made the choice to teach mostly so that I could be off when my children were and I’d not have to put them in daycare in the summers.
Women do make career choices based on parenting and I think that is honorable. However, I hope that you will broaden your job options as you do this. There are pros and cons to every choice you make. Here are a few tips:
- Consider your personality type. Complete a personality profile.
- Choose work that you will, at least, not hate.
- Preferably choose work that will allow you to advance.
- Give serious consideration to the long term future of your choice.
- Consider returning to college if that will open the door for a promising future.
My greatest desire for you is that you know your worth as a woman and that you reach your highest potential.
Gail holds a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. She was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing her professional career as a Braille teacher. She is a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy. She married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. In 2007 She founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. Her stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. Her book, Living Learning Loving, published in July 2015, is available for purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble online.
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