Self Portrait in Three Colours

Of Career Changes

Posted on: January 23, 2011

Argh, I need to be writing more! So many things are happening in my life at the moment that I just don’t think to do it. Not that we’re busy every second of the day (far from it) but I just don’t seem to do it. It’s silly because I love the creativeness that comes with spilling words onto a page (webpage that is.. haha…) Maybe this year I’ll have more time!

Which leads me to my mid-life crisis and its potential solution. The past few months I’ve been feeling a little itchy, a little nervous, about my chosen career path and my current pursuit of a degree. There’s no way I can do this music course full time again this year.. firstly, because things will be happening with the property and the house this year and I want to be as involved as possible in the whole affair, and secondly, it drove me crazy only working three hours a week last year. I missed teaching, I missed having the headspace to devote to the kids who really deserve it. So the original plan was to go back and complete the music course part-time, which means that I would have to be at uni for at least another 3-4 years just finishing one degree. It hasn’t felt right but I really thought I had no other option.

Until a few weeks ago, when I was thinking hard about the whole situation, and it dawned on me that I hadn’t really thought about any other career than the one I’m currently pursuing (pursuing? no, I’m already teaching! I’ve already got my career!) And as un-humble as this sounds, I have always gotten pretty decent grades in school and could really be doing basically anything I wanted to. As much as I love teaching, the career itself is extremely unstable, as instrumental music teachers are not seen as “real” teachers, and therefore while we have a great hourly rate, we can’t ever get on contract so only get paid for the hours we do. No annual leave, no sick leave, no maternity leave, no benefits. No contract also means we can get laid off at any time. It would be fine if it was only one of us having to deal with this, but both Aaron and myself are music teachers and that’s a little scary for the future. So brainstorming time ensued.

I’ve done a lot of research and a lot of thinking and I think I’ve decided I’d like to go into community services. It’s not an “intellectual” job per-se, but it’s a stable job if you’re working with, say, council, and it gives me the greatest of satisfactions to know that I could be making a real difference to people who’ve got it tough. We’ve dealt with a few great people from council and the like after this whole bushfire ordeal, and they have given us more comfort and support than they could possibly know. And I like the fact that I could be doing the same thing.

I also like the fact that “community services” can mean a whole range of things, which keeps my options open and potentially offers variety. Helping homeless kids, planning community events, working with the elderly… just to name a few.

So I’ve found an online diploma where I can work at my own pace and can complete between 1 and 3 years if I like. There’s a requirement to complete 240 hours of work placement at sometime throughout the course, which is exciting, and the rest of the assessments etc I can do in the comfort of my own home. This excites me to no end! It means I can still work 2 days or so a week teaching and spend the rest of the time studying. I’ll defer my music course for a year, get this done, and then I’ll have a qualification without the pressure to find a job straight away (because I can keep teaching). If I really want to go back to music, I’ll finish my degree, do a dip ed, and then I’ve got plenty of experience and variety under my belt and I’ve got the option of, say, going into classroom music teaching (more stable but less enjoyable). But I’ve also got the option of going into council or DHS or whatever and doing something different. See? Keeping my options open here!

I know this sounds long-winded and ramble-y, but believe me when I say we’ve done a lot more talking about it than what’s written on this page. I’m quite sure I’m doing the right thing, but if I’m not, then I’ve only lost a year making sure. It gives me hope for our future and our (currently fictional but probably one day perfectly real) family.

Enough out of me for tonight! Tomorrow our friend Paul and his friend Andrew are coming out to the property and we’re having a BBQ. Really looking forward to it because they are both great guys to spend time with, and it will be nice to be out there again (we haven’t been out there nearly as much as we should have these last couple of weeks).

I will strive to be back here again very soon!

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I'm Monica - a 21 year old Aussie girl trying to understand life. Teaching music and studying to be a primary school teacher. Blogging about everything and nothing!

@clarinade

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