Would you’ve the courage to improve your career and go back to school if you had been in your early or late 50’s? Might you study for and pass a college exam? Both Jack and Sam, who are in their 50’s, chose to create major career changes by becoming teachers, among senior school science, another of elementary age children.
Layoffs and business decline generated thoughts of “what do I actually do now with my life?” Jack had worked as a chemist in his first career, and even includes a master’s degree in chemistry. During his years of employment at one company, Jack took on more and more computer duties and eventually transitioned out of chemistry into IS. Years later he was laid off from another company as the top of the IS department. The thought of teaching never crossed his mind until a buddy suggested he apply for a six-week position teaching chemistry. “25 years ago I could have laughed at the suggestion of being a teacher. The largest surprise is that I enjoy teaching “.
How easy can it be to make a decision of this magnitude? Sam, who is currently 59 years old, wishes he’d used it ten years sooner. ” I wish someone had blown within my ear the words’you have the opportunity try this’and maybe I could have considered it earlier “.Although he owned his own business for several years, it hadn’t been very satisfying. Finally, economics helped him opt to close the business and look for something that had more meaning. As a former captain in the Air Force, Sam found a course for veterans that helped him with the expense of his education for his new career.
Jack had the help of a career coach who helped him see possibilities and extend of his comfort zone. “I can’t emphasize an excessive amount of that without my coach I’d still be sitting in the home, sending out resumes.”
For both men, money wasn’t the only real motivator in their decision to turn to teaching. Rather, a seek out meaning and purpose led the choice.’Teaching is obviously different and challenging” said Sam, “The elementary children are fun, interesting and always smiling. Money was no problem, so my motivation is just how can I make them in some form-by asking questions, offering guidance, giving answers. This certainly isn’t boring and very self-satisfying for me teach to one. No day is exactly the same even if I am teaching exactly the same thing.” Sam continued to say he found teaching much more important than selling a product. His job provides a way to be innovative as he makes great efforts to help keep his classes interesting and not repetitious.
Both men started their exploration by doing some substitute teaching to see if this was truly a choice in their career path. Sam also taught business courses at an area community college. He found, however, he preferred working together with elementary children instead of adults and had more patience with the kids.
Although both men are happy with their decision to come back to school, this technique hasn’t been without challenges. “The first semester was rough,” stated Jack. ” It had been 26 years since college. I’d to discover ways to study and organize myself and it took a little while to get involved with an agenda, it didn’t return most of a sudden. I’d to have through the original confusion and the classes were not easy. The other students had just come out of senior school and knew how to study and have a test.” Sam agreed that studying for and taking tests is really a big challenge.” It requires me longer to learn and recalling information sometimes is challenging “.
And what’s it like to be in a classroom, learning with students who are 19-21 years old? Jack is surprised at how well he’s been accepted by younger students. He did have an incident when he taught his first lab as a teaching assistant. One of the students assumed he was a professor and addressed him as one. Jack was quick to allow student know he too was a student.
Despite the typical age of first retirement at 57, neither man foresees retiring in the near future. As with most baby boomers, these men are choosing to keep working. Sam feels that teaching offers him some flexibility and options in later retirement years. Like, if he chooses to relocate, he’d manage to get a teaching job in the newest location. Jack advises,” I think that you’ve to have open mind at my age to say that I could need to make a move else to maneuver forward with my life.”
Joanne Waldman is really a trailblazer in global learning and personal/career and retirement coaching so her alma mater recognized her with the Citation of Merit for Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Service.
In 2001 she started New Perspective Coaching. Previously, Joanne consulted with Fortune 500 companies. Joanne trains coaches for International Coach Academy and Retirement Options. Awarded the Master Career Counselor title, Joanne also earned her Professional Certified Coach designation.