Would you have the courage to improve your career and return to school if you were in your early or late 50’s? Would you study for and pass a college exam? Both Jack and Sam, that are within their 50’s, chose to make major career changes by becoming teachers, one of senior school science, one other of elementary age children.
Layoffs and business decline resulted in thoughts of “what do I really do now with my entire life?” Jack had worked as a chemist in his first career, and even features 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 idea of teaching never crossed his mind until a buddy suggested he apply for a six-week position teaching chemistry. “Twenty-five years ago I could have laughed at the suggestion of becoming a teacher. The biggest surprise is that I like teaching “.
How easy can it be to make a decision with this magnitude? Sam, who’s currently 59 years, wishes he’d used it a decade sooner. ” I wish someone had blown in my own ear the words’you have the opportunity do this’and maybe I could have considered it earlier “.Although he owned his own business for many years, it hadn’t been very satisfying. Finally, economics helped him opt to close the company and seek out a thing that had more meaning. As a former captain in the Air Force, Sam found a program for veterans that helped him with the cost of his education for his new career.
Jack had the assistance of a lifetime career coach who helped him see possibilities and extend of his comfort zone. “I can’t emphasize a lot of that without my coach I’d be sitting at home, sending out resumes.”
For both men, money wasn’t the sole motivator within their decision to show to teaching. Rather, a seek out meaning and purpose led the choice.’Teaching is definitely different and challenging” said Sam, “The elementary students are fun, interesting and always smiling. Money was easy, so my motivation is how can I make them in certain form-by asking questions, offering guidance, giving answers. This certainly is not boring and very self-satisfying for me teach to one. No day is exactly the same even when I’m teaching exactly the same thing.” Sam proceeded to express he found teaching a lot more important than selling a product. His job provides a chance to be innovative as he makes great efforts to keep his classes interesting and not repetitious.
Both men started their exploration by doing some substitute teaching to see if this is truly a choice within their career path. Sam also taught business courses at a local community college. He found, however, he preferred working together with elementary children in place of adults and had more patience with the kids.
Although both men are happy with their decision to go back to school, this technique has not been without challenges. “The initial semester was rough,” stated Jack. ” It have been 26 years since college. I had to learn how to study and organize myself and it took a little while to get into an agenda, it did not return each of a sudden. I had to get through the first confusion and the classes weren’t easy. One other students had just come out of senior school and knew how to review and have a test.” Sam agreed that studying for and taking tests is just a big challenge.” It takes me longer to master and recalling information sometimes is challenging “.
And what is it like to stay a classroom, learning with students that are 19-21 years? Jack is surprised at how well he has been accepted by the younger students. He did have an event when he taught his first lab as a training assistant. One of many students assumed he was a professor and addressed him as one. Jack was quick to let the student know he too was a student.
Despite having the common age of first retirement at 57, neither man foresees retiring in the near future. As with many baby boomers, these men are choosing to carry on working. Sam feels that teaching offers him some flexibility and options in later retirement years. As an example, if he chooses to relocate, he’d have the ability to get a training job in the brand new location. Jack advises,” I genuinely believe that you have with an open mind at my age to express that I may need to do something else to move forward with my life.”
Joanne Waldman is just 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.