Would you’ve the courage to improve your career and go back to school if you’re in your early or late 50’s? Can 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, certainly one of senior school science, the other of elementary age children.
Layoffs and business decline led to thoughts of “what do I 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 removed from another company as the pinnacle of the IS department. The notion of teaching never crossed his mind until a friend suggested he apply for a six-week position teaching chemistry. “Twenty five years back I could have laughed at the suggestion of being a teacher. The biggest surprise is that I really like teaching “.
How easy is it to make a decision of this magnitude? Sam, who is currently 59 years, wishes he’d used it a decade sooner. ” I wish someone had blown within my ear what’you have the opportunity try this’and maybe I could have considered it earlier “.Although he owned his own business for quite some time, it had not been very satisfying. Finally, economics helped him choose to close the business enterprise and search for a thing 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 lifetime career coach who helped him see possibilities and loosen up of his comfort zone. “I can’t emphasize a lot of that without my coach I would nevertheless be sitting at home, sending out resumes.”
For both men, money was not the sole motivator in their decision to show to teaching. Rather, a search for 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 easy, so my motivation is just how can I help 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 the same even when I am teaching the same thing.” Sam went on to say that he found teaching so much more important than selling a product. His job provides a chance 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 is truly a choice in their career path. Sam also taught business courses at an area community college. He found, however, that he preferred dealing with elementary children rather than 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 first semester was rough,” stated Jack. ” It had been 26 years since college. I’d to learn how to study and organize myself and it took a little while to get involved with an idea, it did not come back each of a sudden. I’d to have through the original confusion and the classes weren’t 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 just a big challenge.” It takes me longer to learn and recalling information sometimes is a challenge “.
And what’s it like to be in a class, learning with students who are 19-21 years? 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 training assistant. One of the students assumed that he was a professor and addressed him as one. Jack was quick to allow student know that he too was a student.
Despite the common 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. 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 believe that you’ve to have an open mind at my age to say that I could need to take action 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.