In February last year, I decided to take the leap and leave my steady, permanent job to try something new. Many people said I was brave. Looking back, I think they meant foolhardy.
You could say I have been lucky in my career, as I have experienced the joy of working with something I had a passion for. To boot, I had that joy for nine years! I am humbled and grateful that I have had such an adventure. Many people will never experience such excitement for their jobs in a lifetime. However, my commitment to the cause crippled my CV. In retrospect, if I had been more career oriented instead of passionate, I would have strived to change jobs every two years as many millennials have smartly done. However, for me, passion won hands down over building my career.
As you can imagine, the field I dedicated nine years to changed a lot over time and in the end I was sad but relieved when the decision to discontinue the particular branch was made. While working on a service that was just a ghost of what had been, I was job hunting for months on end. Then, amazingly, I was selected for a new job from 135 candidates! The new job was with an NGO. Working for an NGO was something I hadn’t done before and had wanted to experience, so I was absolutely thrilled.
Unfortunately, after working in an international environment with challenging cases to solve, my new job seemed predictable and downright boring. Saying that, I want to give a shout out to all the lovely colleagues I had the chance to work with, they really made it all worthwhile. ❤ To perk up the job situation, I decided to study on the side. Not settling for one but two degrees (!!), the studying left me exhausted. For some unknown reason, I was highly ambitious about my academic success and with work and an active social life, it was almost too much. I survived and came out with new degrees but my day job remained the same.
When I realized that the degrees did not solve my frustrations, I once again embarked on the search for something new. When quite unexpectedly I got an opportunity to coordinate an early childhood project, I jumped at the chance. Here again was something new to me that I had wanted to try out. I did have to think about the downside of leaving a permanent job for something that would end in under 1,5 years but the excitement of trying something new won me over.
However, the project turned out to be extremely slow to progress. This caused new frustrations as I’m a very fast-paced person who hates not having enough to do. Thankfully I had a bunch of great colleagues who made the days bearable. ❤ Nevertheless, six months into the job I found myself looking for something new. I applied for all kinds of positions but none of them sparked any excitement. I did manage to get interviews but always ended up being a runner up. The panic to score a new job was overwhelming and it seemed like I didn’t really even care what the job entailed, the applications were flying here and there.
Then came COVID-19. Recruiting processes dwindled. Suddenly working from home was the thing. I gained two extra hours every day, due to my now five minute commute from my bed to the kitchen table. My CV started to look even worse in the light of all the hundreds of people looking for work. I found yoga, calmed my mind and had more time to think about things. I came to the realization that I’ve now had two back-to-back jobs that I haven’t been happy with and nothing out there has really intrigued me. I started to understand that since the project was coming to an end and nothing new was in sight, I would most likely be unemployed in the beginning of Fall.
This train of thought took me to my first degree and job – early childhood education. The last time I taught children was over 16 years ago! I left the job to start maternity leave and at the time I had no interest in returning, as my own children were still small and I needed something completely different from work. However, all this was quite some time ago (understatement!!). My kids are grown and I’m (a lot) older. Would a job where you never know what the day will bring (I have so craved challenges these past years), where there is more than enough to do and the commute is short be so bad?
As you can guess by now, I started applying for early childhood teaching jobs. In Finland, there is a huge shortage of qualified staff, so I was able to choose quite freely where I wanted to work and which early childhood center sounded the best for me. Even though I’m taking a step back salary-wise (which is unfortunate) and probably also in the light of my already mediocre CV, I have no doubt that this job will challenge me everyday. Most likely much more so than my previous jobs added up. It’s not going to be easy. There’s a shortage of staff and the demands on teachers with the new curriculum are astounding compared to the salary and resources. I have a lot to learn. However, I’m looking forward to making it work with my colleagues and the kids I teach starting August.
I have always said I’d never go back, so this is a huge surprise for everyone. But I am known to make fast moves and change my mind at the blink of an eye. I realize that I may come out of this with the knowledge that this job isn’t for me any longer – it can go either way but what will I lose if I try? Of course, I have the choice of being unemployed and going on with the constant job hunt. However, I am tired and need a break. So, I’ve decided. If all goes as planned, it will be time to find the joy of childhood once again and fill my heart with it.
If you have made it this far, I thank you for reading and hope you have the time to reflect on the poem below. It was presented to me on the last day of my 30 Day Yoga Journey HOME (Yoga with Adriene – highly recommended) and miraculously it fits the bill. ❤
FOR A NEW BEGINNING, (HOME)
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
– John O’Donohue
Adventure, here I come! (Hmm.. I think I remember saying that many times before, LOL)
What thoughts does this post awaken in you? Tell me about your career journey! Have you systematically worked towards the perfect CV? Have you tried different things or stayed put? I’d love to hear your experiences!
All these photos are from the grounds of the amazing Museum of Modern Art Louisiana in Copenhagen, Denmark. I was lucky to see it when I was visiting my dear friend in the city in May 2019. Oh how I miss travel.