Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Woman in her Thirties Goes* Back* to* Work*

*Not at all sure how I feel about this title, based on the reasons you'll read below. But it works for now. It's a 'working title'. Get it??

You're not going to believe this, but I'm officially 'back to work':

(Look closely and you'll see me, toasting with my new co-workers.  Side note: always accept a job where they break out champagne when you sign on.)

This post has the capability of being very long and extremely boring, so I'll summarize by saying this: for the last six months or so, I've felt the urge/desire to go back to work. Please don't confuse that by thinking I was feeling 'bored' as a stay-at-home mom or 'unfulfilled'.  I was neither of those things.  I think what honestly happened was that I re-emerged as a real-life human being after getting a solid year of sleep that made me functional and able to put together a cohesive thought.  And when I did that, I felt the desire to re-enter the workforce.

If you've been reading for a long time, you know I loved teaching. I still do love it, and do it on the side. But I'm a mom now, and as I've mentioned before, my family life is not exactly conventional. Part of the process of going back to work was figuring out how to do that and still keep my family going, and I quickly (and sadly) came to the realization that teaching was not the right path for my family.*

*It really pains me to write that. I am a good teacher. Teachers are so important and so powerful. I will miss having that be a large part of my identity. 

I also had the insanely, ridiculously fortunate position of being a woman in her thirties with an incredible choice in front of me: I could do whatever the HELL I wanted.  My career choice could, quite simply, be whatever I wanted it to be. I could volunteer in an animal shelter all day, if I wanted to. I could go back to school and learn taxidermy (not sure why that thought popped up in my mind). Because of the life my husband provides, my choices were endless.

(Side note: Thank you, Daddy! For all you do!)

It was a few months ago during a meeting with my publisher that I talked about this 'dilemma', and during the course of that conversation she mentioned that they were needing to hire someone because book business is booming. And my newly-functional brain (because of the sleep) mulled over what it would be like to work for her, and how it could possibly be the perfect career move for me.

So I did what Brene Brown or Elizabeth Gilbert would do, and I put together a proposal. I didn't say what I couldn't do, but rather what I could. I needed flexibility (the one, major thing missing from my career in teaching) and I needed part time (another near-impossibility in education).  I needed to be able to work from home, mostly.  I told them that if they gave me a chance, I would make myself invaluable to them.

It feels appropriate to put a picture of my little monkeys here. Because I love them so much.  

Yesterday was my first day. I have a lot to learn, but man, it was exhilarating. We talked about business and monetization of services and how to uplift writers and build their platforms. I'll miss teaching, but I know I can give a lot to this career. And I still got to pick my kids up from school and play in the park until dance class.  Wins all around.  

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmkay, so I'm a leeeettle behind on my blog reading. Sorry you had to tell me this important piece of information rather than my having gleaned it from your blog like a good SIL! Congrats on the new gig - if your other gigs, both past and current, are any indication, they are the luckiest company around.