“I Don't Hate My Current Job. Is A Career Change A Crazy Idea?”

Nora isn't unhappy in her job, but she can't shake the feeling that there's something else out there. Is she being ungrateful for what she's got, or is this a valid reason to change career?

What's your career history and current job?

I work as a teacher in a Steiner School.

When I finished university I wanted to focus on my art, so I did freelance illustration for a while. But the money was unreliable and I got lonely hanging out on my own in my studio all the time, so I started assisting a teacher in my local Steiner School with her art lessons.

From there I've trained and developed, and now I have my own class.

How do you feel about your work?

I actually really enjoy it.

It's not amazing money and there are some very tough days, but on the whole I like my job.

My colleagues are great, my kids are lovely, and I really respect and enjoy the Steiner method of education. I'm proud to do what I do.

But I can't help feeling restless. It's corny, but it feels like there's something inside me calling out to be noticed; or like there's a string attached to something far away and it's being gently tugged. I just have a feeling there's more out there for me to experience.

Of course my job is great, but do I really want to be a teacher in this school for the rest of my life? Sometimes I watch a documentary on architecture or permaculture or travel, and I just want to burst out of my skin with excitement. Is it too much to ask that my life and my career feels THAT great, at least sometimes?

I haven't felt that way about my current job since the week I started.

What would you like to be doing instead?

Travelling? Studying? Maybe something with animals and conservation work?

An outdoor job?

Something to do with permaculture? Music? Crafts?

I don't know for sure, but I want to test myself, and to find out what I'm capable of. I want to try lots of different things before I settle into a long-term career, and I want to know what this tug on my heart is pulling me towards.

What's the biggest obstacle in your way?

I'm a pretty flaky person; I get distracted by shiny objects.

I wonder if I've been in my job for a while now and the shine has just rubbed off, rather than a career change actually being the right thing for me.

For the first time in my life I can pay my bills and smile on my way into work in the morning; isn’t it ridiculous to consider giving that up? I've been reading previous Café entries and I feel embarrassed that this is my problem. It doesn't seem very serious; I wonder if I'm just being selfish and flighty.

Maybe I should just accept that I found a great job really early on in my career, and be grateful for that.

Can you help Nora?
  • Have you been in a similar situation, or are you in the same boat right now?
  • Do you think she should start thinking seriously about a career change, or settle down in the job she enjoys?
  • Do you know anyone she could talk to?

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