On Life and Job Opportunities

This past month I was hired to be an ESL teacher. Super exciting right?! Look at me, a recent graduate, officially became a certified teacher AND managed to snag a job! Everything seemed to have fallen into place with just a little bit of elbow grease on my end. At first, this opportunity was a little uncertain as there seemed to be a miscommunication between the principal and director of the school which led me to believe that I may not have managed to score a job due to low enrolment. But alas, as luck would have it I managed to snag a job.

Two things that I’ve learned:

  1. Money rules everything, except happiness. When I say this, I came to a really big self-realization. I used to think that money is the route to happiness – I mean, materialistically obviously. But at the time, everything that seemed to make me decently happy came from material goods (I know, consumerism at it’s finest but what can I say? I like my stuff). Now, as I was working this job, it suddenly hit me that because I was making money I actually wasn’t even close to feeling happy or fulfilled. My past job as a camp counsellor turned camp supervisor kept me extremely happy. It was stressful at times sure but everyday that I went in it never felt like work. I loved going back everyday even though I was tired. I loved that job and that’s ultimately what I wanted to find as a forever career. Yet, I did not find such happiness when waking up for this particular job. Don’t get me wrong, my two students we’re absolute joys to be around and teach. Both of them are excellent human beings and I have no regrets teaching them. Watching them grow confident in speaking English and holding simple conversations was a highlight from this job. That was fulfilling but only a little bit. After completing my first week and a half of teaching I found that I was bored and struggling for inspiration. Needless to say, I woke up everyday dreading going into work and it felt like work. All the extra hours I put into making worksheets or creating tests was taking its toll on me. Needless to say, although I was making money, I wasn’t very happy.
  2. Finding a job that you love isn’t just a dream, it should be a reality. Throughout my time working I was given the chance to renew my contract for August. This decision was actually very hard for me to make as it literally forced me to confront all my personal beliefs that I’ve ever held when it came to money and happiness. On the one hand, I would have another 4 weeks of pay but on the other, it would be another 4 weeks of boredom and unhappiness. I talked to a lot of people about this decision and what I should do. I got a lot of people saying that I should just stick it out for another 4 weeks just to get some extra money but internally, I think I already knew that I didn’t want to do that. I heavily weighed the pros and cons about this entire situation but I already knew that my immediate answer was a hard “No”. I discussed this issue a lot with my parents and initially they told me to stick it out because its “only 4 more weeks plus you’d get paid!” But when I really asked them what they enjoyed about work they mentioned how either it was the work itself they enjoyed doing or it was the people around them that made work enjoyable. I’ve personally experienced both ends of the spectrum when it comes to work – I’ve worked at jobs where I love doing the work and look forward to it everyday, while I’ve also worked a job where the work itself sucked but the people around me made it so much more bearable. But unfortunately for me? The work itself was alright, I enjoyed certain aspects of it but for the majority of it I was bored and under challenged. I also didn’t have a group of co-workers to chat with to help me unwind and the overall atmosphere was simply not one that I wanted to be in. In the end, my decision was not to re-new the contract and I regret absolutely nothing about it. I’ve found that my true aspirations when looking for a job is to simply find one that I love. I need to find one that I love in order for me to actually feel fulfilled and satisfied.

After coming to terms with these 2 very big realizations, I think it’s grounded me a little bit. It’s given me more insight on what I really want out of life and what truly makes me happy. I know this topic of finding true happiness has been talked about for ages, but I really do believe in finding your own true happiness. It’ll make your life a lot more enjoyable and instead of just going through life, you would actually live it to the fullest.

After experiencing teaching ESL, it’s opened my eyes. I greatly appreciate being given the opportunity but I simply find that it really isn’t for me. It was definitely challenging and I loved both my students but I just found the work itself to simply be that – work. I felt uninspired and to be quite honest? Burnt out.

Now? For the entire month of August, I am happily unemployed (well, from a full-time job that is, I still have a part time job that I absolutely adore!) and I can take this time to relax a little bit and prepare myself for my next move come the fall. I actually managed to get another teaching position with a montessori, so it’ll definitely be another different experience for me. I’m actually looking forward to what this new job brings because it’ll be very different from what I’m used to.

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