I was at my job at a major Cellphone Carrier. It was a sales job and boy did they demand sales. It got to the point where and elderly lady came in crying because a company we outsourced to(in India), ripped her off. She was on a fixed income and only paid $20 a month for a home line, now she owed the company over $600 and had monthly fees over $100 a month. I went to my boss, who I thought would help, and told him what had happened. His response: “Is she here to buy anything?”, “No”, I responded. “Tell her to kick rocks”, that was our commonly used phrase at our store. If customers were wasting our time and not buying anything, in our heads, we’d tell them to kick rocks. I ended helping the lady on my own and bypassing my boss. She was so thankful and beyond happy. It was at this point I knew that I needed a career change, to help others, but particularly to help train those still young yet. To give them the competitive advantage when they leave high school, prepared for a world of debt and relentless competition, a world scarce of quality and livable jobs.
That was my last job in the private sector. I had worked for corporations all of my short life, from the time I was 16. I worked at Burger King for the summer in high school, then got a job at lifetime fitness, and then two Chicago area banks. After college I worked for a private manufacturer which was owned by one owner. After that I went to the big communications company mentioned previously. I left there at the age of 27. I had 11 years of working for a corporation and I was able to fine tune what they expected of their employees. Their mantra, “Work hard, make the shareholder more value, and devote your life to us”, all meaning, work hard until you burnout and then we’ll replace with new people, we could care less about your health or well being(even though we try to make it look like we do), make more money for the shareholders who are the executives and board members, who already have so much money they don’t know what to do with it. Devote your life to us, become part of our family, meaning forget your family at home, or your personal goals, your time or your money and leave it all for this company. Ya, thanks, but no thanks.
It was a breaking point at 27, that I knew I needed a career change and to relocate to a better job market(I was in St. Louis at the time). I read a lot on self awareness and pursuing a career that met my wants out of life. After all that soul searching, I knew deep down I wanted to help others. I came across a personality test for career choices and it matched me with what has always crossed my mind, teaching. There was this call to Texas as well(greatest state in the world!, don’t tell my Chicago peeps that). I found Texas Teachers online and tried to do as much research as possible before I took the dive. I did and it seemed most districts were willing to accept there program students.
I have finished my first year of teaching and coaching, and it was probably the hardest year of my life. But it was one of the most rewarding. All of my hard work and dedication didn’t go to make a company massive amounts of money. It went to better the future of a small town in Texas. I can see all of my hard work in the faces of my students.
Was it worth the career change? Most definitely! There’s a bigger world out there than just profits and revenue. There’s opportunity to help others. If you’re going to work extremely hard(I promise you if you want a decent income, you will), why not have it go towards something rewarding. I’m not going to lie, teaching is not for everyone, you will have some very very rough days at work, but what keeps me going is focusing on, a better tomorrow.