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Possible Career opportunity - not sure if I want to take it.


superfan

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I will give some brief background. I am a teacher, but currently EXTREMELY under employed. I live in Ontario, a province in Canada in which opportunities for teaching with a public government funded school board are almost impossible. To top it off, I am a secondary school teacher who's teachables are History and English which are two of the most overcrowded subjects in the job market. Currently, I am not employed at all with a school board and with new government rules regulating employment, it could be upwards of 20 years before I see any kind of permanent job.

 

The good news is that I AM working as a teacher. Currently I work for a private Muslim school in the city just outside the village I live in. I am not Muslim, but the administration does not care. It is a full time teaching job, and I am well acquainted with the area and the history of the building (before it was a private school, it was owned by an optimist club and I used to come here to learn drama and get away from the bullying I experienced. I have been coming here since I was 11 years old.) I love the students and the atmosphere.

 

The only problem is that it is barely enough to live on. I make $1500/month and I get laid off every year at the end of the school term, so I have to apply for EI in the summer time. There are no benefits (if it weren't for my husband's job, I wouldn't dental/prescription coverage) and since my contract only goes for 10 months, if I ever get pregnant, I won't be able to take maternity leave at all.

 

I applied for a job with another private school in the city (this one a school for Chinese students coming here to finish their high school before applying to University). It is right downtown and next to my husband's work. We both currently live outside the city, but we are planning on moving in June to the city and this would make getting to and from work so much easier since we would both be going to the same place. They even send some teachers to China on their dime for 6 months just for the experience. I am almost guaranteed the job, as my resume is excellent and I know the woman in charge of hiring. I have been offered an interview on Tuesday.

 

From what I understand, this school pays more and there is a possibility of getting paid in the summer. It won't help my career chances with the public board, but we definitely need to be making more money to support ourselves and someday have a child.

 

The problem is, I don't want to go. I LOVE the school I am at right now and it genuinely breaks my heart to think of leaving the kids. It would be for the upcoming winter semester, so basically I would have to finish this semester and then leave -I wouldn't even get to finish out the school year. I wouldn't get to see them graduate. One said to me the other day that he couldn't wait to have me next semester for English.

 

I know it's silly to care so much - they are kids and will get over it after all, but it does really bother me. My classroom feels like my home, and these kids are not used to a lot of permanence at this school. Because of the poor pay etc. teachers leave all the time. They get quite upset about it and so far I have been one of the few who has "stuck around". I feel like they count on me.

 

I know that if I am offered the job, I have to take it. But it is making me very upset just thinking about it. I really don't want to.

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You have to boil this down to one principle: do I want to be working poor for the rest of my life or do I want to advance? This is the question you have to ask yourself. You love the children and you don't want to leave I can totally appreciate that. HOWEVER, are you willing to put their life ahead of yours for the rest of your life? Love and selflessness and sentimentality doesn't work in every situation. If you want your own child someday you cannot continue to work there. You are putting this ahead of your own goals. You are going to have to get a little hardhearted in this situation.

 

You won't get ahead if you don't take a risk. It is time to take a risk ,take the jump.

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You may never get a opportunity like this again and i'd urge you to take it. I understand that you have sentimental ties to your workplace but if you stay there then you cant progress, you cant earn more and having a child would be extremely difficult.

 

You are doing a wonderful job where you teach children and help them to progress and become successful in the future but you also need to think about your future. It may upset the children a little but they will soon accept it. I remember when i was in year 3 at school (in the UK) and there was a teacher who everyone loved and she decided to leave. Yes we were all shocked and a little upset but we were children and we got over it.

 

You could end up loving the new place as much as the place you work in now. Dont miss this chance because you will think 'what if'. Go for it.

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To be clear - this would not be a 'step up' in the sense you are thinking. It still won't get me any closer to being hired in the public board and while I don't know for sure how much more money they would be able to offer, it still won't be enough to bring us out of the 'working poor' category of things. We still won't crack the $50 000 household income mark, I am sure.

 

What it will do, is centralize our work places, maybe allow me to see another foreign country (I love travel), pay a BIT better, and possibly offer a contract that doesn't involve me getting laid off in the summer (though I am not 100% sure on that last one - I will have to ask on Tuesday).

 

I might be jumping the gun a bit - given that I don't know for sure how much more they can offer, but I know it wont' be anywhere near when I should be getting as a starting salary (which for my education and experience level should be around $45 000/year).

 

I know I SHOULD take it, but I also know that I love being here I really do. It's possible that I am so reluctant because it is the first job I have EVER had where I haven't dreaded going to work each and every day. What if I don't get the same level of support from the administration? I know it could easily be the opposite but still. I feel like if I take it it won't be because I want to, but because I have to.

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Life is FULL of what ifs. Being central to both jobs is a plus. If that's where you're moving to that's another plus. Not being central to where your husband is working and where you're going to live costs money. There's more to think about than just what you're going to get paid.

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I love the students and the atmosphere.

 

The only problem is that it is barely enough to live on. I make $1500/month and I get laid off every year at the end of the school term, so I have to apply for EI in the summer time. There are no benefits (if it weren't for my husband's job, I wouldn't dental/prescription coverage) and since my contract only goes for 10 months, if I ever get pregnant, I won't be able to take maternity leave at all.

 

It's not silly to care so much for your current job. However, the limitations of your current job are important to consider, along with what direction you want to move in your career and personal development. The increase in pay might not be great, but the savings in commute time and money helps you financially, as does being paid over the summer. If you are able to travel through the new job, that will be a boost in your overall experience and improves your resume. It's hard to leave a place that you are comfortable in and love, but don't burn bridges upon leaving and you may be able to come back if the other place doesn't work out. (And possibly with increased pay?) Your job is not just about loving what you are doing in this moment, but looking ahead to being able to support yourself long-term. Do you think part of your dilemma is that you are currently happy in your comfort zone, and the new job is outside your comfort zone? If so, have you heard the expression "Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens"?

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well, wait and see what kind of offer they make you. and if they can guarantee summer employment and have some sort of maternity leave options. Ask these questions after you get the job though.. i'd make sure that everything is written, so you don't throw away one teaching job with low pay and lays you off in summers for another.

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Don't stress yourself...wait and see the offer before deciding it's a 'must take'. If the offer is not significantly better, then stay where you love.

 

One definition of success is having a job that doesn't ruin your Sunday nights.

 

Nobody can promise you'd love your new bosses or work environment, that the other teachers would be kind to work with--all that stuff that you appreciate where you are.

 

I'm working for less money than I've made during my whole career, but I've never been happier going into work everyday. That's priceless.

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Well there wouldn't be much savings when it comes to the commute. My current school is only about 10 minutes away from my husband's work. It really wouldn't make much of a difference in that respect. What would make the difference would be in the contract allowed me to be paid all year and if the pay was a good chunk more than what I am getting now.

 

As for improving my resume, that won't help me in the slightest when it comes to getting a job with the public board. Unfortunately the new changes in hiring practices have shifted it to be entirely based on your time working for the board. I have to get on a supply list before I can apply to ANY permanent jobs. And once I am on the supply list I have to wait until my "number" essentially comes up before I am allowed to apply for those jobs. It doesn't matter that I have been teaching full time for 3 years now, according to the public board, a new grad fresh out of teacher's college and I are equals. That's why it isn't really a "step up" in getting on the board.

 

And yes this is definitely a comfort zone thing, but I also truly do feel incredibly bad about leaving these kids in the middle of the school year. The grade 12s especially would have been the first class I have seen go from 9 to 12. I have seen them develop in amazing ways over the past years and it breaks my heart to think of not getting to see them graduate.

 

I don't know. Again I know I should wait until I see what the offer is (the interview is on Tuesday) but all I can think is how I don't want to go. And that shouldn't be how I feel about it.

 

If the offer is better, I will take it. But I don't want to. I really don't.

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Don't stress yourself...wait and see the offer before deciding it's a 'must take'. If the offer is not significantly better, then stay where you love.

 

One definition of success is having a job that doesn't ruin your Sunday nights.

 

Nobody can promise you'd love your new bosses or work environment, that the other teachers would be kind to work with--all that stuff that you appreciate where you are.

 

I'm working for less money than I've made during my whole career, but I've never been happier going into work everyday. That's priceless.

 

Thanks, I will try to wait and see before getting too worked up. All my life I have worked jobs I hate for very little pay. I left a job in a call centre that made more money than what I make now for this teaching job in the hopes that it would help my resume (it won't now, but that's a whole other story). I make far less and have no benefits but I really do love the job and the people I work with.

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