This is my journey from couch to athlete.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Change has presented itself

This post will have nothing to do my physical health and training; it's purely reflective (and will probably ramble.)

I have been pondering my career for some time now. Last Monday I went in to work to be informed that I was being laid off - effective immediately. I was surprised that they did it because I worked for one of the big banks that is still making multi million dollar profits. The CEO received an annual bonus in the millions, yet everyone is being told to cut costs. Doesn't make any sense to the average person.

After the initial shock, I felt a sense of relief. I was unhappy there because the position and company didn't match my values. Not being recognized or valued can really do a number on your esteem after a while. Now I feel like I have been given this great opportunity to finally seek out a position or career that will be much more fulfilling. I have a real sense of responsibility to make the most of this opportunity, which is pretty stressful.

What direction to take?
I've been in corporate training and development for six years. I loved the challenge of designing good quality creative training programs so I went to University part time for three years to get a Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education. The issue is that most companies don't invest in good quality training. Business needs mean tight deadlines and better training costs money to develop and to have people participate. Both of my jobs have had high points but there has also been a lot of frustration. I know that the situation will most likely be the same wherever I work, and the frustration of the politics will override the enjoyment of the work. The problem is that I can't think of any career that really appeals to me.

I was thinking about becoming a personal trainer because I have really enjoyed working out with mine. I have a great story to share and can really relate to people looking to change their life. I was sure I was going to go in this direction because the thought of it excited me. The more I looked into it and thought about it, the more the reality of how hard it would be to make a living as a personal trainer became. How many years can you really do it? How long would it take to build a reputation? How much education would I need to be really effective? It's a very competitive business and it looks like many of the people in this line of work have University degrees. Going in to debt to go back to school and then making less money when I get out would really reduce the enjoyment of the career.

I love writing and have looked at that as a possibility but that is another career that often puts you in a corporate environment fighting all the same politics as training. I have trouble with the uncertainty of investing the time and money to go back to school without knowing if there will be a fulfilling career at the end of it. I wish I loved going to school and would feel like it was a benefit regardless of what happened afterwards but that is not the case for me. I go to school for the benefit at the end, not out of joy for learning.

Another option for consideration is a career in law enforcement. It wasn't something I really thought I would be suited to but I have been told by a lot of people that I would be really good at it. I certainly see some real benefits about doing a job that serves society and has a purpose beyond making a corporation even richer. Of course this a level of politics but it's beyond your day to day job. Each day you do your job, and you are totally responsible for the job you do. If you do a good job, it's recognized. If you screw up, it's also recognized. I really like the idea of only being accountable for myself. I do worry that I will see things that could affect me or that I won't make the right split decision in a time it was really needed.


  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Kelodie said…

    I'm so sorry to read those news. :-( But as you said, now is a good opportunity to think about what you will do next.

    How about being a trainer, but not as part of a corporation? Whenever I take courses, they are almost always given by people who are consultants in training. It seems like they make a very comfortable living doing this. But our reality in Ottawa may be different from the one in your neck of the woods, so I don't really know..

    Take a bit of time to think about what you would like to do and listen to those people who know you best: there's something out there for you.


  • At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I quit a very high paying, high stress corporate job at Christmas. The job was killing me - 60 hour work weeks, no recognition for the work and politics that hung like a noose around my neck.

    I've been out of work for a number of months and I am now just finding my 'center'. It's taken this long to finally find the solace and acceptance that there is something else on the horizon. What do I want - I want a career:

    -that sparks my passion
    -that when I wake up in the morning, I'm excited to go to work.
    -that very simply is - fulfilling

    The problem is that I haven't defined my passion.

    Take some time for yourself, run in the sunshine, bike on a quiet country road, enjoy the quiet of your thoughts as you swim in the pool.

    Welcome to the journey...


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