I am changing careers. After 25 years as a technologist, I am going into instruction and training. I resigned my position as a business analyst in early August and stepped out in faith. Originally, it was because my former employer could not place me in a business analyst position. As I began to look for business analyst positions, I found that the fact I had been working in a different aspect of Information Technology for over one year severely impacted my ability to get a business or systems analyst position. Instead of lamenting that, I have chosen to make a change. Those who know me know that my passion is for education, particularly adult education. I am devoting myself to changing to a career that involves instruction, training, and instructional design.
I have an application for a full time instructor position at a college that offers online instruction. In a discussion with the recruiter for that position, I explained that one of my burdens for going into education is the plight of the combat veteran, who after leaving the service, finds that combat skills are not highly prized in the civilian workforce. I wrote the following to her:
Sadly, the greatest danger to combat veterans these days is not the battlefield; it is coming home. By Labor Day, more veterans will have killed themselves in 2013 than died in the entire Iraqi conflict. When I was in seminary, I volunteered to serve in the first conflict as a chaplain. The law does not allow seminarians to deploy overseas, but I was allowed to serve as a chaplain at Ft. Hood as part of the recovery effort in 1991. I was on the ground for 18 hours when I was called to the Psychiatric ward of Darnell Army Medical Center. One of our soldiers tried to kill himself by taking 400 Tylenol because he couldn’t cope with life after war. One in four homeless people are veterans. Remote education is a weapon to combat those problems. Veterans can start to learn before they leave the service. Veterans that have returned but are facing unemployment or underemployment can go to school after business hours. Not having a meaningful job can lead to despondency. Despondency is dispelled by hope. Hope comes from a knowledge that something better is possible. Career-focused education can provide hope.
There are three types of occupations: jobs, professions, and callings. A job is something you take to put food on the table, regardless of what the duties are or if there is room for advancement. You have obligations and are committed to meeting them. Having a job is a fine and noble thing. A profession is an occupation that your are committed to for the long haul. You work extra hours, go to school for it, attend seminars and workshops to improve your skills, and take risks to demonstrate just how good you are. Professions are also fine and noble. A calling is a profession that is so all-encompassing that you cannot be satisfied with anything else. A calling drives you to sacrifice. A calling keeps you up at night and makes you excited for the next opportunity to operate within it. My calling is in education.
I have made many applications and have some solid leads, but as with any career change, especially when you are older, finding positions is challenging. If you know of an opportunity, please let me know or pass along my résumé (the link is below).