mixed reviews

I’ve agreed to spend a few days with the husband with mixed reviews.  It’s his birthday week, so I thought, well, I’d try.  Those of you that have been separated or divorced (or are still in a frustrating relationship), know the same arguments come up over and over again.

That said, the subject of this post will not be about him. It will be about career decisions, and I could really use some feedback. Note I’ve become a bit more anonymous than I was, but anyone who has read back far enough or been with me since the beginning will realize it. The others that know me I feel aren’t in a position to ruin me professionally, so here goes.

I once accepted what I thought was a dream job. In Europe. In my field. Paid well. Lots of rewards. Corporate. My first real corporate job ever.  After 6 months (I was newly married), I realized this was just not a good fit for me. I wasn’t getting any free time with my husband, etc, and was constantly traveling for meetings with clients.  The country, as well, while beautiful, didn’t offer enough of the great outdoorsy type stuff I like to do. I left the best-paying job I ever had.

Since then, I have tried to pursue my dreams with limited success. As anyone who works for the federal government knows, permanent positions can be hard to come by, and when they do, it can be immensely bureaucratic. Worse than stressful corporate level but the taste of finally getting a much coveted permanent position is hard to let go of. (And hard to get back in).

The last 2-3 years I’ve been thinking about returning to school. Turning kids onto science and the outdoors. Move to Hawai’i where they desperately need good teachers and I have personal and professional connections. I wish someone had done this more with me as a kid.  That being said, my financial status requires I work a job in the very near future. I can work a job, but it will have to be one where I can go to school at the same time.

Fast forward to today. After months of “not really” looking for work (I wanted to give myself time to make sure I was making the RIGHT decision), I was contacted by a headhunter in my corporate field. There are positions here in California which include working with European markets.  The job is not difficult, and I could definitely spend 2-3 years saving there to do significantly well financially the rest of my life.  I guess therein lies my answer.

But does it, really?  Spending years trying to pursue my dreams landed me nowhere and broke. But when I was IN corporate I was anxious.  I do think I realize this: I am obviously older now and have learned what I like to do. So as long as I make time for, and have access to, the things I love (outrigger canoe, dance classes, etc), I feel I will be able to live a good life.

But maybe I am just talking myself into it? Financial security would be a great thing. And I’m a good enough actor to pull it off.

If I pursue my other dream, I could spend the next few years still struggling financially but have a long-term reward.  Or could I do both? Sometimes I feel I am getting too old for that. But still, with a decent salary, I could take a class or 2 at a time and not have to worry.

What are your success stories? I know a lot of people who saved enough money in corporate and now are doing completely what they want to do on their own. But I know a lot of people who roughed through the horrendous times and still made a good life.

I’d love some perspective on this from someone other than the sphere of influence I normally have. Thanks.


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