Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Considering: A Well-Respected Man About Town

Lately I have been torn. I like teaching, and I like writing, but I don't necessarily have to have jobs doing either. I would do well at those sorts of jobs, but I could do well at lots of other jobs, too. I think the key is to remain open and hope for the best. You also have to be prepared for the possibility that a job won't come your way on its own, and you will have to seek it out.

When doing so, you have to be open to everything that fits, not just one thing or another. Of course, it is okay to have preferences, but don't let your  unimportant preferences overrule what could be good positions with decent companies. Consider taking full advantage of each opportunity, if possible, before you choose one over the others--if you are lucky enough to have a choice. That way, if you have a choice to make, your choice will be well-considered among all the choices, and as a result you will have a greater opportunity to maximize your benefits.

Not all positions are created equal: you have to think about whether or not you truly have the skill-set required for that position, whether you have a realistic chance of getting such a position, whether you have the right amount of experience. You also have to consider whether the position is paying enough, whether the benefits are fair, and whether it's close enough to be a reasonable commute. By comparing each of the positions, you will apply for the ones within a range of how well they fit those needs based on your analysis. This is also true with different types of jobs.

For example, as a teacher, I have no work-life balance, but I have more room to make decisions about how I spend my time, because I only have class and office hours for so much time. After those obligations are finished, I can continue working, or take a break, and work later, or get up earlier, and work and work. The only thing that matters is that you finish your work. If you can do that, then you can do stuff. You can also work crazy hours for like the last two weeks and finish up everything. The key benefit here, I think, is flexibility.

Whereas, having a full-time job with a regular schedule has a different set of benefits. You have to fully commit to the job while you are there, but for the most part, outside of the job, you can do what you want. There are clearly defined barriers. As long as you are available to work when they need you to work, having that type of all-or-nothing separation makes it possible to more fully concentrate on family, friends, and hobbies outside of work. Also, the pay is often better, especially if you have gone to school for long enough, and you are applying for the right types of positions.

I am in a weird frame of mind to be not partial to either teaching or other types of jobs--until I actually have to lean this way or that. That way, when I commit to one, I can commit to it fully and without too many regrets, because I will have considered every possibility, at length, beforehand. I will somewhat know what to expect and how to maximize the benefits, as much as possible.

Whatever happens, I hope that I can continue writing fiction and playing music, and justify doing both, because I enjoy them, and they keep me sane. Further, as long as I can continue doing both in any capacity, I will be happy. In other words, at least I know how I will be spending my free time.

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