Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Doing what comes naturally


I haven't posted in nearly a week because I've been so busy at my new job. I got to thinking about it last night and realized that this is perhaps the hardest job I've ever had - and the one I love the most.

I spent about 30 years selling things. Stuff. And most of the stuff I sold is stuff that people really don't need. I guess I got into selling stuff because it's easy to get into. If you're good at it, you can make a decent living at it. I was good at it, but I always hated it. Talking about this product or that, making it sound as if you simply cannot live without it. Most of it crap that I either would never buy myself or couldn't afford.

I use to tell myself that I liked it because I got to be outside, driving around instead of stuck in an office somewhere. I did have a lot of freedom that way. But at the end of the day I was stressed out and miserable.

Once you start in a job like that, it's hard to get out of it. My resume became longer but all the positions were in sales so that was all I was qualified to look for. Even when I moved to Singapore the only job I could find was in sales. And I just hated it more and more.

Then I got incredibly lucky. Because I was in Asia and because I was a white American I was offered a job teaching English. I still don't know how my name came up considering that I have absolutely no experience teaching English or anything else for that matter.

Teaching in a classroom is hard work. It's a performance and you must be on your game all the time. I think that's true for any good teacher. Additionally, my students are all beginners from foreign countries whose proficiency is limited at best. It's hard and I love it. I'm nearly 60 and finally am doing something satisfying that I like to do. I waited way to damn long.

The moral of this story is, don't wait. If you're a parent, encourage your kids to seek out what they love and follow a path that leads in it's direction. If your a student, do the same. Don't wait until you're 60. You may not be as lucky as I was.
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Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That's a beautiful story Brian. I often thought I'd like to teach English abroad too. It's a fairly good gig and you get to live somewhere cool.

10:30:00 AM  

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