Monday, January 26, 2009

Midlife Jobhunter Jumps In

What do you want to be when you grow up? A familiar question. One that seems to always catch me with my pants down, generating a tad of panic.

At the end of my sophomore year of college, and down to the wire in declaring a major, I had no clue. My dreams of becoming a veterinarian—a line item on a wish-filled litany of possibilities like Olympic gold medal ice skater, stewardess, florist, and peace corps volunteer—now shattered by a D in physics and no desire to tackle Organic Chemistry. (That much studying interfered with my bar schedule.)

Thirty-two years later, I’m still asking the same question. What do I want to be when I grow up? However, my window of opportunity isn’t quite as widespread as it was back then. I need to re-enter the workforce. With the downturn in the economy, my husband needs my help in the income department. We are a team. Even though twenty-five years ago I supported the two us, I now have no clue as to what might be out there, or how to pursue it. I have dabbled in a few ventures through the years so my resume isn’t a complete blank, but I thought I had more time to figure it out. Since when does life simply hand us time for our thoughts?

With one kid a new college graduate and beginning his very own life, one in his junior year at university, and one more boy still in high school, I don’t have time or the funds to pursue that Master’s degree, to accomplish my latest line item of career choices—teaching college.

While one novel sleeps in the drawer blanketed by its 52 rejections from agents (most very nice rejections, I might add) and 200 pages of a second book awaiting completion, the days of lolling in my sweat pants and performing civic do-gooder work with a fairly open schedule are numbered.

Accompanied by a stale resume in an even staler economic era, Midlife Jobhunter is a road trip toward the rediscovery of my own talents, abilities, gathered knowledge. Oh, yes, and the search for gainful employment. As I dust off my filing cabinet in search of the secondary high school English teaching certificate that expired 24 years ago, I embark on an adventure. I can’t look at it any differently than that, or it will overwhelm me.


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