08 February 2009

Help wanted, apply inside

Alright readers, I'm looking for insight, advice, and recommendations - so please leave your comments below! I am really struggling with trying to figure out what I want to do. I spent 6 years in school for a BS and MS degree in Materials Science and Engineering and then spent 7 years working as a Yield Enhancement Engineer at a semiconductor company. The problem? My job was FAR from satisfying and in all honesty, I am glad I was forced to make a decision on how to move forward because I would have stayed in that position until retirement otherwise. Now don't get me wrong, I did not hate my job, and in fact enjoyed many parts of it - but the parts I enjoyed were the parts not nearly as critical for my position. I liked the supportive type functions much more than the team leader and influencer stuff. I always felt like my peers knew more than me so I was quite timid and usually deferred to them.

So what do I enjoy? Well, the most satisfying thing I remember is when I was a teaching assistant in grad school for a "Chemistry for non-Science Majors". I was tutoring one of my students who just could not grasp the periodic table and after going over how the period table is laid out according to the electron orbitals, there was her "a-ha" moment. It all made sense now and she finally, after chemistry in high school and again in college, understood. I felt so good to make a difference in one person's life. I realize I'm a developed and I enjoy numbers and those black and white things, the right and wrong, the it works or it doesn't work. I'm good with the stuff in the middle, where you give me a general outline or idea of what you want, I can get you 80-90% of the way to the finish line, if someone else can tend to those final details.

So where do you come in? I need to know what types of jobs I should be looking at. My first thought is math teacher, but that means more schooling and a pretty significant pay cut - plus I'm not sure what the job market is for math teachers around here. However, if I end up in a good district, then we can send Ruby there instead of dealing with private school since the district we live in is, well, not really where we want to send her. Plus I get summer's and holidays off, which means more time to spend with Ruby. Okay, so what are some other options though? Some thing in banking or finance? What schooling or training is needed? Oh yeah, and how do I deal with pumping if I have long interviews or training or other thing like that?


Meg said...

Girl- If I had my masters, I would absolutely 100% teach college. You could be an adjunct instructor to see how you like it- that is, part-time, you can teach classes when you want, have more time with Ruby, and the pay is not bad at all. I know at TCC (which is where I work) we have numerous openings for adjunct instructors. Good luck, I know how hard this decision must be!

Seachelle said...

I have some thoughts, but I will email you because it would take too much space here.

evil angela said...

I always felt like my peers knew more than me so I was quite timid and usually deferred to them.

There's actually a name for this - it's called Impostor Syndrome. It's hard, but you should try to catch yourself when you think that way and give yourself more credit. I know, I deal with it too.

Anonymous said...

Were you let go? Did you quit? Or are you just at a point to consider a change of careers? I have been providing independent career counseling (on the side) for over 10 years and it doesn't matter what your degree is in to pursue most careers. I don’t know what the TX teaching laws are, but in IL you have to have a year of student teaching in order to take the licensing exam. That’s for public school. For private school, the rules are set by each school. In fact, most private schools will provide free or heavily discounted tuition for children of faculty. There are also great advantages of teaching at the college level, as well (free tuition for you, spouse, your children, etc.), depending on the school.

All that aside, it’s best for you to be thinking about what you ENJOY doing and think about that as a career. As for pumping, schedule your interview around it. Be sure to pump immediately before, so you don’t need to pump during. If you haven’t already figured out how to stop a let down, cross your arms tight across your chest when you feel it start. You don’t want to have to do that during an interview because crossed arms send a message of boredom or being stubborn. But it does help to know that helps. Be sure to wear your nursing pads! Allow the possibility of pumping immediately after, so bring your pump with you. You do not need to tell anyone you are pumping until a job offer is made and accepted. Then address that in your schedule. It’s none of their business and may not work in your favor to bring it up in advance. If you have questions or would like your resume polished, email me privately.


Cassie said...

You and I are at total opposite ends of the spectrum. You are a numbers person, and I'm totally a words person.

Just from what I know of you, I think you'd be a phenomenal teacher, and it would be so perfect for you in regards to Ruby, as you mentioned.

I work for an investment bank, and although investments maybe isn't one the most desirable job markets right now, you'd probably do really well in a portfolio management position.

Good luck in the job hunt, dearest!