After hearing about my upcoming retirement, people often ask, “What are you going to do when you retire?”
It took me a while to come to the decision to do nothing for a year. I think it’ll take me that long to get used to a new routine of not having to go to work. After that year, I’ll just see what presents itself.
I’ll be only 57 this year, so everyone assumes that I’ll go back to work until that magic age of 62 when I can start collecting my social security. Having only half of my regular paycheck beginning July 1 makes me think I’ll have to get another job at some point. I’m just not sure I want to teach anymore. After 34 ½ years, I’m wondering if teaching was the best choice of a career for me.
Why did I become a teacher? I admired all the teachers I had and wanted to have that type of respect. I’m a pretty funny person and having that captive audience was a good incentive to teach, too.
When I was in high school, I took one of those interest inventory tests which said I’d be a good funeral home worker. Sometimes when I’m delivering the lecture of my life and look out at my students with their heads on their desks or a zoned-out look in their eyes, I think that’s actually what I am doing.
I now have the opportunity to find another career path. Since I’m older and hopefully wiser, I have made a list of criteria I want in a dream job.
1. Go to work around 9:00 a.m. and get off at 2:30 p.m. No more going to work in the dark! I’d also need an hour for lunch so I could calmly eat a meal while discussing important world events with my very intelligent co-workers.
2. Leave work at work. Don’t bring home anything from the office to do at home, not even checking work email. Now that we can access our work-world via the cloud 24/7, more and more work will be done at home. Work stress becomes home stress which then becomes work stress. Many people love working from home as in virtual teaching or being a virtual assistant and that might work for me. However, I need to be around people. I can’t see being at home all day, cleaning and cooking for my family, as a thrilling job. I know it works for many people, but I’m not sure I’m cut out for it.
3. Wear a uniform. Honestly, when I look at jobs I might want after I retire, I look to see the dress code. I’d love to wear scrubs, especially now that they come in such nice patterns and colors. At a local hospital, the clerical staff is required to wear a uniform of gray pants, vest, skirt, jacket with a nice light blue blouse. That’s it. Every day. I can’t imagine having to make no decision about what to wear.
4. There would be an actual break in the schedule for you to go to the bathroom, get a sip of water or take a walk around the building to clear your head.
5. The boss has everything planned out for you so you don’t have to invent plans. However, if you come up with something great that would benefit all, the boss would gladly listen and share your plan with others to see if it’s feasible. In short, the boss would be a leader who sincerely listens to his employees.
I know that I’ll never find a job that will give me all of these options, but I said earlier that it is a dream job, right? If I truly find myself needing to go to work again, I’ll take just about any job where I can use what I have learned over the years.
At my age, I decided that I will never work for a company/boss who doesn’t respect and do its/his best for the employees or clientele. I have often told my friends that I hope I am never so desperate that I have to work for Comcast because of the terrible experiences I have had with that company. It turns out that I am not alone according to a recent piece at Huffington Post.
As far as a future job is concerned, I'll just have to wait and see what comes. For the next year, however, you'll find me here:
Right now, I'm tempted to find a job like Kevin Spacey did after quitting his long-time, well-paying job in American Beauty:
What is your dream job?