Today I attended my last day of class as an undergrad. Or, as I like to call it, my last day of class ever, for now. As in, I believe I will probably wind up in some sort of classroom setting in the next five years, be it my own classroom or my more accustomed position of “lecturee” rather than “lecturer”.
While this was my last day of class, I’m still not finished. I have to write an abstract for last weeks lab, and two finals. Those are the only things standing between me and graduation. It has been a long time in coming, and I’m not entirely sure I will know what to do with myself when it’s here and gone. Look for a job of course. It will be an adjustment when it comes time to work full time, because up until now I’ve always had a ‘future job’ as an out when I worked a job I disliked. Now my ‘future’ job will be my ‘current’ job, and not having school as an out will take some getting use to.
That being said, I do have some reservations about my work prospects. I’m wanting to be certified to teach biology at the high school level (although I recently discovered that the certification I was looking at has changed, and I’ll be certified for grades 4-12, so I could wind up teaching elementary or middle school). I’m not sure how much I’m going to like the field, given how much is expected of an instructor. And the profound behavioral problems teachers find themselves confronting these days.
These are legitimate concerns. I’m also beginning to believe that they’re at least partly moot. Vocation is not a job or a career, but what a person brings to a job or a career. It is not what you do, but rather how you frame it in your mind. I think it is fine to pursue your passions, but at the same time the search for a passion can be maddening. Some people know right off the bat, but as for the rest of us, we’re left floundering and anxious, wondering what we should do the rest of our lives and terrified that we’ll pick the wrong thing.
That is not only unproductive thinking, but also simply wrong thinking. Most people change their career seven or more times in their lifetime. Like it or not, the days were a person graduated school (college or otherwise) and stayed in the same job for their working life are long gone. Instead of fretting over finding a job we are passionate about, we must instead find passion for what work we find. In order to find contentment in the workplace, we must know ourselves well enough to identify our strengths and cultivate them, and then apply those things to our working life.
So, while I have certain preferences in what I’m looking for in a job or a career, I know the potential for contentedness is there in just about any workplace I find myself in. It’s a matter of mindset.
…that is, until this whole author thing takes off. Then my work place will be the old home office. Pretty sure I can be content there =D