I watched the video below today posted by a dear friend on Facebook and after a few clicks I found myself on the new start-up Escape the City, which tries to help people who feel “trapped” in a job they don’t like to transition into their new job and life. Interesting:)
It kind of reminded me of my story and the transition from corporate to the non-corporate, from corporate finance for a big bank to higher education management. And I would like to share this here for 2 reasons: a. cause I truly believe that Education is in need for more people with corporate experiences, with the right talents and attitudes of course and b. i would like you to help me in actualizing my dream, the main reason why I chose to do this “career turn” as many people call it. Mεlite is a blog and from time to time it will host stories of people like me and you who are interested in improving the present and future of Education and thus creating a better world.
So, here are the 3 main learning points from my “transition” so far:
1. People do not like change. You buy new shoes and the first day you wear them, you hate how uncomfortable they are. The second day it gets better and in a few days they don’t even feel new anymore. People actually don’t like change, not only for them but also for the ones around them, too. One interpretation is because when someone else manages to change, it reveals their incompetence or insecurities. Anyhow, what does that have to do with my story? When you think or decide to switch to something new, do not expect to find fans straight away. Especially if this change is from something that is well-branded, secured and well-paid. Education, despite its social purpose and role, it will never be as well-branded, as secure and as well-paid as any other corporate job of the same level.
2. I am still in the beginning of my professional path (even though I have been working for around 10 years now full-time) and try to utilize the opportunity of working with people that have worked probably as much as I have lived on this planet. My ex manager in the bank, global head on his area had given me a piece of advice that I treasure till today “Find a role that you will want to be in not until you retire, but forever“. Now, he is a perfectionist, so the choice of words is definitely not by accident. He spoke about a role and not a job. Cause a role exists in relation to others. A role is not a set of tasks, responsibilities and duties, it stands for that AND for a set of attitude characteristics and relationships. He also spoke about a time and boundless role. You know what he meant. A great teacher does not stop being a great teacher because he doesn’t work at a school anymore. He becomes a mentor for his grandchildren, he becomes a living part of the traditions of the community and his character remains true to that role.
3. You know what your element is. You already know it. You just need to remember it. Once you remember it, it will never go away, no matter how much you will try to avoid it, because of your fear of letting yourself totally open to dream and plan big. If I would have one thing to say in this case is this: Ignore all the voices from people around you, inside of you that will tell you you are crazy. I found a job, after just 2 interviews, at a place with 40% unemployment rate at my age group and I did not at a place with less than 3%. Crazy right? If your element is in banking, then, awesome. If it is in agriculture, great, too. If you want to be a teacher, this is just beautiful! Being honest with myself about what I wanted, what I was really passionate about and being committed to my goal is what helped me in my transition.
If you are thinking a transition in Education, drop me a line. I don’t have all the answers, but I will think them through with you.
Now, I also spoke of my dream about Education, which I would like your help on. I recognize the great difficulties that exist around the world and I definitely believe that Education is for All, irrespective of place of birth and economical status. My theory though is that parallel to trying to educate more people, we need to start educating them to be better members of their communities. I have referred to it as ethics, moral education, ability to think and apply values based leadership etc. I am studying a bit on this and have asked the help of many friends, but if you have any examples of moral education in educating pupils and students in formal or informal settings, I would be grateful if you could share.
Have a great month ahead!