True Confessions: I Booty Called My Ex-Career

lost my job

I used to be a college professor. No, really.

I’ve talked before about It was not only a job I loved, but it was my dream job that I had worked incredibly hard to get. While I've talked about what steps I took to find a new job to love, I’ve never really talked about how fucking freaked out I was!

I was a Humanities Professor at several fantastic colleges here in the Bay Area. As I'm sure you know, education/academia is not a cash cow but I loooooved my job. Like REALLY loved it, so I scrimped, saved, worked weird little jobs in the cracks between classes to make ends meet but it all finally came to a head when my options were a) move across the country for a tenure track position and be struggling slightly less financially (only now in a place far from home) OR b) find a new career.

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How did I feel about my options? I was devastated. It was like a long-term, 'this is it forever' romantic relationship ending! It took me months of soul searching and not a few tears to get to a place where I could even acknowledge that there really were other doors. Wide open doors.

I held on to one or two night classes and took several jobs that I knew I would hate - which I looked at as a good thing because I was still trying to make teaching work and any other job would “just” be a day job that I could leave when I found a way to make teaching work.


It was like booty calling my ex-career


After 2 (yes TWO) years of drunkenly texting my ex-career, I finally had the talk with myself that someone always has to have with you after a breakup. The “IT’S OVER MOVE ON” talk. The hard truth that your bestie gives you. But unlike a ‘true’ breakup, nobody was telling me they ‘never really liked my career anyway.’ Nobody understood that I was grieving (forget bringing over ice cream to help me grieve!)

After 'the talk' with myself I tried working with a few career coaches in the hopes that they could magically tell me what the hell I should do with my life (it totally doesn’t work that way btw). In the search for “The One” I took ALL the quizzes, filled out the workbooks, took the online workshops - in essence I online dated the shit out of my career.


I was convinced I’d be a sad, lonely, old career cat lady.


 NOTHING seemed right and man did I do some epic wallowing. Then, a coworker who had moved on to another company reached out. She knew I was miserable in my current relationship - uh, day job. I had jumped into another one that I knew I would hate out of self-pity or some such nonsense. She wanted to introduce me to a new job. A new job that she knew I would rock. A job that played on all my strengths. A job where I got to teach people how to work together. Isn’t that always the way? A friend of a friend introduces you to the right thing?

Through this new gig, it became clear to me that I loved (and always had) helping people get the jobs they were lusting after. The one that made them SO. FREAKING. STOKED. It took another 2+ years for it to all come to fruition and it wasn't an easy or even a direct path but I'm currently teaching others how to find fulfillment in their own careers and there's no way I could be where I am without the heartbreak of have to give up being a professor.

I am in love with my job in a whole new way and I can't imagine not being a coach. Life’s funny that way huh?