Shelli Mader: Finding a new path in life can be exciting, even though change can be bittersweet |

Shelli Mader: Finding a new path in life can be exciting, even though change can be bittersweet

One of my favorite ways to encourage my kids is to tell them stories about how people in the past overcame challenges and succeeded. Right now, they have been needing to hear lots of stories about how their relatives endured (and survived) schools and teachers that they didn’t like.

Stories are powerful motivators and I have been collecting a lot of job stories lately to encourage myself. I have been so blessed to be a stay-at-home mom that I went many years without realizing how hard it can be to find a decent job with hours to work around kids’ school schedules.

When I lived in Texas I completed a teacher training program, but was never able to get a teaching job – there was loads of competition. Here in Colorado Springs, I have applied for several teacher’s aide positions (making around minimum wage). I thought that I would surely get one of those, but when I called the school last week they had already conducted interviews and hired people. I had been pretty confident about my chances and was a little shocked when I didn’t even get an interview.

I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for people who are trying to find a job. That is one of the great things about challenges though – it gives a person a new perspective and a lot more compassion on people. So if you are in the market for a new job or are just feeling like you are not getting much traction in reaching a goal I want to share a few stories to encourage you.

A few years back one of my acquaintances, Karen, was trying to find a job to help pay for her kids’ college. She had been out of the work force for 15 years and didn’t have a college education, so she was a little nervous about finding a well-paying position. She applied for a job at a farm and ranch agency and surprisingly got it. Later she learned who some of the other applicants were and she was shocked to see that she got the job instead of the many more well-qualified and college-educated people.

Several years ago my sister got laid off from her well-paying ag job. She was pretty bummed about it and struggled and struggled to find a new one. Eventually she took a low-paying job at a place she didn’t enjoy at all. She worked there for a few months and eventually found out about a teaching position. She started the Texas teacher’s program, got the job quickly and she has been teaching ever since. She has 3 kids now and her teaching job is a much better fit for her family than her ag job was.

Another story comes from a woman I grew up nearby. A while back Marilyn applied for a job that she was nearly perfectly qualified for. She was pretty sure that she would get it and was completely shocked when she didn’t. Later on though, she got another that fit her schedule much better. I’m excited to share some more of her story in the coming weeks.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that things happen for a reason and am so encouraged when I hear about how things have worked out for other people. I have come to the conclusion that I’m not supposed to be a teacher – I have about 20 old applications in my computer to prove that – so I am excited to find out what I am supposed to do.❖

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