No man's land

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No man's land

Postby Jackie » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:16 pm

Three years ago I decided to go part time in my job as a teacher for two reasons. First one being I had trained as an arts therapist and wanted to use my skills, and secondly I felt that I needed some kind of change from teaching. I would have taken a full career break if i could have afforded it. I managed to generate a small client base as an arts therapist and have enjoyed being my own boss. However now I'm beginning to feel neither one thing or the other. I find it frustrating going into school as it takes me away from the arts therapy but I find it frustrating doing the arts therapies too as I work alone and spend so much time carrying equipment upstairs, setting up the room, writing notes pre and post session and being in contact with parents. (I rent space on an hourly basis) And the financial rewards for this aren't great. I know I could take it further if I could devote all my time to it and maybe get a colleague. But that's a big financial risk and i've a lot of expense coming up as i'm getting married this summer. When I think about returning full time to my teaching job I think that life would be simpler, there would be less to-ing and fro-ing, but I would get bored with it very quickly. Something in it would have to be different. The only places to rise up in a teaching job is to become part of management. This year they are recruiting for a new assistant principal but I don't know if that's me. I mean it wouldn't say much for my integrity as an arts therapist if I suddenly became a vice principal. I guess I'm at a bit of a cross roads. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
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Re: No man's land

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:24 pm

No one can decide for you.
Are there any possible grants available to help you start a business yourself?
If you have an opportunity to achieve a dream job it would be great to do it rather than not trying and kicking yourself later.
Have you spoke to your partner about him supporting you finacially whilst you get started.
Is it possible to cut back on any of the wedding costs, after all the wedding is one day your job is everyday.
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Re: No man's land

Postby snail » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:27 pm

As Bel said, no-one can decide for you, but from what you've said it doesn't sound as though your teaching job will really lead anywhere that you want to go, it doesn't have any potential that excites you. If you can find something better - whatever that is - I would go for it. Could you perhaps be a full time therapist employed by someone else, such as attached to a therapy centre, or a mental health or paediatrics ward?
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Re: No man's land

Postby reckoner » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:26 pm

It's funny that my own work circumstances at the moment make me really jealous of yours! Which I hope doesn't limit too much the usefulness or relevance of my comments...

I feel you should listen to your instinct regarding management. I've had long discussions with people in all kinds of sectors about the frustrations we've all had with following the management route. Whether it's journalism, teaching or commerce, the general consensus has been that it takes you away from doing what got you into the job in the first place, requiring you to develop and demonstrate skills that sometimes seem irrelevant and unsympathetic to those at 'ground' level. If you're feeling dissatisfied already, I don't think the management route will be any more satisfying, unless you have a specific interest in management, which it doesn't sound like you do. My own experience was that the money was not worth it.

You don't mention children, the lack of which gives you much greater freedom to pursue work that you love rather than work that pays well. My own view is that this is a freedom you should make the most of while you have it. I also agree with Bel Bel about discussing this with your partner. Hopefully, he'd be happy to support you in following a route that fulfills you, even if it's less financially rewarding. Are there more lucrative avenues for your skills in arts you can explore to support your therapy work?

Jackie wrote:However now I'm beginning to feel neither one thing or the other.

Again, perhaps my own circumstances have distorted my view too much, but it sounds like the best of both worlds - you have options and a broad range of skills and experience at your disposal. It sounds like freedom to me. I have just qualified as a TEFL teacher and was chatting with one of the managers at the college I studied at (it also teaches GCSEs, A Levels etc) who described education as increasingly tough, talk of redundancies etc. My own instinct, and it's nothing more, is that you will be served well to have your own operation and income without total dependence on any one organisation or institution.

I don't know if that's any help at all, but best wishes, it would be great to know what you do.
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