Saturday, April 21, 2012

A second career

I have reached a time in my life where I notice my friends starting second careers - either by choice or by happenstance. I have friends who have done all sorts of things. I think should I start a second career but then think I may already have.

I started working in marketing in the mid-1980's. I worked for several different companies over the years. When I got married, I was established in my career working as the marketing director for a non-profit in downtown Boston. I commuted by subway each day. My husband would drop me off at the bus stop on his way to work. I could get to my office in 35 minutes - seated at my desk in fact - after getting on the bus. Coming home took a little longer and I would get home closer to 530 or 6. My husband, who worked closer to home and had the 10 minute commute, would have beat me home by an hour. He would be all relaxed and ready for dinner when I needed to decompress for a bit.

I decided I needed a job closer to home with shorter hours (and a nicer boss) so my hours would more closely align with my husband's. I found a job ten minutes from home with nicer people. That job lasted about five months and then they hit the problem of  'can't pay their employees' so I opted to find another job where I could get a pay check. Two weeks later I got that pesky cancer diagnosis which ruined those plans. I diligently sent out resumes and followed up between surgeries and chemo. I was offered interviews which I ended up declining. Only I thought I could go to job interviews while in chemo.

I gave up the job search business and was offered a part time position back, that I had had before while between jobs years before at a local community ed program. And kept thinking about going back to work. After treatment ended and I recovered from gall bladder surgery, I decided I needed another job. I found one 15 hours/week about 30 minutes from home back doing marketing of all things.

I don't have a title. I am the marketing department. My title is just Marketing. I kind of like that. When I was interviewed I was asked if I was overqualified for the job. I said probably but I am happy not to be on the rat race any more. I said I wanted more flexibility in my life (which is true because I needed to be able to go to doctor appointments).

After another year my community education job came to an end sooner than I thought - we'll just say a co-worker thought I was trying to steal her job and made things very uncomfortable for me. I opted to leave instead of putting up with politics like that in a small office. I then found another part time job doing development for a local non-profit.

Two years later, I am still working two part time jobs and going to (damn) doctor appointments. I have begun to think I did get into a second career and instead of a mid-life crisis I had a second cancer diagnosis. Now I am a professional patient with a couple of side jobs.

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