Doing what comes naturally

I haven’t posted in nearly a week because I’ve been so busy at my new job. I got to thinking about it last night and realized that this is perhaps the hardest job I’ve ever had – and the one I love the most.

I spent about 30 years selling things. Stuff. And most of the stuff I sold is stuff that people really don’t need. I guess I got into selling stuff because it’s easy to get into. If you’re good at it, you can make a decent living at it. I was good at it, but I always hated it. Talking about this product or that, making it sound as if you simply cannot live without it. Most of it crap that I either would never buy myself or couldn’t afford.

I use to tell myself that I liked it because I got to be outside, driving around instead of stuck in an office somewhere. I did have a lot of freedom that way. But at the end of the day I was stressed out and miserable.

Once you start in a job like that, it’s hard to get out of it. My resume became longer but all the positions were in sales so that was all I was qualified to look for. Even when I moved to Singapore the only job I could find was in sales. And I just hated it more and more.

Then I got incredibly lucky. Because I was in Asia and because I was a white American I was offered a job teaching English. I still don’t know how my name came up considering that I have absolutely no experience teaching English or anything else for that matter.

Teaching in a classroom is hard work. It’s a performance and you must be on your game all the time. I think that’s true for any good teacher. Additionally, my students are all beginners from foreign countries whose proficiency is limited at best. It’s hard and I love it. I’m nearly 60 and finally am doing something satisfying that I like to do. I waited way to damn long.

The moral of this story is, don’t wait. If your a parent, encourage your kids to seek out what they love and follow a path that leads in it’s direction. If your a student, do the same. Don’t wait until you’re 60. You may not be as lucky as me.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Common Sense, Life in the Big City

4 Comments on “Doing what comes naturally”

  1. Mockingbird Says:

    Cool! You’re an English teacher now! 😀 Unlike the Americans where most people are in jobs which they enjoy doing, most Singaporeans are stuck in jobs they are disengaged from, jobs which they cling onto only because they need the salary to pay the bills.

    It’s no wonder Americans are a happier lot when compared to Singaporeans who are generally grumpy.

  2. expatbrian Says:

    I don’t know where you get your information, but most Americans are not in jobs they enjoy at all. Like people all over the world, they are doing what they must to survive. Most Americans are blue collar workers in factories and other industries where the work is very mundane and repetitive. Even the actors are on strike right now.

  3. Mockingbird Says:

    But i believe there are many, many more interesting career choices in US, compared to Singapore, right?

  4. expatbrian Says:

    There are certainly many more choices because there are more industries and fields. How interesting they are is open to debate. There’s lots of jobs for people to pick melons and fruit and vegetables at harvest time. Interesting? High paying? I think not.

    You can choose to be in a large organized crime family or gang. Interesting? Probably. Safe? no. You can own and operate a gun shop. You can lead a racist hate group. You can be a corrupt politician. Yup, there are lots of opportunities in the US.


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