Success Wall: Susan Left Her Job To Pursue A More Creative Field

Land your dream job? Get a promotion? Make a successful career change? Congratulations! We want to share your inspiring story with other job seekers, hard workers, and career changers on our Success Wall - a place where we celebrate your accomplishments. Here's today's story:

Meet Susan...

Age: 52 Job Title: Senior Consultant "I was willing to give up financial security to pursue a variety of interests and directions, in middle age, that all contributed in some way to prepare me for my current career path (#4 and counting!)."

Her Goals

"I wanted to leave engineering to pursue a more creative, people-oriented field."

Her Challenges

"I left a financially rewarding 25 year career as a 'rocket scientist' at the same time I got divorced. I took two years off from working to go to interior design school. At one point, I was so poor, I started substitute teaching in my off-time to bring in a little extra money. I 'accidentally' found out that I loved working with teenagers and was a great high school math teacher, and started informally studying motivational and behavioral psychology. While continuing my design classes, I also completed the teacher certification process to become a 'real' teacher. At one point, I was a single parent, going to school part-time and working three part-time jobs: teaching, tutoring, and interior design."

Her “Aha!” Moment

"I was willing to work really hard and adjust my standard of living to pursue interests that I felt passionate about."

Her Success

"After one year of working as a full-time high school math teacher (with continuous 70 hr weeks and low-pay), a former colleague contacted me about a job opening. Today, I am an instructional designer in the oil and gas industry, developing corporate technical and leadership courses. This position allows me to combine my engineering background, teaching skills, and interest in motivational and behavioral psychology. And surprisingly, I'm able to apply my design skills to developing attractive course presentation materials. And I'm making more money than I did as an engineer, in a low-stress environment."

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