Hi! I have a M.S. degree in applied mathematics. I have been in public education
for 16 years. I have also been teaching at a junior college part-time since 1994.
I have been Mathematics Department chair since 1998. I don’t know what I am
qualified for other than education. Where can I look? Thank you.
The Career Doctor responds:
Let’s start with your obvious love of math and numbers. Having a flair for
math means that you should also be strong in a number of related skills
such as: problem-solving analyzing and interpreting data and critical and logical thinking. Since you have also been a department chair for so many years
I am guessing you also have good leadership delegation people-management skills.
Where can you look to see what else you’re qualified to do? It’s harder than
you think — you need to look inside yourself first. I want you to spend some time
doing a couple of exercises. First you need to make a detailed list of all the skills
where you excel such as some of the one I mentioned in the first paragraph.
Second from the list of skills you just created circle the skills that you enjoy
the most and scratch the skills you really don’t want to do anymore. Third
think about other skills and activities you enjoy outside of your work — and
make a list of those. Fourth now see if you can combine all the positives into
a new list of skills and activities you enjoy.
Now that you have completed your list it’s time to do a little investigating about
possible career opportunities for you. Assuming you still want to work in a field
that uses your math/logic skills you might consider perusing the Websites of
various math statistics logistics associations such as the
American Mathematical Association or the
American Statistical Association which
both have all sorts of good career and job information.
Of course if your interests have moved away from both education and math I
suggest a much deeper examination of where you want your career to go next.
I recommend you read my article
The 10-Step Plan to Career Change.