This time of year, my work life becomes fast-paced to an almost choatic level. Tempers get shorter with every passing email, minutes fly by as fast as Yusain Bolt, and preparing for professional development takes stress levels to unbelievable highs.
My team and I had mapped out a plan of times to meet to finish prepping for upcoming trainings. All week, something would come up and our collaboration time became shorter and shorter. Today was the last day to prepare for a streak of professional development sessions that will continue up to the first week of school. My team planned to meet the entire day to make sure our PD was flawless.
That didn't happen.
The morning got away from us and we only had the afternoon to put the finishing touches on our PD. One of my coworkers texted me to see if we could meet at another location as we had planned so we would not be disturbed. I agreed and told him that I was on my way.
I got in my car and headed towards our meeting place. As I drove, I heard an advertisement come on the radio. It was a construction company in the area that was sponsoring a job fair today. As a matter of fact, the job fair was taking place right at that moment.
At the stop light, I thought about my 17 year old sleeping beauty. I called him but he didn't answer. I knew that my youngest son was at home enjoying a deep slumber in the middle of the summer. I called him a second time and he answered sleepily. I told him to get dressed and I would be there shortly to pick him up.
Making a u-turn, I headed to pick up my son. I texted my team to let them know I would meet them in an hour and continued to pick up my boy. Once I got home, I explained to my son where we were going.
The experience was one that neither one of us will ever forget.
The job fair was filled with different union tradesmen who gave my son so much information on careers that he can walk right into as soon as he finished his high school diploma. The motto of the job fair was "Earn While You Learn" which stuck with me and my son. Each trade had a starting pay of $16 or more. The pay increases by on the job and free classroom training to amounts over 75,000 a year within 3 years of starting the program.
To see my son walk up to these tradesmen and give them a firm handshake, eye contact, and ask them questions about their career choices touched me. I knew at that moment that he is ready to make informed decisions on what he wants to do as a career.
I was always taught that college was what you needed in order to be able to make enough money to provide for your family. I have learned that college is not a one size fits all program. There are many trades that pay as much or more as college degree programs.
Although work can be stressful and demanding, we must always remember that family come first. It is so easy to get so caught up in deadlines and expectations, especially when you love your career.
I Love What I Do But I Love My Family More.