I have been trying to find a job since I got back to New Zealand. It has been very frustrating and daunting as I’m sure it is for most people who try to find a job and I’m sure I don’t have to tell most people how hard it can be at times especially in today’s economy. It’s hard everywhere.

For those who don’t know, I’m a math teacher. I’m certified to teach secondary math in two countries – obviously America (New York State) and in New Zealand. However, even though teachers are said to be in need in New Zealand right now, math jobs are hard to come by in the area that Josh and I have settled. We’re in a small little town and quite often small little towns don’t really cycle through jobs like that as fast as places with larger populations.

I really needed a job though so I didn’t give up. I decided that I didn’t really need a teaching job right now to be happy even if that’s what I had technically chosen for a profession. Besides, there are things more important in life than jobs that pay a lot of money like having a job at all and waking up every day feeling happy and healthy and loved. Now I have all of these things.

I finally found a job at a local supermarket in the dairy department. I actually really, really love it. I have enjoyed being out and about and it has given me the opportunity to meet some other people here in New Zealand besides just Josh and his family which is always refreshing and interesting (not that I don’t love all of them but it’s good to expand the circle).

Trying to Steep
All I do is drink peppermint tea lately, it seems…

The only downside so far is that it has left me extremely tired while I am getting used to the job. I came home feeling sore and wanting nothing more than to eat a gigantic dinner and go to bed which I can assure you is what I did. My schedule is better now. After only a week they offered me better hours. They gave me more hours and the hours themselves are more manageable for me. I like them so much better.

At first I thought I would be upset that I was not teaching. I even got some comments of condescension from a few different people because they think that this job is below me. I think that is ridiculous. I think that my happiness shouldn’t be dependent on what job that I do but rather on how I do whatever job that I do and I should always do that job to the best of my ability. Too many people focus on what they want instead of what they need. If I kept trying to get a teaching job then maybe I wouldn’t even have a job at all and that wouldn’t be productive either – isn’t it even more counterproductive to be unemployed? You can never make any connections or get yourself out there by sitting at home. I never know who I will meet at my new job. The choices we make in life make us who we are and bring us where we are headed. I want to be headed somewhere – I don’t want to sit still… do you?

I am happy. That’s enough for me. If there’s anything I’ve learned in life it’s that if something feels wrong in your life then you have to do something about it. Sometimes that something might be something a little different than what you originally had planned. For me, the further I differ from my original plans, the more amazing my life becomes.

Comments on this post

  • I will never forget my former roommate telling me that getting a job as a fast food worker or housekeeper should be considered “beneath me” and that I shouldn’t apply for those types of jobs. I’ve been employed as a housekeeper twice (by the same place) and I actually loved the job, despite what I may have blogged. The other day I spoke to her on Facebook and lo and behold, she’s working in a fast food place. I asked her what happened, I thought that was supposed to be “beneath us” and she said it was all she could get, so she took it.

    People can’t understand that just because you chose a particular career, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy in a different career. They think that anything other than what you chose is “not good enough.” To them I say “bull” and to you I say “good for you.” You found a job and you enjoy it. So what if it isn’t a math teaching job? It is still a job and you like it. That is all that matters. :)

  • I agree! Why should your happiness depend on what your job is? Most parents in my country like to tell their children to get a job that pays well, or they won’t be able to “survive” in our society. But why force their children to do what they do not enjoy doing?
    All the best with everything! :)

  • I totally agree! I am currently working as a delivery driver for Jimmy John’s (a sandwich shop, not sure if they are out in NY, but are very popular in the Midwest). At first, even I thought it was beneath me and was embarrassed to admit to people where I worked. But now? I really love it! It is super flexible, my co-workers are great, and I have tons of fun! I know I’ll use my degree someday (I’m currently working on my masters) but for now, I’m happy with where I am and don’t care what anyone else thinks!

  • I’m glad you’re happy! That’s all that matters! Love you! Love, Mom

  • What a great post, Caity. :) I am glad that you’re happy. And I definitely agree that it’s important to get a job while you’re out there — to meet new people, to experience the new country a little more, to feel like you’re finally a PART of that country. And plus, to keep you busy & productive is definitely a plus. :P

    And the job is below you? Wow. I don’t get that. You said it best though: “I think that my happiness shouldn’t be dependent on what job that I do but rather on how I do whatever job that I do and I should always do that job to the best of my ability.” I totally agree!

    I’m wishing you all the best. You’re definitely a teacher and you will be again soon. :) But there’s no need to rush it. Things will happen when they should!

    Congrats on the new job too by the way. :D

  • I think any job is better than no job. So yea, having /some/ job is a lot better than being unemployed.. I know first hand, unfortunately.

    Anyway, I’m glad you got a job and that you enjoy it. Its a step in the right direction. ^_^

  • Good luck with the search process. It’s often discouraging but you only need one stroke of good luck to reach your goal. I know NYS offers a lot of incentives to math/science teachers to teach in public schools, but I’ve no idea what the structure/program incentives are in New Zealand. You’re nevertheless in a beautiful country, so I hope you find a suitable job to match your qualifications!

  • Hey Caity! First I just wanna say thank you so much for commenting often on my site. I’m sorry I don’t comment you back but I will try to get better with that. Your comments mean a lot to me. Congrats on the new job!!!!!!!! This post has helped me… since we’ve moved to Georgia (earlier this year), I’ve really been sitting still. I need to try to find a job too… need to do a lot of things. I really wanna expand my circle of friends too. You are so right – we have to change it and I’m gonna work on that.

  • Like I said, I am so happy that you have a job that you enjoy, and your attitude is amazing! It’s so true that you are lucky to have a job, especially in this economy, and it’s amazing of you to be able to see that. A lot of people in your position would be upset and not see the best in it. Nonetheless, I hope you are able to find a teaching job eventually, since that is your chosen field!

  • Don’t listen to ANYBODY that says ANY job is “beneath you”. Your job is usually as good as you make it! Plus, getting to meet new people is ALWAYS a good thing, especially in a small town.

  • I am technically a web designer, but I work at McDonald’s. Jobs are hard to come by, and you have to be happy for what you have. (Similarly, I live in a very small area in Missouri. But New Zealand is infinitely prettier. lol.)

  • Pfft to those people! I mean, unless the job is illegal or completely against your morals, there’s nothing wrong with ANY job. Especially in this day and age when it’s hard to get a job in most places. I mean, for my job last summer I applied for 40+ jobs and got 3 interviews in the end. Most of them were not in my field of choice at all and my parents didn’t “get” why I wasn’t trying harder for a job in my field – because there just weren’t any positions!

    As long as you’re happy and you can afford the necessities, that’s all that matters!

  • well at least you’re doing something you enjoy until you can find something in your field :) It doesn’t matter what other people say, so just ignore them. HAPPINESS IS EVERYTHING!! :P

  • People really need to get over the idea that they “need” to be in one cookie cutter spot. It just doesn’t always happen. Maybe once school starts up again you’ll find a spot, but for now? You’re enjoying what you’re doing! It’s awesome to have a job!

    You’re so right.

    I don’t want to sit still either.

  • Caity,

    These are such wise words and perfect for you, “I think that my happiness shouldn’t be dependent on what job that I do but rather on how I do whatever job that I do and I should always do that job to the best of my ability.”

    It seems to me you’d be good at most things you do and would find a learning experience from them. I will hope a math job does become available, but in the meantime, I’m proud of you for taking this job. I’ve a feeling you will gain a lot from it:~)

  • A job is a job. And believe me, I’ve been where you are. ANY JOB is an AMAZING JOB in that situation. No job is beneath anyone really and it’s sad that some people think that. It’s surprising that some people would take government benefits rather than work certain jobs. Bah. You are a smart lady!

    Enjoy the new job!

  • Well, that is awesome, awesome, awesome, Caity!!

    Sounds like a great way to meet nice people.

    And your words are very very inspiring. Just read Jim these sentences… ” my happiness shouldn’t be dependent on what job that I do but rather on how I do whatever job that I do and I should always do that job to the best of my ability. Too many people focus on what they want instead of what they need.” AMEN.

    Jim is probably going to be soon changing his car business a lot — downsizing, and your words are pretty darn great for anyone let alone a lady of your youthful age.


  • I think it’s awesome how you’re striving for a life of your own in New Zealand! It takes perseverance and courage, and I’m sure that whatever job you decide on will feel great because it’s a step towards an amazing life of independence and fulfillment. A lot of people don’t really get that, and focus on the material aspect instead. A job on your actual field will appear when the time is right. In the mean time, enjoy! :)

  • I have been thinking a lot of these very same thoughts lately! I graduated 5 months ago (3 months of that consumed with bar prep) and am not doing anything that is related to the legal profession. As I’ve considered moving (the legal market is horrible everywhere, including here) I’ve been including tons of random jobs outside my field in my search. A lot of people say “You have a law degree. That job is beneath you, why are you even looking at it?” The truth is that I of course would like to “use” my degree (the whole idea that you can’t use your EDUCATION in an unrelated field is ridiculous to me but that’s a tangent) and find that perfect job in my field. I believe I will, but until then, girl’s got bills to pay :) Besides, my happiness is internal – it’s not dependent on my circumstances.
    (belated comment, but this post was too good not to chime in!)

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