So for now I've come to terms with the notion that I may need to abandon my profession, at least for the next few years if not forever. Hard to let go of 20 years of education and experience but no point in clinging to a dead profession. I'm still looking and applying for things, you never know what sort of opportunity may present itself but I can't sit around waiting for the unemployment to run out. My plan for now is to see if I can take on some pet dog training clients. Not sure what sort of market there is for people who want private training in their homes or on the trails but I can only take on 2 clients per week and still keep my unemployment anyway so it's worth a shot and gives me something productive to do other than hobbies to keep my sanity. If it turns out there's a decent market and I can build up a client base then maybe I turn into a dog trainer for a living. I don't like the idea of hobbies for a job but it's a skill I have and I really enjoy teaching so I guess I give it a go and see what happens. The nice thing about it is that I don't need to go back to school or get any sort of certification. I've looked into it and there are some certifications you can get but I'm not sure they mean anything to the average pet owner. They all look pretty Mickey Mouse anyway except for maybe the CPDT-KA and I'm supposing that if I can pass the licensing exam to be a Professional Engineer that I can pass the dog training exam without busting my brains too heavily. The sample exam they gave on the website was pretty easy anyway. I've substitute taught pet dog training for a friend when she couldn't make her class and she wanted me to take the class over for her permanently but at the time I was too busy. I've also taught math/science on a volunteer basis to people trying to get their GED and that went really well so at least I know I like teaching and I can do it. There's always a learning curve when taking on something like this but I don't feel like the idea is too far-fetched and at this point I have nothing to lose.
I should be back to blogging more regularly. I was surprisingly busy this past month and the trip to Chicago threw a monkey wrench into what little of a schedule that I'd developed for myself. Even the poor dogs have been neglected but we're getting back on track with their exercise/training schedule. They say that looking for a job is a full time job in itself and this is certainly true. The internet and all the information that it makes available is a double-edged sword. And some of those online job applications, especially through the federal government, can take 2 hours to fill out. I've had a few that wanted not only month and year but the actual day for date of employment, degrees, etc. Crazy. Who keeps track of the specific day they were hired for a job 20 years ago? And you want to know how many semester hours I completed for my Bachelor's Degree and my GPA? Really? I've got 20 years of experience, a Master's Degree, a Professional Engineering license and you still need to know the driver's license number of the boy who took me to prom in high school? I wonder what happens in a good economy when any good candidate with half a brain takes a look at these applications and says who wants to work for a place this screwed up? But such is not my luxury now so I've spent the required hours to gather all the goofy information and answer the pages and pages and hours of questions. But I've got a system more or less dialed in now and these things are taking less time so I should be back to the blogging and training.