For the first time in almost ten years, I’ve been forced to deal with employment issues…and a bit of an existential crisis. I have recently left RBC, and have found to my initial dismay that the career specialization I have fostered for years now is not in huge demand right now. Technology I have yet to master has begun to replace it, and I am faced with the choice of focusing my energies on upgrading those specific skills, or looking to do something completely different. 

Interesting enough, I have already been on a path to do something different. For years, I focused an equal if not more amount of my time to theatre, improvisation and writing as I did to programming. More recently, I migrated these skills into public speaking through Toastmasters…and I found something I truly loved to do. I formulated a plan…I wanted to be a professional public speaker in five years time.
The reason for the duration was simple…I didn’t yet know exactly WHAT my niche market would be. I’m a fairly good speaker and I come up with material fairly easily, but I’m a bit of a procrastinator when it comes to business marketing so I figured I would take the time to work on that slowly while I continued as a programmer.
An option I had never thought of came out of the blue, and I decided to jump at it. For a long time now, I have been told by many people that they thought I would make a good teacher. So, during a visit to an employment fair in Toronto I came across a booth for a company called Global TESOL. They train people to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) for the local and the International market. Well, I was initially looking for career trends, not training so I moved on.
Following a lunch with some of my former colleagues, I returned to the fair and once again found myself outside of that same booth.
I listened patiently while another prospective student was asking questions and was interested in what I heard, so I myself asked them a few questions. Mainly, is this only for the bachelors of the world, or can those with families do it too. The answer was interestingly in the positive. So, I took their information and decided to chat with my dear wife about it, figuring she would just tell me to toss it into the bin labeled “Too Good To Be True”.
Melanie surprised me that night. She looked over the literature with me, and told me to go ahead and meet with them about it. So, I did…and that meeting may have just been the catalyst to drive myself and my family into a whole new adventure.

More on this tomorrow.