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Maybe I should sell NFTs

Just kidding. I don't think that's the solution to finding a job after teaching, but in recent months, TikTok has me sucked into its job seeking algorithm that is giving me all kinds of ideas for side hustles. I could sell NFTs, start an OnlyFans and sell pictures of my feet to strangers, get paid 5 figures a month by selling shirts on Etsy or become a pet Influencer on Instagram. Where exactly does my former career in teaching place me in the job market?

Taking a look at the skills I've honed in education, I could honestly go anywhere. After teaching I looked into learning tech skills and web development, spent months digging through code and learning JavaScript and thus far have been told, well, almost nothing by the prospective employers that I've reached out to. Those that didn't ghost me after I put in applications for "entry level" positions responded that they had gone with someone who had a CS degree, and I guess I can't blame them. I've applied for jobs as curriculum developers and instructional designers without much luck. I've gone all in on cover letters, tailored my resume for each position I've applied for and am still mostly left staring at my feet, wondering how much someone would pay to see my hairy toes.

But, if there is anything that I've learned from my years teaching it is that things don't always go to plan, and that I've developed a knack for handling things when everything seems to be going haywire. If I know how to teach when there is a bee in the classroom,  how to react when the fire alarm goes off and what to do when my students are staring at me, open-mouthed, not understanding a lesson, I can figure this out too. Without resorting to TikTok pipedreams, and without conceding to the idea that all of my worth comes from my employment or going back to teaching, watching my soul  slowly erode. 

I should start my own religion in which meditation while uttering educational clichés is a daily ritual because I know that most of those corny poster sayings are true in the right context. This has made me wonder, what do other people in my position do? Thankfully I have safety nets in place that have allowed me to continue searching for employment without worrying about how I'm going to afford next month's rent or how I'm going to put food on the table. But I am extremely privileged to be able to say that. According to the November LendingClub report, 63% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, which means many of my former colleagues in education and millions of other workers who are considering career changes are stuck in their place of work, without the luxury of being able to afford quitting their jobs.  No level of "just staying positive" allowed me to look for new jobs while I was teaching. 

When I had a bad day, I would occasionally head to indeed and see what else was available, but I didn't have the time or energy to expend on tailoring my resume to look perfect or on writing a cover letter, when I had to be worrying about the emotional needs of my students, creating the curriculum that we would be using and planning for the next day's lessons. With the future of student-loan forgiveness in question22% of millennials  without savings and without planning to save, without widespread labor and economic reform, how exactly is one supposed to pull themselves up by their bootstraps?

Hopefully the answer isn't by selling feet pics or NFTs, but I'll let you know if I figure it out.