Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Do I Stay or Do I Go?

I find myself in a bit of a conundrum.

I have finished my M.A. in Gerontology and need to find work in my career field.

To be more specific, I need to find work related to my education, in my field AND work that contributes to, enhances and furthers my career path. As much as I appreciate having a job, I can't live as an admin assistant forever.

The problem is that I have been in school, busting my brain for several years. During those years I didn't gain any real experience in the working side of my field, save that gained during my 300 hours interning with the Provincial Government.

That internship seems now, to count for very little and the job market is more than a little depressed.

I feel like leaving to find opportunity and betterment anywhere but here. Yet I'm not alone. Any decision I make to stay or to leave must be made with consideration for my partner and his family as well as for mine.

Finding career opportunities for myself may be detrimental to my partner and visa versa.

I could go to Kamloops where he has a job opportunity, but I don't know if there will be anything there for a Gerontologist.

I could leave for Ottawa where careers for Gerontologists in public health are more fruitful, but there could be nothing for him.

We could move to Vancouver Island, be bound by the Ferries and perhaps neither one of us will find work.

Part of my conundrum is the lack of awareness in both private industry and in health care, as to how to utilize Gerontologists who are not nurses. It seems that the entire LTC industry is built around licensing and policy that has nurses at the core of practice.

Gerontologists aren't all nurses, its true. I most certainly am not. Part of the barrier I'm running into, is the lack of awareness that Gerontology is the scientific study of the biological, psychological and social aging process over the ENTIRE LIFESPAN. Take a gander at the diversity of research being conducted at the Simon Fraser University Gerontology Research Centre here.

Knowledge of aging and the aging process, healthy aging practices and age friendly planning is not only applicable to older adults! Aging happens to every human being from the moment they are born. One does not have to be a nurse to have a positive impact on the aging experience and quality of residents in long term care or living independently in the community.

Gerontology and gerontologists can contribute to ANY environment in which there are goals to enable people to be healthy, live well, die well, support themselves and maintain their independence and achieve quality of life not just quantity of years.

This applies to policy development, community planning, city planning, care facility and hospital design and planning, activity and recreation planning and health programming both at the community level and the home or facility level.

Where does aging happen? All over the world, wherever people live, all day long, every day.

So, my dilemma is - Do I stay or do I go?

Attention world: Gerontologist At Large.

1 comment:

  1. That is a tough choice, especially when there are the two of you to consider. I know Vancouver Island has a large percentage of "older" people. My mother in law lives in Sidney and they are certainly in the majority there.
    Kamloops and Kelowna have a lot as well. It seems many people from down here choose to retire up there not putting any thought into the snowy conditions in the winter.
    I would think that back east there would a lot of competition for the jobs.
    So what order to do this in? You find and job and then your partner sees what he can find? Which one of you is more specialized?
    These are tough questions for sure.

    Oh yes, chewing on your hair? For real? OMG I would have snapped. I have been on the transit in Portland and it was great except for the gang banger wannnbes who were speaking Spanish and talking about all the jewelry the lady across from them was wearing. Had me worried for a bit.