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pioneer
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I'm in a weirdly wonderful position where I have so many job offers that I go through a yearly regret phase after I turn most of them down because they are too low paying, or involve something I know I'll be unhappy doing.

I came to Japan as a full time exchange teacher, but after that term ended I slowly shifted to self employment. I learned a lot and now combine self employment with an adjunct position at a university and contract work with the local board of education.

I have also gone from single abroad, to a multicultural marriage with kids... But it's coming time to really think about the future again.

I'm planning to get my master's degree in the near future... Probably. My university job is quite tenuous since I don't have a masters, which is considered terminal degree. But the turnover for English instructors here is super high because this place is so rural that most people can't stand it.

Full on homesteading is not economically available to me right now, and I have a high demand skill set. So it makes sense to pursue a more stable and higher paying university job. Still... I guess part of me doubts the course of action... Or maybe it's just the thought of going back to school while I'm working and raising kids.

Words of encouragement or wisdom welcome.
 
pollinator
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Lew Johnson wrote:Full on homesteading is not economically available to me right now, and I have a high demand skill set. So it makes sense to pursue a more stable and higher paying university job. Still... I guess part of me doubts the course of action... Or maybe it's just the thought of going back to school while I'm working and raising kids.



My sitiuation is somewhat similar, although for other reasons. My academic job ties me to the city... distant suburbs is as far as I can get away from it. That's not enough for being completely self-sufficient, but I probably wouldn't be, anyway.
Permaculture started as a university thesis, but there are not many "permaculture people" in the academia now. So I think we should stay.
Of course I don't teach permaculture there, but it's the context of everything I do, and I get to talk with the students about it regularly. I think it shapes their interests.

Kids are another story, I guess... which is one of the reasons I decided not to have them. They need food and contact with nature, and quality education, and a lot of attention... my coworkers with kids usually raise them in the city, which would be a nightmare for me (without the kids too, of course).
 
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Lew said "So it makes sense to pursue a more stable and higher paying university job.



Sounds to me like you have answered your own question.

Now that there is a family with kids involved this does make sense for now.  Maybe consider the master's degree at a later date when there are some savings in the bank to help with schooling.
 
Lew Johnson
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Anne, the masters degree is mostly required for full time university employment. So yes, I think that is the path for me, it's just a long and difficult few years...
 
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While studying with family is daunting, this might be the time to do it--  you might have more flexibility due to the pandemic?

I started out in a similar position to you many years ago, when I also taught in a rural place. We decided to move to the big city, since there was nothing really tying us out in the sticks, and I was enjoying working for myself. I've been mostly working for myself for the 20 years since then, sometimes floating my husband's business, sometimes his floated mine. Now things are very stable, but it was exhausting when the kids were little to be trying to cobble together everything (or wonder how we would pay the bills when clients disappeared). Having an actual company vacation was a luxury we couldn't even imagine, and I only started implementing real vacations again in the last 5 years or so.

I would say, if you're being pulled to go to school and nail down the uni job, try it. The study part is temporary, and offers you a good payoff that will make everything more stable when the kids are older. And worst case scenario-- it is terrible, you put the plan on hold and try again later.
 
Anne Miller
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Lew Johnson wrote:Anne, the masters degree is mostly required for full-time university employment. So yes, I think that is the path for me, it's just a long and difficult few years...



While I understand this, the fact that a master's degree is required, this is not always the case.

If someone is really good at what they do sometimes the requirements are overlooked. So my advice is to get really good at what you want to spend your life doing.
 
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Just remember degrees are only needed if you want to work for someone else.
 
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