If Your Job Robs Your Hope, Try This

May 4, 2017
A woman talking to another woman and writing something in a notebook.

I’m about to share something that might sound familiar to you—whether you work with kids or adults, and in any setting where working with the people in your care is tough.

This may speak to you about your own experiences, or it may speak to you about challenges your colleagues face. In either case, I’ll also tell you how you can get certified in skills to make life easier for yourself and everyone around you. 

Recently a friend of mine, who’s been a teacher for 12 years, told me that he’s leaving education and going back to school to become a licensed professional counselor.

He says he wants to switch from working with kids to working with adults, because (brace yourself—this really sucks) his years in education have derailed his hope for helping kids.

He feels like he can’t communicate with his students, can’t get through to them, and he’s thinking that while adults will be hard to reach too, most of them will have more rationality than kids.

I guess this mostly stems from his work in a small individualized special ed room.

Every time I’ve seen him over the past couple years he’s been burnt out, saying stuff like, “I can’t stop the chair throwing, the punching, the kicking, the screaming, the violent meltdowns. I get hurt. The kids hurt themselves. They hurt each other. I have to call for help. There’s never any time for learning. Their parents hurt them, or other students hurt them, or the system hurts them, and I can’t control any of it.”

Now this is a guy who has patience and ability running through his veins. He embodies skill, having learned the basics of teaching in college, having gotten two master’s degrees, having been through dozens of professional development courses over the years, and having a natural skill at being calm, cool, and collected and solving problems. 

It’s hard to imagine him not being able to manage a classroom, so I know he’s dealing with serious business.

So when he announced his career change, this is what echoed in my head:

“CPI covers everything that we’re dealing with.” 

That’s what a social worker named Angie Smith says in this video:

My friend’s announcement made me think two things:

  1. “CPI covers everything that we’re dealing with.”
  2. CPI is what my friend needs—whether he stays in education or moves to mental health.

Caring for a living is hard

I think about this stuff a lot—anytime I talk to a teacher, a social worker, a nurse, a cop. Some have it easier than others, but no one has it easy—working with vulnerable people is beyond difficult. 

But it’s a vocation that caring, giving people like my friend are meant for.

And caring, giving people like Angie Smith.

I keep thinking of the video with Angie because she describes dealing with behaviors a lot like what my friend deals with. Different setting, but similar stuff.

The BIG difference is that Angie feels like she handles tough situations well.

My friend, however, feels like he completely lacks the tools—the tools to dig himself out of a dark, twisting tunnel filled with dead ends, muddy water, and danger every way he turns.

But the tools that Angie has are ones that every care professional should have. Tools to handle upset behavior, prevent it from escalating to violence, avert risk, reduce injury, get back to the task at hand—in a way that keeps her safe, and kids safe, and colleagues safe, and makes her love her job.

Tunnels are easier when you don’t navigate them alone

My goal in writing this post is to show you that even if your path is difficult like my friend’s, or your colleagues’ paths are difficult like my friend’s, there’s no question:

You’re in the right place.

Another goal is to offer you some company.

We have a huge, passionate group that’s gathering together at our 2023 Certified Instructors’ Conference.
The Conference is bringing caring, giving professionals (like you!) together to enhance their skills at solving big, threatening, tough problems at work.

They work in foster care, centers for young adults with autism, group homes for adults with developmental disabilities, they drive school buses, they serve as directors of nursing in emergency departments, they work in security . . .

They do a ton of different things, but this all boils down to one thing for you:

You’ll meet people who do what you do

You'll meet people who face challenges like yours. People who will have specific ideas for handling specific problems that come up in your work.

You’ll also get to hang out with my colleagues—trainers who train trainers (we call ‘em Global Professional Instructors) and pros who drive our mission to help you help others. They’ll be there to teach you skills, answer your questions, and help you troubleshoot your issues.

If you’re ready to join us, there’s never been a better time

Conference Week can be the Ultimate CPI Intro Week, where you learn ten tons. Because even beyond all you'll learn in training, there’s a massive amount of sessions to choose from—sessions on enhancing your verbal skills, working with people who’ve survived trauma, setting limits, using debriefing to prevent situations from reoccurring, and much more.

Sessions on training like a pro, analyzing staff needs, using eLearning tech, mentoring other staff.

And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that this is all taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana, July 23-28.

This is an incredible chance to become a Certified Instructor. By getting certified at Conference, you’ll be fortified with loads of bonus tools—handouts, presentations, mentoring from CPI staff, learning from veteran Instructors, guidance from other subject matter experts, and so much more.

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