Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Offered New Job Opportunity

DEAR HARRIETTE: After being a teacher in my district for 25 years, I was offered the position of school principal. I had already been thinking about retirement and everything I still want to see in the world. I was planning on retirement in the next 10 years, but if I accept this position, that wouldn’t be a possibility. The salary, however, is significantly more than I am making now. Should I take on this position to have a cushier retirement fund and sacrifice a few years still working? -- New Opportunities, Salisbury, Maryland

DEAR NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Congratulations on the honor of being offered the role of principal after so many years of service. Before you pass on the job, consider a few things. Start with why you think you would have to work for more than 10 years. Unless you have a contract that requires a specific tenure, this may not be a valid issue. What will be important is evaluating your energy level and your willingness to put in the work. Being principal is a much bigger job than being a teacher, and it requires different skills. You will have to establish a vision, administer a large staff and follow governmental guidelines. If you are up to the tasks before you, consider this a golden opportunity. Then set goals for yourself and work to meet them.

If you want to retire in a particular period of time, map out a plan that allows you to reach the academic goals you envision and retire as you desire.