Christian DeVivero Drops Project Management to Teach High School

'I know that there is a positive community benefit to my work'

Reinventions profiles people who've made big pivots. Meet Christian DeVivero, who dropped his office job to go back to high school … this time, as a teacher.

What were you before? 

B.S. electrical engineering, project manager (five years).

What triggered your reinvention(s)?

Prior to Covid, my family of five had a dual-career dynamic that created a lot of challenges when it came to schedules. After lockdowns/WFH/school closures, this became even more apparent, with my role dividing me between my WFH job and my elementary-age children's school assignments. 

Rather than attempt to do both half-heartedly, I chose to abandon my career, with my second career ("early encore career") plan already in mind.

What did the first steps look like?

Leaving my job as a resignation call.

What was one hard obstacle to overcome?

Feeling even more isolated in those early months, because my career was a source of many casual friendships that almost completely evaporated after my departure.

What was easier than you thought?

Honestly, not perceiving my personal value as strictly tied to my professional title/position.

What's something you learned along the way that other people, hoping to do something similar, should know?

If you keep hearing that voice inside telling you to leave your job, it's probably the right move, and spending months or years thinking about it is not going to make it go away.

Did anyone or anything inspire you along the way?

Yes, I have been inspired by many educators I have met, and a couple of YouTube creators.

What has this fundamentally changed for you?

I already am enjoying my new career path more, because I know there is a positive community benefit to my work.

Do you think you could go back/do you want to?

If I wanted to, I would! So, no, this decision is going to be at least a medium-term (10 years or so) commitment for me.

Tell us your reinvention song.

"I Will Get Back Up Again"—Anna Kendrick, from the Trolls soundtrack. OK, you weren't expecting that. But I have a toddler daughter, and we played the heck out of that track during the 2020 summer.

How would you define yourself now?

I am a high school science teacher—chemistry and physics. Maybe I'll start a blog or YouTube channel someday. Stay tuned?

Reinventions is a questionnaire series with people who are making pivots in their lives. If you're going through a reinvention and would like to be interviewed for the series, please get in touch.

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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