Christian DeVivero quits project management to teach high school

Reinventions profiles people who have made great pivots. Meet Christian DeVivero, who quit his office job to return to high school…this time, as a teacher.

What were you before?

BS electrical engineering, project manager (five years).

What triggered your reinvention(s)?

Before Covid, my family of five had a dual-career dynamic that created many scheduling challenges. After the lockdowns/WFH/school closures, this became even more apparent, with my role dividing me between my work at WFH and schoolwork for my elementary-aged children.

Rather than half-heartedly try to do both, I chose to give up on my career, with my plan for a second career (“early career again”) already in mind.

What were the first steps like?

Leaving my job as a resignation.

What was a difficult obstacle to overcome?

Feeling even more isolated in those early months, as my career was the source of many casual friendships that almost completely evaporated after I left.

What was easier than you thought?

Honestly, not perceiving my personal worth as strictly tied to my job title/position.

What did you learn along the way that others hoping to do something similar should know?

If you keep hearing that inner voice telling you to quit your job, it’s probably the right decision, and spending months or years thinking about it won’t make it go away.

Has anyone or anything inspired you along the way?

Yes, I was inspired by many educators I met and a few YouTube creators.

What has this fundamentally changed for you?

I’m already enjoying my new career path more because I know there’s a positive community benefit to my work.

Do you think you could go back/would you?

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

Tell us about your song of reinvention.

“I Will Get Back Up Again” – Anna Kendrick, from the Trolls soundtrack. OK, you weren’t expecting this. But I have a toddler daughter, and we played hard on this track during the summer of 2020.

How would you define yourself now?

I am a high school science teacher, chemistry and physics. Maybe I’ll start a blog or a YouTube channel one day. Stay tuned?

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