Portfolio Careerist Professor - Dr. Barb

A good book and a good nap!

A good book and a good nap!

Barb Barnes is a long time friend and job juggler who has juggled multiple commitments for years. For over 40 years, she worked the graveyard shift in a program for youth while she studied for a diploma, two undergraduate degrees, a master's degree and a Ph.D. Today, she is a portfolio careerist streaming income from working multiple jobs. She is an aboriginal professor at both the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University, located in Calgary, Alberta where she teaches indigenous studies. As well, she continues to work part-time with youth. She also has a fourth job sitting on a mental health review panel where she is paid an honorarium.

Dr. Barb streams income, because as she candidly puts it, "I would like to pay my bills." However, when probed further, she admits she does have a more comprehensive plan for her multiple incomes. "First of all, I want to have enough money saved for retirement," she says. "I don't want to have to worry about money as I get older. If I want to take a trip, I want to be able to take it. I may not go very far, " she chuckles, "but I want to have the freedom to do what I want." She adds, "At this stage of my life, I also want to have the freedom to spend money on my collection of antique books and have enough put away for my retirement." Dr. Barb spends her free time browsing through antique stores where she is well-known for her eye for rare and old books related to Aboriginal history

She does carve out free time to go antiquing and watch sports. However, she admits the most challenging part about her work life is her schedule. She is, for the most part, nocturnal. She still works the graveyard shift at her part-time job, but has a "normal person's" schedule during the day. She said that naps have been the key to dealing with the time change between night shift and day shift for the past 40 years. She laughs, "I certainly don't have a normal schedule, and I'm a bit difficult to get a hold of because I may be sleeping, but it works for me."

Napping, taking time for hobbies and doing what she loves seems to be the key ingredients for Dr. Barb's portfolio career. She became a professor later in her life and, as a part-time professor, she understands how hard it is to get a full-time job in the industry. However, this hasn't discouraged her. "I did my thesis later in life so I haven't had longevity in the profession and it will be hard to get a full-time job. However, I love my work. With the jobs I've chosen, I don't have a get rich quick scheme, but I love what I do and wouldn't change it. I enjoy the experience of working with a variety of youth, both at my part-time job and at university. I enjoyed going to school to get an education and I can now present what I learned from all the years of education I have. I studied for a long, long time and I hope that my students are successful and gain the excitement for learning that I had. I want them to enjoy gaining knowledge and I want them to get excited about learning new things daily."

Dr. Barb knows the value of training young people to get an education, work hard and keep their options open. She understands that the world of work is changing and that the young people she teaches will have to be flexible and more open when it comes to their work lives. Through her example, she provides them with a different way to view how to work. Her work life stems from her love of learning and her enjoyment of working with young people. She is able to juggle her challenging schedule because she has the ability to know when a good nap and a good book is a good idea.