Let’s discuss me, shall we? 🙂
I want to take you back to my last year in college for a split second and tell you all a big secret: I had NO idea what I wanted to do with my life. None! Zero. When it came to figuring out what to do, my mind was a blank. I’m sure I’m not the only person in the world that’s felt that way after college. Now that I think about it, this may be how I developed such a passion for advising students. I didn’t want anyone to end up like me when it came time to leave the safe, cozy space of college and enter the big, scary world we call life. I didn’t want other students to cross that stage and look out into the audience feeling the satisfaction of graduating but at the same time, having the fear of the unknown. I felt that and let me tell ya, it wasn’t fun.
It’s funny to think about, but after college, I’ve had nothing but hard times finding work. Immediately upon graduating, I didn’t rush out to apply to dozens of jobs. I didn’t do this because I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do! How can you apply for a job when you don’t know what you want to do? Perhaps you might say, well you just get out there and apply for whatever interests you. Yes, well, that’s easier said than done. Here’s another secret: not a whole lot of things interested me at the time. Surprise! Didn’t see that coming, did ya? Well, it’s not like I didn’t/don’t have any interests, it’s more like I had very few interests. And my interests just so happened to be more on the creative side. And if you’re a creative type, then you understand me when I say, creative jobs aren’t just out there on Monster, Idealist or whatever job site you fancy. Being in a creative field usually means working on your craft while doing something you can find on Monster, etc.
Well, after a little bit of thought, I decided to look for work at a college. I loved the college setting and I thought about how much I loved my previous undergrad job as a peer academic advisor. As luck would have it, I found work at my alma mater. I spent 4.5 years working as a student support specialist, which eventually led me towards my interest in higher ed and back to school for a Master’s degree. In grad school, I was SURE I had made the right decision. However, one of my professors said something that made me think twice about my decision. I didn’t give it much thought when he brought it up, but I think about it a lot now. He brought up the most dreaded question ever (for me): “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”. I realized that while I liked working with students, I didn’t want to climb the higher ed ladder. I know, that sounds terrible, but I just couldn’t see myself becoming a director of an office, and definitely not anything higher than that (dean, provost, etc).
When I finished grad school, it was 2008. I don’t think I need to explain that finding a job during that time was absolutely insane. The competition in higher ed (and other fields, of course) was beyond ridiculous. After almost two years of searching back then, I was able to find work. But, that turned out to be the second worst job I’ve ever had in my entire life. Seriously. The WORST!! Thankfully, (yes, thankfully), I was let go from that position. I’ve never been let go from a job in my life. I felt like crap for a day or so, until some of my students I regularly advised wrote me the nicest messages (I had emailed them the day I was let go to let them know). The messages literally moved me to tears! It was then that I realized that it wasn’t me with the problem, but the school. Oh well, their loss 😀
The job search has been better, seeing as I’ve been able to get more interviews this time around. But unfortunately, it’s still been tough to seal the deal. I can assume a number of things are keeping me from landing a position, from “they’re just not that into me”, to the fact that I’m applying out of state AND I’ve been out of work for too long. I think the latter two issues have really held me back more than anything. In fact, I know it has, given that almost every job I’ve interviewed with has asked about my current location. Is it just me or is it crazy to assume I (or anyone) would move to a new city without having a job? WHO does that?!? Well… some people can do that. Us? No. Essentially, there’s not a whole lot I can do if they don’t want to take the risk. And I get it. However, if I say I can move, then trust me that I can.
So what does all this mean? Well, it’s time I focus my efforts somewhere else. Writing has been a long time passion, but there’s another passion of mine that I had begun to explore a long time ago. It’s one that will allow me to be creative, use my writing skills AND bring many, many opportunities! Sooooo, what is it??
Until the next post, friends. 🙂