Month: January 2019

This job thing

Sigh, I don’t understand how anyone enjoys job searching but I imagine that someone does…I’m not that person.

It doesn’t help that I have training as a researcher – trust me that training helps and hurts my job searching!

For instance, I find a wonderful job, according to the ad it’s my dream job. So I do what any wise job hunter would do…I look up the company and read more about the position.

This is good, however…instead of the quick skimming search that most people would do; I end up looking at things that are slightly connected to the actual job and/or the organization until eventually I fail to remember the job

Remember at one point this job was my dream job??? Next thing I know the application deadline has passed and my dream job is no longer available.

Then I would become distraught because once again my dream job is gone because I got caught up in the details and missed the big picture.

Remember, I’m still supposed to be applying for jobs but I’m losing Energy on the job that never was!

Then I laugh…I realize the dream job wasn’t really a dream job but I was unable to divorce myself from my idea so I found unnecessary information to miss the deadline.

This job search has been enlightening; yet, draining and I need to write more to release the stress and anxiety when I become overwhelmed.

Job searching is far from fun but I’m learning more about myself everyday and I believe I’ll find a position that works for me.

Yay!!! Good news

My nephew was selected as a member of the elementary school’s math league; he’s 9 years old and this is a big deal.

I read a lot of disheartening news and since I’m actively looking for work, that in itself is disheartening at times…so the news of my nephew being selected as a member of the elementary math league brightened my day

I am also thankful that I am blessed with the ability to help him prepare.

That is all!

Life’s Journey

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by your personal struggles, whatever they may be. Well, I’ll say that it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed by whatever is or is not happening in my life at any particular moment.

I’m one of those people who actively evaluates their life and their worldview. I do this all the time, sometimes to a point of annoyance. I’ve accepted that it’s a part of my quirky personality, but still I strive for balance.

I don’t just evaluate my life and my worldview; I address my issues and my concerns openly and honestly.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that every issue I have I broadcast it for an audience in order to address it; however, I’m saying that I’m open with myself about my issues and sometimes this means admitting that I’m not ready to address it, yet.

I don’t pretend that the issue is fails to exist; however, I acknowledge that I lack the necessary tools and resources I need to properly address the issue at that time.

Some of my friends prescribe to the notion that someone is worst off than they are, therefore they should refuse to complain another their predicament. Umm…that doesn’t work well for me!

I’m cognizant of the fact that many of my “issues” are rudimentary compared to someone else’s, but what gives?

Seriously, who is the last person who has the absolute worst lot in life and can not find anyone in worst shape?

Plus, what’s wrong with admitting that my problems/issues are a big deal to me? Regardless of how petty they may appear on the grand scale of problems faced by people!

I work hard not to allow my problems to encapsulate me and deplete me of the very resources I need to address them properly. Yet, I refuse to deny the impact that my problems/issues have on my life simply because they are not what books are made of!

My parents made me attend a Protestant Christian church while rearing me in their home. This was one of the value system that my parents felt was important to instill into me so myself and my siblings had to attend church until we finished high school. Once we finished high school we could move out of my parent’s home and decide whether we wanted to continue attending church.

I bring this up, not just to paint a picture about who I am but also to explain another point…

as mentioned I think the belief that one should not complain about their lot in life because someone else’s is worst, is flawed.

I recall as a child, using this same type of logic I thought I needed to have some “major life crises” in order to truly be “redeemed”…the argument never quite made sense but my young mind assumed that in order to truly shine I had to “go through” some heavy stuff!

It was obvious to me that a testimony about making good grades on my report card paled in comparison to a testimony about overcoming drug addiction! You see this is why it’s flawed logic to compare your plight to anyone else’s

We all have our personal crises that impact our very being. Sometimes these crises overwhelm us and yes sometimes I know that I personally can be very dramatic when dealing with a crises…however, even with that it’s important that we don’t undermine the impact of our personal crises. It’s also important that we don’t depreciate our crises by comparing them to other’s crises.

Everyone’s journey is unique.

Balance and Job Searching

In many (if not all) research doctorate programs, we are indirectly taught that we must not pause or stop unless we plan to lose.

Specifically, there’s always something that you could do better. Another paper that you can write. Another research paper and another conference to attend. Occasionally, you’re reminded to have a balance – to not let the process consume you

I completed my research doctorate in December 2018 and I started actively searching for opportunities once I’d defended my dissertation. The first thing I had to decide is what I wanted to do and how did the PhD prepare me for this career path?

It’s January 2019 and I have a much clearer picture on how my educational background has prepared me for the career paths I’m interested.

Now I have to remember the occasional lesson that my mentors and professors taught, which is to make sure I don’t let the process consume me.

It is difficult but I believe it’s important to set an expectation early before the actual career starts – work is important but it should not consume all aspects of your life.

My natural tendency is to do much more than necessary – I do this in all areas of life – so in order to make sure I’m seeking balance I have to remind myself to be balanced in the job search.

I’m excited about the opportunities that I have and I know that I’ll do great wherever I land.

Whenever I apply to a position, I make sure my application materials present the best version of me and I don’t think about who else may apply and their qualifications.

In all I do, I attempt to learn and become a better version of me…the job search is no different.

Remembering Me

While refining my job search I’ve thought a lot about myself as a child. Particularly, I’ve thought about the things that defined my personality as an adolescent.

One thing all of my family and most of my friends would agree on is that I was the very definition of weird.

I was always that odd child who embraced my oddness, which made me weird according to many.

Rewind – I was born premature and spent a lot of time in the NICU, this impacted my early life. Furthermore, I suffered many illnesses as a child which endeared me to many.

I point this out because it explains why all of my cousins and my sister had to go outside to play but I had a choice. It explains why I spent so much time with adults and often out of school during my entire elementary and secondary school years.

My beginning impacted the advantages and disadvantages of my life as a youth. I wasn’t exactly a spoiled child; however, I was possibly a bit sheltered. Specifically, due to the health related challenges I faced during my youth, my family made exceptions for me often.

I spent a lot of time with adults because I was unwell and receiving medical treatments. I also had a lot of doctor’s appointments that interrupted my childhood.

My cousin who is only a few months older than me taught me how to read and ignited my love of reading. We would enter the annual reading challenges hosted by our local library and attend storytelling sessions. Our parents and grandparents enjoyed this particular hobby of ours.

Not only was reading one of the least expensive hobbies at the time; my family was certain that our love of reading would translate into us pursuing and obtaining higher education and eventually careers that would spare us from many of the financial challenges they faced.

I loved reading everything…but I only stayed in the library for hours because my cousin (at the time she was the closest thing to a hero that I had) enjoyed the dusty place!

Really, she loved reading books in the library and then checking out other books to take home. I preferred to go to the library, choose books, return home, read books, and return them the following day.

She was my hero-peer mentor so I stayed at the library many times pretending to read the book I would check out to read in the comfort of my room.

This doesn’t sound weird to many of you I’m sure, but loving to read alone was not exactly cool!

Let’s talk about how I read. I mentioned reading in the comfort of my room, well there’s more to it than that. I sat in the corner – same corner every time – to read. I also put headphones (initially ear muffs) to block out the outside world while I read.

I still like to wear headphones when I read. Partially because people think I can’t hear them and I saw it on tv as a child and thought it was cool!

I didn’t like the outdoors so reading in the park – also something I saw on tv – was not remotely cool to me.

Another consistent theme in my youth is that I always spoke out for people especially when I felt that they were not being heard.

I spoke out for my family members regardless of their age in comparison to my own. I spoke out for my peers when I thought the teachers or even their parents ignored them.

I wrote letters to agencies when my snack cake wasn’t good lol! I’ll have to tell this one particular story later.

To be continued…remembering me

Finding My Niche…

Hello everyone!

I hope that life is treating you kind. It’s official, I finished school one month ago. I have the degree in the closet to prove that I am finished. I am not stressing over completing my dissertation or any of the other annoying things that come along with a doctoral degree in the United States.

I’ve traded that stress in for the stress of the job hunt. I cannot say that it is going bad because frankly, I am so exhausted from all of those years of preparing for a job (career) that I am acutely aware of the type of jobs I will entertain.

One issue with having a PhD is that one has to mention it on resumes, especially if there is a gap in employment. Hmm…I sure some of you are wondering, Why would anyone leave the PhD off of their resume? It is not a matter of shame; although, depending on how much headache and heartache your PhD process was, it may feel a bit shameful or at the very least like something you’d wish to temporarily forget! However, it is usually because of the perceptions others have of the PhD.

Of course, it goes without saying that the PhD is a research doctorate and many individuals dream of pursuing a research career upon completion. PhDs are often prepared to enter academic positions based on the skills and knowledge obtained through the process. There are not enough tenure track positions for everyone and many PhDs realize they are not remotely interested in academic positions.

Many of us who suffered through the PhD process, have a least one course that includes writing or submitting an academic CV; but, we rarely are ask to write a resume using the transferable skills necessary for alternative academic and industry careers.

One of the things I do is help individuals write resumes and academic CVs and if I do say so myself, I do this very well. The individuals I help write resumes range from people who never graduated high school to individuals who have doctoral degrees. I’ve assisted many of the individuals with doctoral degrees with both resumes and academic CVs – they tend to have a better grasp of the academic CV.

I enjoy coaching people on how to write resumes, academic CVs, personal statements, teaching philosophies, and research philosophies and also just writing effectively so I find myself doing this a lot.

I heard someone that individuals should look at the things they do the most and are naturally inclined to do when they are considering what they should do for a career…well none of the things I am naturally inclined to do are directly related to my PhD. I believe this is common in many people with PhDs; however, that does not mean that the PhD is worthless.

It is important to understand that regardless of your educational background how you use the skills, knowledge and values you obtained will look different. I enjoy editing and consulting…those skills were refined during my PhD program. I enjoy research and that was definitely refined.

My goal is to convey through a few lines on a piece of paper who I am and what I have to offer an employer without being overshadowed by the perceptions of the PhD.

As my tagline on this blog states – I am more than my attributes and my attributes are great!

Who Am I?

I’ve never been one to have a lot of nicknames.

For a fact, my first and middle is as close to a moniker that I have!

My name is Amber, in case you were wondering. I love to laugh. Enjoy writing and I am passionate about helping others. I have been blessed with many opportunities.

I’ve had several blogs through the years – I deleted them whenever the thrill was gone!

Most of my blogs via various platforms focused on my life with endometriosis. These blogs were instrumental during times when I needed reassurance that I was not alone in the painful struggles.

My picture is included in many endometriosis awareness videos created by individuals I interacted with online.

Now I blog about whatever happens to be on my mind…I’ve read that this catch-all type of blog is the least profitable! Sigh.

If you’ve read my recent posts, you know that I have academic degrees and I’m on the job market.

My name is very common so it’s difficult to google me with much success! I’ve had many friends who’ve tried.

My blog title: Strong Caring Beauty is a collection of words people used to describe me during one of those social media quizzes.

I have a difficult time describing myself because there’s so much to who I am. Plus, I have no issue with people developing their own opinions without my persuasion.

However, I’m grateful that you took the time to read this post and to visit my blog. Thank you

Accommodations & The Job Search

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990; it marked a major legislative change in civil rights law.

Basically, the law states that it’s illegal to discriminate against any individual with disabilities and it states that reasonable accommodations are made in areas related to public life.

Laws are subject to interpretation and ADA is no different; therefore, several changes have been made to the legislation since its initial passage.

Anyone in the United States who has a disability knows that the way you are treated depends a lot on the presentation of your disability. This is one of the reasons there’s many forums about invisible disabilities.

How does all of this impact the job search? It depends.

Remember that as a country, we are keen on appearances (gross overgeneralization, but focus) so if you are able to not disclose your disability during the hiring process…maybe at this stage your disability has little impact on your ability to acquire employment.

That’s not necessarily the case, but it’s an argument made a lot when individuals battle for the winner of the “most disabled disabled person” – it really does seem like there’s a competition for such title.

As I read job announcements I notice immediately how the wording alone eliminates a group of individuals who could do the job with reasonable accommodations – if any are necessary – but these individuals are discouraged from even applying

For instance, in the fictional world in my head – there’s a job posting that says that the individual must be able to work long hours while sitting. The individual must be able to communicate effectively via phone and email. The individual must be able to hear and see.

I’ve seen all of these things mentioned in real world job advertisements. Take a step back and think about the array of disabilities…how many individuals are discouraged to even apply because they have to have bathroom breaks, they use specialized phones, hearing aids, or visual aids -other than glasses or contacts, or they need to stand after sitting for so long.

Many employers promote anti-discrimination and equal opportunity, but like the with ADA, policies and practices are not always on the same page.

It’s important that individuals think about the wording of job announcements to decrease the chances of discouraging an otherwise qualified individual who just so happen to have one or more disabilities.