Month: January 2019

On the job market

It’s no surprise that being on the job market is less than exciting and potentially stressful

I spent most of my young adulthood years in school…3 successfully completed degrees and one almost doesn’t count attempt at a degree

I have a bachelors, a masters, and a doctorate…I attempted another masters degree whose incompletion ruins my academic resume

PAUSE: I’ve seen many (more than I ever imagined plausible) academic resumes with incomplete degrees listed so I know it does not ruin things but it certainly hiccups the reading flow.

Ok so back to my point – I have these degrees and considering my background – I am ecstatic about that very fact!

Backstory light: I am an African American cisgender female from a rural, working class town. I am the first in my family to complete any postsecondary degree…so it’s a big deal that I have the degrees…in that respect at least!

You may notice that I digress a lot, I should look into storytelling!

I have a research doctorate in case you’re wondering…I loved research as early as my second year of my undergraduate studies and I still love the research process…especially when studying the complexities of a phenomena.

Hmm, what was I discussing? Oh yeah, job hunting.

Naively, I assumed that once I finished my dissertation – actually before I finished – I would have these beautiful ideas in mind about what’s next for me! Oh that was so naive.

I failed to consider just how draining, the dissertation process is and more importantly, I failed to see my personal and professional growth.

Eh! What are you talking about? That’s likely the question that you wish to ask me now.

Bear with me, I’ll explain…eventually

Just joking! Here’s my explanation:

I was so invested in finishing my doctoral program with a decent dissertation that I did not see myself.

I did not see how over the years I went from an overly optimistic, naive 20-something year old to a 30-something with a more balanced view of the world and how I fit in it.There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic; but my optimism was of the fairy tale world type. You know thinking that my fairy godmother (read someone who admired me immensely) would pop into my life, pay my bills and give me the freedom to cultivate my talents.

I’m not sure what those talents were but you see…my optimism left out me actively working to cultivate my talents.

One good thing is although I was overly optimistic, I didn’t simply sit around waiting for fairy godmother to appear with her magic dust! One sprinkling of it and my life would be forever changed.

No, I worked. I worked hard but I was still out of balance. So now as I approach the job market with ideas of the impact I’d like to have, I am working hard to keep a balance.

There’s a lot more to me than some fancy pieces of papers that take a long time to receive and I aim to convey that person when I apply to jobs.

So often I’ve met individuals who allow titles to unbalance them and that’s the person I would’ve been if the 20-something year old me was on the job market; but the 30-something year old me knows that degrees – although every owner of them should be proud – are not a testament to how well an individual can do a job.

Oh, if you haven’t noticed – my mind is all over the place – that’s definitely not helping my job search!

Thankfully, I can blog to center my thoughts.

Before I go – I have many emotions and thoughts as I search for and apply to jobs; most of those are fear-related, but none are that my degrees make me more than any of the hiring managers or recruiters.

Although, since I’m being honest with you – a fairy godmother who could place me in a job that’s a good fit for me would be welcomed…but that’s not how the job market works.

Small Town Love

I was born in the suburbs; raised in the country; became an adult while residing in various college towns.

I know little of the suburbs; however, due to the extenuating circumstances surrounding my birth, I lived in one for the first few months of my life.

I don’t remember those days, but I’ve seen pictures of me surrounded by advanced for the time medical equipment and I’ve heard stories about the beginnings of my life.

I could write more about that…hmm…maybe in another post. Right now I have to get to my small town love.

When I say I was raised in the country – don’t think of country life as on movies and television. I don’t know how to drive a tractor (or a car for that matter – another post!). I don’t know the first thing about field work or even gardening. I would have to consult my elder family members if I was to ever lose the basic essentials that I take for granted…seriously!

So instead of country, maybe I should say I was raised in a small town. At one time in my life, the residents were familiar with who lived here or at least their family units.

For instance, I recall being in one of the grocery stores (yes we do have those here…stereotypes, run deep!) and someone would ask me if I was my maternal grandmother’s granddaughter or my paternal grandfather’s granddaughter…once I said yes, my personal identity (like my name) was unimportant.

Thankfully, my grandparents’ reputations were good so I proudly identified myself with them. Currently, if someone asks me who I am, I identify my grandparents (they are more well known than my parents).

My high school was small and graduating from high school is still a major achievement in this area.

I love my small hometown and it has loved me through the years.

Now that I’m finished with my educational pursuits (I really do have a PhD and it’s not a Playa Hating Degree!) and I’m in my hometown I have a newfound fondness for this place.

As a teenager, I wanted to move away; go to three different universities in different states and get a degree from each of them and ultimately get a PhD. I did something like that.

Wait! I need to tell my teenaged self that the moving, three different schools, three different degrees, including the PhD — overrated! I’m thankful and consider myself blessed, but it certainly wasn’t the ADVENTURE I imagined.

Ooh I have a hard time staying on topic – small town love!

I love small towns, at least I can appreciate a sense of community. Wherever my adventure, takes me next I desire a small town feel, suburban amenities and security, and big city entertainment.

In many ways, I can do whatever I want to with my life now. I have the education and charisma to be an asset to many different sectors. I have no personal ties, keeping me in any certain area, and I have many individuals in my small town cheering me on.

I love my small town and it’s people love me!!!

I have a PhD…so what?

Nothing is ever quite like we imagine it, once we finally get it.

That person you’ve longed for; ends up being ordinary

That cake you’ve craved; was just another cake.

But when you’re in the time of desire; everything is so much better.

I’m happy I have a PhD. Ecstatic really, but all those years I dreamed of finally being Dr…was much better

Those times I daydreamed that people would refer to me as Dr…made me smile.

I even toyed around during my secondary years by having friends jokingly refer to me as Dr. Love – since I always handed out relationship advice!

Those were good times and now I am the proud owner of a genuine PhD in an actual academic discipline from a authentic university and all I can think is So What?

The moral of the story is don’t let any one thing define you. Even if it’s something you’ve worked hard for or have always wanted know that you are more than any one attribute.

Bye 2018, Hello 2019

In January, I had an unremarkable birthday.

In February, I broadened some youngsters’ appreciation of Black History.

In March, I failed to meet a deadline, again.

In April, I socialized more.

In May, I dealt with the consequences of the missed deadline.

In June, I recklessly spent money in an attempt to compensate for the missed deadline.

In July, I took a vacation but failed to relax.

In August, I finished mourning the missed deadline and received a new deadline.

In September, I enjoyed family while I stressed over the new deadline.

In October, I successfully met that deadline.

In November, I enjoyed family and tried to feel relieved.

In December, I received a PhD and realized I wanted more out of life.

In 2018, I laughed, cried, yelled, smiled and everything in between. I mourned the version of my adult life I’d created when I was but a teen!

So 2019, will be the first year that I’m without some plan or idea of who and what I am or what my life should or shouldn’t be. This is good because I am finally open to what is meant for me. This is hard because I love my plans!

A decade ago is the first time my planned life was shaken…now my planned life is only an archived memory. The girl who planned that life, did not have the privilege of knowing the woman she’d planned the life for.

There’s no way she could’ve know that, the woman wouldn’t fit into those plans. I was that girl and that planned life kept me going. Literally propelling me to reach for my goals. In that regard, that planned life will always be cherished, but I’m thankful that those girl’s plans fail to fit this woman’s life.

There’s more trials, tribulations and triumphs for me in 2019.