Tag: employment

Less Than 60 Days

In less than 60 days I will be fully employed in my dream job. The job I’ve worked all of these years to receive. The reason I suffered through all of the years of education was to be qualified for this job.

The aforementioned makes one believe that I should be celebrating, right? Unfortunately, I am not celebrating this milestone in my life.

Why am I not celebrating this monumental achievement? This entire year Thus far I’ve been unemployed and that means that my debts were not taken care of.

I’m a person who always takes responsibility for the debts and mistakes I make so this year has been difficult so far.

I finished my education program at the end of 2018. I continued my job hunt, had interviews, landed a job finally.

I landed the job at a time when I was terribly discouraged. I was discouraged because although I had interviews it was beginning to feel like all of my educational preparation and everything I’d worked hard for was fruitless.

Receiving the job offer and negotiating the contract specifics was a dream come true. That call came in the nick of time to remind me that my work was not in vain.

Now I sit here at my writing desk after speaking with two of my debtors and I can say it’s another dark time.

It’s disheartening to tell my debtors that I have a job but it doesn’t start until August. That none of my family members are able to help me with these bills right now.

Every time I mention that my family members are unable to assist me with my bills during this time of unemployment. I acknowledge that my parents provide me with a place to stay and that’s going above and beyond the call of duty.

I’m an adult and I’m the one responsible for my debts. My parents are being amazingly kind by extending their home to me. It would be a hardship for them to pay my debts also. If they could do so without placing themselves in a bind, I’m certain they would.

I must mention here that my new place of employment that starts in August requires me to relocate. I’ll be starting completely over because when I left my last residence where I went to school, I donated everything except my clothing items.

That still seems like the best decision I’ve ever made and it helps to know that my items helped multiple families in need.

I don’t live in an area that has a lot of temporary employers and the gig economy has yet to take off here! So I feel stuck.

I want to be able to feel joy about my next adventure in the form of my dream job; however, my debts and inability to pay restrict my joy.

In less than 60 days my dream job starts, but in the meantime I struggle to make ends meet and I’m unable to pay the debts I’ve made. It’s an interesting space to be in.

Where’s my job?

If you’ve read any of my posts lately, you likely know that I recently completed a PhD program and I’m currently looking for a job.

I’ve read much of the employment research and I purposely tailor every cover letter and resume to each position. I also apply to positions that I believe I would actually enjoy doing, in places that I wouldn’t mind living.

I assist others with writing cover letters, resumes, CVs quite often; yet, my supplemental application materials needed some serious help!!! It’s extremely difficult for me to highlight myself in a succinct way.

To combat this issue, I started reading my cover letters, CV, and resumes as if they belonged to someone else…someone I was assisting with presenting their best self to an employer! I know it may be strange, but this has definitely helped me write better supplemental materials.

Now I know that the materials I am submitting in this phase of applications are quality and they highlight me! As I’ve told you before – I am great!

I know, I know, you wonder how do I struggle to highlight my best self and fit for a position when I constantly remind my readers that I am great on this blog? It’s quite simple really, my blog posts are really informal and although there’s a chance that employment can arise from this sphere – that’s not the intended purpose!

Plus I absolutely love writing and the idea that someone, somewhere is reading my thoughts is quite flattering, to say the least!!!

Back to my job search…as you may know I’m acutely interested in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in higher education, access to higher education, and social justice and diversity related issues as a whole and believe it or not my job search highlights some of my interests.

I’ll explain in a moment; however, it’s imperative that I point out that when I think of underrepresented groups, diversity, social justice; I think that these constructs are dynamic. I believe these constructs are dynamic because for instance, depending on where you are located who is underrepresented in higher education changes. Also I believe that there are many types of diversity and the construct is short changed when we only focus on one aspect of diversity and/or social justice.

Of course, as a researcher I’m well aware that in order to complete a project scientists often have to pinpoint particular characteristics to study…however…it’s important that we remember that there’s more to these constructs than our operational definitions.

Ok so I’m always good for a detour! Now back to how my job search highlights issues of access to higher education and etc!

It goes without saying that I apparently had access to higher education since I have a PhD so that’s not my point.

Sigh! This is not one of those arguments lol!

As you’ve read, I’m living in the rural town of my youth in Midwestern USA. One of five of the adults in this town live below the poverty line and less than 12% of the population has attained a bachelors degree or higher.

Why does this matter? You may ask and what does it have to do with my job search and/or higher education access?

If you’re so inclined take a moment to get to know the population demographics of an area and then examine the type of jobs available in the area. Take it a step further and look at the types of education available in the area. Then ask yourself is this related to access issues? And if you had a PhD in said region, what type of job is available to you?

Even when I look at some social mobility programs, they often cater to more urban areas with less infrastructure issues to combat. Unlike the rural area in which I call home, many of these areas that receive an influx of services, programs to improve social mobility have existing resources to address transportation issues and they actually have high speed internet access!

I do not have the answers of how to serve my community with my education while still making a modest income. I’m not sure if there’s a job in this area for me, but I definitely want to use my skills to help my hometown in some way. Even if that means I will join in with others who are researching higher education access and the rural communities.

Where’s my job? I don’t know, but I know that it’s out there!

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!