Tag: job

Worry Less

As I prepare for my next phase in life, I have several concerns about how things will be.

One of the reasons I have so many concerns is because my financial state at the moment is pretty sad.

I’ve never been in a situation like this before. I worry how my future will be impacted.

This is a credit score driven community and with each day that I’m literally waiting on my job to start, my credit sinks.

I’ve spoken to my debtors, I’ve explained the situation thoroughly multiple times. For the most part, they’ve been understanding and treated me well.

They are all running businesses so I completely understand if they are unable to wait until my situation changes.

I worry about my ability to have a smooth transition because of my current credit woes.

I’ve punished myself far more severely than anyone ever should for the financial decisions I made when I had income. I punished myself for helping others who faced unusual financial situations. Oh I’ve punished myself for buying any unnecessary item when I had income.

I punished myself for months and I must say that didn’t help my financial situation. If anything the continual stress weakened my immune system which led to sickness, which led to more expenses I was unable to cover.

At the moment, I’m not in a dark place and I do not feel doomed…but it has taking months to get here.

I cannot make my job start any sooner. I cannot make temporary employment appear. I cannot change the decisions I made when I had income.

However, I can make the most of my days. I can enjoy my family and friends before I depart for my new adventure. I can respectably inform my debtors of my situation. I can accept any consequences I must face during this time.

I can take care of my health to the best of my ability. I can help others and I can smile and laugh.

There are times in life when it seems that we are sinking further into a dark hole. In these times we feel like there’s NO WAY we will get out of this tough spot or perhaps there’s no way we will survive.

You and I are not privy to what the next hour, let alone the next day will present to us and our lives; however, we can do our best to make the most of this current moment.

I have a lot to be thankful for and I’m sure you do as well. I’m not telling you to keep fighting or stand strong; I’m merely suggesting that you cherish the moment and try to enjoy it.

It is too difficult for me to tell myself to have a great day and/or make this day count….at this time in my life a day is too long to even really think about so instead I attempt to make the most of a moment.

Sometimes once the day ends I noticed that I had a good day…but it’s a blessing when I can simply have a good moment.

You know? Like during the few moments that I wrote this post, I breathed a sigh of relief from my current situation. I don’t know if I’ll have a good day and I’m certainly not going to make myself have a good day…but thanks to you, my readers, creating this post for you, provided me some good moments during this day.

I was able to worry less, if only for a moment.

Money problems

I’ve been unable to fully appreciate the fact that I’ve received an academic appointment because it starts in August…right now it’s May.

The dilemma I’m facing is that I have no income currently and that has been the case since I walked across that stage in December.

That’s another momentous occasion that I’ve been unable to fully appreciate because of my dire financial situation.

I’m extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to complete the level of formal education that I have. Additionally, it doesn’t escape me that I am one of few to attain the coveted academic position that’s been granted to me.

However, the bigger picture highlights my starting position of being a first generation college graduate from a rural lower socioeconomic area.

I’ll save the rest of the thoughts for research but thinking about my starting position brings me hope. I’ve overcome much in my educational journey so I know that I can endure this phase of financial destitution.

My debtors have been incredibly kind to me and I completely understand that they have a business to run.

My current financial situation is completely of my doing and even if it takes years for me to clean this mess up I will. I take full responsibility for the part I played in this situation.

It grieves me when I’m unable to pay even the minimum payments on my accounts. I try to answer every call from my debtors and each time it takes a little out of me. I have to tell them that I graduated from school recently, my income was tied directly to school, I have employment lined up, but it doesn’t start until August.

I’ve looked for part time work but I’ve been unable to find anything. My parents are graciously providing me housing, without them I would be without shelter.

My situation sucks right now but I’m grateful for the blessings that I’ve experienced even in the midst of this chaotic time.

I have chronic illnesses that are not being monitored because I also no longer have health insurance and if you’ve been to a healthcare professional in the United States while uninsured and no income, you are well aware of the problems with that picture.

I’m proud of myself because although I’ve had flares and I’ve had many low moments as a result of my current circumstances, I have yet to give up completely.

This time has given me a stronger desire to give back to the communities that helped me and to assist students who are from like backgrounds. I want to make sure that we are not forgotten.

I’m struggling right now in ways that I’ve never imagined I would but this is all temporary.

If you have any suggestions of in the meantime work I could do and how I can bridge the gap between now and when my job starts in order to pay my debts and stay afloat…let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

Imposter syndrome

Many articles are available about individuals experiencing the imposter syndrome.

The imposter syndrome is basically the idea that an individual feels he is unqualified regardless of the credentials he holds,

That’s the dirty version of it…trust me there’s more to it. For instance, certain individuals with certain group memberships are more likely to experience the imposter syndrome.

Right now I’m in a waiting season…seriouslyđŸ˜«! One phase of my life has ended; yet the next phase has not started. So I wait.tick, tock, tick, tock…time continues to pass.

The more I wait, the more I have to confront my inner feelings about everything.

Let’s just say, on paper I’m qualified to do many things…but I struggle to feel that I’m qualified to do anything.

I’ve dealt with the imposter syndrome before, many times. However, never to this extent.

I have no answers but I acknowledge that I feel like I don’t belong in spaces that I’ve worked hard to gain the access papers to join.

I’ll grow personally and professionally during this time.

One day I’ll realize that I’m not an imposter. I indeed belong.

Until then, I acknowledge that I struggle with the imposter syndrome.

Living My BEST Life…in my mind!

It’s true, I am on the job market and I write a lot about this experience! I’ve decided to make the most of my time on the job market, since it is an unique place to be in. Yes, there are some individuals who find themselves on the job market more than others and longer than others…but being on the job market is certainly an experience.

If you, like me, are looking for employment being on the job market probably seems like a nightmare on some days – especially when you have debts piling up and you’re wondering where you’ll get money to pay for basic essentials….I get this! But still being on the job market is an experience that we must try to enjoy.

 

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 Way…

I am unsure about any of you but I remember a time when I could tell you exactly what I wanted to do with my life as far as an occupation is concerned. I enjoyed career days in elementary school; at my small, Midwest, rural United States school from the time we were in preschool until we were in 6th grade we would dress up in costumes representing the careers we aspired to. So from the time I was at least 4 years old until I was approximately 12 years, I participated in career days!

I was always ready for those days, during some of the earlier career days, I, like many other youngsters simply wanted to be whatever the latest craze was on the biggest cartoons….but I often ended up being whatever costume my parents found at the local department store! I did not care because we were having a party for career day for most of those earlier days. It also never occurred to me that career day in preschool through third grade often occurred during Halloween!

I was a child and I did not realize my first few “career days” were simply excuses for Halloween parties! Plus I did not know that my small, lovable town had a few religious groups who were absolutely opposed to the celebration of Halloween, but not career day!

But once we made it to 4th grade, career days became real! I recall distinctly that this was a time when those of us who were labeled high achieving were separated from our peers and told about the importance of careers.

For all three years I wanted to be an Attorney.

Not just any attorney, I wanted to specialize in child advocacy and juvenile rights. I did not know if such a thing existed but I knew that this was my career choice!

To convey the message to everyone that I wanted to be an attorney, I would wear a suit! Without fail, every year during those three years, I wore a “power suit” that was usually some shade of gray.

I felt that gray was the color that any good attorney would wear! I am certain that I got that idea from Andy Griffith’s Matlock! My young mind felt that Matlock always wore a gray suit, and he was the closest I’d ever been to an attorney.

My desire to be an attorney felt like a dream conceived in my wild imagination that was impossible because of my humble beginnings!

Let me explain, I am Black from a small town in the United States of America and at that time, the majority of my extended family thought of college as something that wealthy people did. This is not a bad thing, it simply highlights the issues with access to higher education…so when I suggest that become an attorney felt like a wild dream, I am serious.

Well once I finished high school, I no longer wanted to be an attorney; however, I continued to tell people who I was interested in attending law school. I did not know how to tell individuals that I was not interested in a legal career anymore (side-note: my perception of what was meant by a legal career was drastically limited at the time so it probably would have worked if I knew more) so even once I graduated from my undergraduate institution – I continued to tell people that I wanted to become a child advocate attorney.

It sounded much better than – I want to help underrepresented groups attend and graduate from post-secondary institutions! Yes, telling someone who I wanted to be a child advocate attorney sounded much better….because I had an actual name for that position and it was readily familiar to most people.

I am still actively looking for a job in the real world, but when I think back to the young me who was always ready for career day – I am thankful for the opportunity to even begin thinking about a career. I may no longer want to be an attorney, but I am still in the market to becoming an advocate – young me would be proud!

I am presently finding my way to my future through an exploration of my past. Keep watching!