I'm not talking about working on my dissertation! Of course I'm gonna do that...really!
I'm talking about working full-time, or not. I'm applying for a couple of full-time jobs right now. I've decided that I'm too old to continue to take out student loans. Besides, after this semester all of my courses and hours of "doctoral thesis," whatever that actually is, will be paid off as a result of having worked in assistantships for four years. So, I figure what's the rush? Why not take a job that can hopefully be in an area I'd like to work anyhow, stop going further into debt, and just plug away at the dissertation slowly. The thing I worry about, of course, is finding the motivation to finish.
However, I think I'm listening too much to others when I worry about this. Others say, "if you take a full-time job, then you'll lose the motivation to do the dissertation." I don't think I quite agree. I mean, it's not like I wasn't employed full-time prior to finding the motivation to come here. I chose to leave my job, and the salary wasn't so bad, as far as jobs in student affairs go. I was ready for a change, and most important, I was ready to conduct my own research. So why would I lose the motivation?
On the contrary, I think I'd stand to gain more motivation. Right now I worry, all the time (I've already used that word three times in this post!). Do we have enough money to make it through the next semester? Man, we really need a new oven. Will this doc student experience really move my career to a better place? Will Moose ever communicate and grow? If money weren't as much of an issue, it would be one less stressor. The position would be some stability in my life. Perhaps that stability would allow me the serenity to actually focus on finishing up, knowing that I would no longer have any barriers in my way for moving up in my field...at least, no barriers over which I have any control.
I will miss doing what I'm doing now: working for a half day, and then coming to the cafe, or wherever, alone to get my work done. But there's always vacation time. If I can really plow through the proposal this spring, then I do think I'd be able to work on collecting the data during the next school year and then spend some good chunks of time in the summer of 2007 writing up the results. Perhaps I'm dreaming with this schedule, but I'd rather risk extending the time on the dissertation even further than risk going into yet more debt and more worry.
We'll see what happens with these coupla job applications.