Saturday, July 06, 2013

Where things stand

Life post-dissertation has been interesting to say the least. I'm not using the word "interesting" as a code word for "bad." I do find things fascinating these days. 

I'm ready to move on from my current position, that's for certain. I do enjoy the work itself, but I'm ready either to do this sort of work in a different venue or PERHAPS make a major switch. I'm not really leaning toward the major-switch thing, I must admit. The thought of starting over in my early 40s isn't something I would choose to do at this point in my career/life. I think I am looking for an opportunity in which the venue where I work is more Important. The current venue, as is, isn't really cutting it for me. 

In the past couple of years I have applied for three jobs and been a finalist for two. The third was a big stretch for me into a different area, and I wasn't really expecting to progress very far, so that was no surprise. One of the jobs for which I was a finalist is similar to what I'm doing now, and the other would have been quite different. Neither ended up panning out, and for various reasons that's been OK. Both would have been major increases in pay, and not getting those has been UNGOOD. I hate to be focused on money, but it seems odd still to be struggling financially after having all this education and experience. Right? Tell me I'm right, please! 

Anyway, the funny thing is that the longer I stay in this job, the more opportunities seem to be opening up that I can do on the side that really interest me. First, teaching: I have been teaching one course per year in the higher ed program at LMUU for the past four years or so, and they have "promoted" me to official adjunct assistant professor status. I don't think it means much other than an acknowledgement that they will re-hire me as long as I'm available and as long as their situation with professors doesn't change. That's pretty cool. I'm picking up a second course this fall. Both classes are required classes for the master's program, so that's a really neat experience. 

I also picked up a faculty fellowship for the academic year to do a qualitative data analysis project with some really great colleagues. I'm excited for this opportunity. Could lead to something else here or there, like an article or perhaps another position with these folks. Ya never know. 

So yes, this fall I will have two additional jobs aside from my full-time one. They will help pay the bills, but more important the experiences should be quite rich. Funny how sometimes staying where you are brings about other opportunities on the side, at times. 

And maybe these are just clues of where my career will lead next...