Settling is for Losers: Trying to Not be Loser

I received my last paycheck until July on Friday. Being on a once monthly pay period is super stressful. I’m grateful that I got back some decent money from my tax return, but still, it’s not enough to keep me afloat for two months. Not even close. So, the past couple weeks I’ve been applying for jobs.

At first, I was applying for stupid jobs. I was on Craigslist looking for receptionist jobs just to get me through the summer. Most of those jobs turned out to be scams. By most, I mean all but one.  One of the emails I received was a nasty email where the “employer” said I could never work for him unless I gave him my full address.

No thanks psycho-killer, my limbs are just fine attached to my body and not buried in your backyard.

After a few weeks of that crap, I decided I needed to not settle for some crap job just to survive the summer. This is my chance to get out there. I can’t just wait around for some college to hire me for the fall. What if that doesn’t happen? Why let all my education go to waste? I have Masters degree, and I’m applying to be a receptionist. That is just dumb. So very very dumb (said like guy on the famous Youtube Video). I need a job.

A real job.

A job with benefits, and a retirement plan. A job that will make me look good to the bank when FH and I decide to buy a house.

The more I thought about it, the more confident I was that this was the right decision. Instead of trying to desperately to work in education, I need to branch out and try breaking into a new field where having a Masters, or even Bachelor’s in English is okay; a job where I don’t need publications and GD book deal.

So, I’ve been applying for entry-level copyediting and copy editing jobs.

Yeah, it doesn’t pay great. But it doesn’t pay monthly, and I can leave the work at my office. Even if my office is a cubicle.

This whole year I’ve been just hell-bent on trying to be an educator and now that summer is here I realize that maybe I shouldn’t just settle for some crappy summer job. I need to be a grown up. Not to mention, not everyone gets to being a tenure track professor that same way. Maybe I need to try the corporate world, copy-edit some ads. Who knows?

I was told, by a professor from my alma mater, that being an adjunct for too long can actually hurt your chances at becoming a tenured professor. That employers look at you different when you work at the bottom of the totem pole for too long.

There is this fear brewing inside me that if I don’t get out of adjuncting soon, I’m going to be stuck there. I won’t be able to work in any field–except as the scum of the English department. Yeah, I worked way to hard for that.

Also, there is something exciting about trying to break into a new field. Have you ever trying to break into a new field? Did it work out? Or was as heartbreaking as I have a feeling it is going to be?

I was on the phone with my mother the other day, and she is very upset by my unemployment situation.

She always says the same thing:

“All those years of education…it’s a shame really.”

Then she goes into the: you should have been a nurse; there are always jobs in the medical field; you should have gotten an MBA; maybe you should get a Ph.D in education and become a principal; it wouldn’t be so bad if you’d gone to public school for your undergrad degree; oh my God all your student loan debt; what are you going to do when you get married?

You know she really calms me down and puts me at ease.

But she is right about one thing, it would be a shame to waste a perfectly good Masters degree and be a receptionist.So, I’m going to see what happens with all these job applications.

As always, I’m super hopeful and feel good about it.

Just like I did with those professor job applications.

We all see how that has turned out.


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