I got my PhD in May of 2015 and have been applying ever since. I’m in a good state to do this – Minnesota has a thriving research and evaluation industry. I started quite cocky I guess. I’ve got a motherfucking phd! But then months of nothing, no interviews and no rejections, quickly cut me down. That’s fine. Not that my job hunt has yet been unsuccessful but that my ego was reduced a bit. Ego’s a rough ride…
So a bit into the process I started halfheartedly contacting people for “information interviews” – and the information they gave me was overwhelming. Such a different world, this non-academic space… But I was a non-academic before I started my PhD so I plowed forward, each application bolstering my belief that I was a good job candidate!! And I kept applying, and heard nothing. The state of MN actually does send rejections, I found out – that nice. They always tell me I didn’t meet the qualifications… I know that’s not true but job hunting in 2015 is WAY DIFFERENT that job hunting in 2002 (which was the last time I did this).
In 2002, I would sign up with a university-based temp agency and then would be hired on officially by the department within a few weeks. I tried the temp route, but I don’t think the University uses it anymore… Anyhow, haven’t gotten any calls.
But I’m at the point [kind of freaked out but my pal gave me some essential oils for the freak outs and I’m on the requisite anxiety and depression drugs] where I’m realizing that the informational interviews are not for immediate gratification. The job I just applied for was actually SENT to me via a woman I’d conversed with over a year ago. It says, “We’d like you to apply”….. “We’d”!!!!!! I don’t know who we are, but at this point I don’t care. I just want that first job in my alt-ac life and so fingers crossed.
No sociological analysis today other than there was a big “recession” aka DEPRESSION which altered my career trajectory and it sucks but systemic impacts can’t be wished away…. My therapist told me to start yoga, so I have to go join the Y (scholarship!!!) and indulge in self care so my kid stops asking if I’m stuck!
I’m intellectually working on a piece about stigma (mental health and poverty and is my response to it REALLY that irrational?). To the adjuncts out there, or the alt-ac’ers who had to slowly process the transition from academe to NOT-academe, are you sad? Are you poor?