Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Career Talk

Have you ever known someone who knew what they wanted to do with their life from like, age 5 and on?

I mean, someone who always knew just what they wanted to do, and methodically took the steps to do it until they found themselves in their dream job--and surprisingly, their job really was a dream come true? I never have, and I'm starting to wonder if the dream job isn't just like the "dream life" that we are taught to want when we're kids. You know, the dream life of a husband who actually still loves you even when your stomach sags after two c-sections, the house that you love to clean because it's yours and it's so beautiful, and the perfect kids who are the center of your universe even when they f-ing won't stop crying in line at the grocery and as a result they have snot on their face that you actually have to wipe off--with just your hand if nothing else is around??!!

Okay, so the depression hasn't quite lifted, and I digress. The point that I'm trying to make here is that the idea of the perfect job--i.e. find something that you love and then get paid for it--is a load of crap for most people. I'm thinking about this today because I met with my dissertation advisor and we had a very frank discussion about what, exactly, I'm going to be doing come May when I graduate with my Ph.D. Now, in case you weren't aware, a Ph.D. in English Literature isn't exactly the most lucrative degree to have. In addition, the job market for jobs in academia is possibly one of the worst in the country, excepting maybe the market for those people who have to power spray gum that gets stuck to public streets. (Seriously. We saw this in Aspen, Colorado. Apparently things are so good for people in Aspen that even gum on the street cannot be tolerated.)

Being a researcher/teacher at the university level is a pretty sweet gig, don't get me wrong. But the near impossibility of getting a secure job that isn't in rural Mississippi and doesn't pay $29,000/year for teaching eight classes a year is somewhat disproportionate to how great a gig it might be.

If I am going on the job market for academic year 2013-14, I need to decide fairly quickly, as the whole process starts next month when the MLA (Modern Language Association) announces all the job openings in the country. I also have to consider the fact that David already has tenure at Boulder, and that me going on the job market would delay any babies for some time. (Even in academia they frown on taking a pregnancy leave like two weeks after you get hired. Also, there are so many Ph.Ds from places like Harvard that no one waits for a baby being born to someone educated at a state school.)

*Sigh. So depress me more/give me hope: do you love your job? Is it exactly what you want to do with your days and your life?

P.S. Apparently being uncertain about my future makes me drink a lot of effervescent beverages. For lunch:

Sweet-chili tofu and green beans, with a honkin' serving of bubbly water. No, this is not a discoteca, but Whole Foods. It got cloudy while I ate. GEEZ, I just can't catch a freaking break, can I?? :-)

After lunch, a work trip to Brewing Market:

If you look closely (Joanna), you can see a paragraph that I'm working on for my introduction. You can also spot a Kombucha. On that note, am I the only one who suspects that those strands in Kombucha are actually a sick practical joke involving a virile male employee at the Kombucha factory?!! (Please at least sign out in the comments section if the previous comment pushed you over the edge and you will not be reading my blog anymore.)

Anyhow, now I'm all kinds of hydrated and kind of tucked in on the couch for the night. It's getting cloudy and colder here--high of 65 degrees tomorrow!--so I think some reading and/or movie watching is in order...


  1. Well, epistemically speaking of course, I always wanted to get into publishing. I have your standard run of the mill Bachelors (with honors if that counts for anything) degree in English Literature which amounts for way less than your PhD. What did I do? Well, accounting. Sure. Then I worked for a funeral home for 6 years. More office work. I like to say I was the Manager, which I was, but I was only managing myself in the office. Semantics. Clearly my degree has been uber useful to me. I really regret not making more of an effort career wise, but I am currently a SAHM and that is crazy rewarding. Maybe it would have been harder to stay home if I had that great career?

    It's gotta be pretty dang hard for two married College Professors to find decent work in the same town.

    I've never had Kombucha before. I'm thinking of making it into a Blog Bandwagon post, see if it is worth the hype. I just tried one of those individual serving Justin's Nut Butters for the first time this week on a whim and was kinda upset at how good it was. Those things are expensive so I was hoping it was just eh. Probably the best almond butter I've ever had though. If I turn that into a post maybe it will justify buying a half a dozen jars of the stuff. Have to give it the proper testing it deserves.

  2. Honors definitely counts for something(!), and I'm very, very glad to hear that being a SAHM mom is so rewarding!! (David is glad too, since he's ready for baby like, now!)
    I'm pretty sure Kombucha is not worth all the hype it gets. I mean, people in Boulder drink it like it is the elixir of life, when really it's just a way for people who are afraid of drinking soda to drink something that is bubbly and delicious. Try Gingerberry first--it's the best, in my opinion.
    And regarding Justin's, I'm assuming you tried the maple almond butter? That has to be the best flavor ever, and luckily I just found (and tried) a new maple almond butter from Maranatha. I think it's less expensive, too, so include that in your tasting. (Which, btw, was awesome. I don't eat much yogurt but I really liked seeing all those bright blue blobs in the little cups.) (I am a child, clearly.)

  3. Yup, it was Maple Almond Butter. Calee over at life + running says I need to try Nutty Butter. Is that the same one you were raving about the other day?? An almond butter taste test for the blog would be awesome. Need to figure out how to write that off on my taxes. I usually buy plain Maranatha since you don't have to stir it and it's pretty cheap, comparatively. The yogurt taste test was pretty popular . . . AND Yoplait e-mailed me and asked if I wanted some free samples. It's like I'm a real blogger now with swag and everything. Needless to say I said yes.

    I will try Gingerberry first when I get to that test! Thanks for the suggestion.