Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Epic Job Hunt of 2014

Things are going well.  The weather has been nice (for a few days anyways), and I am getting stuff done.  I am spending my days job searching, doing my homework, and finishing Out in the Garage, once and for all.  While I have a job for the fall, it is as a Part-Time Faculty Instructor at Akron, and, while I have grown to like the challenge of teaching and it would be nice to experience and focus on it more fully, it doesn't pay very well, so I am searching for a full-time gig that will actually pay the bills and hopefully leave me some extra.  I could get a second part-time teaching gig somewhere, and that would help pay the bills, but it is certainly not enough to live on for very long (especially with student loan payments).

I have long since grown tired and frustrated with being poor and having to stretch my finances further than they really reach (as I have taken out loans to get through grad school).  It's too bad, because I do think, as I continue getting experience teaching composition, I am getting better at it, and it can be fun (with the right group of students, anyways).  

It wouldn't be a bad way to make a living, you just can't make a living doing it (unless you want to spend another 5-6 years in school and get a Ph.D., which is still no guarantee for a full-time position).  I guess, if it comes down to it, if I wanted to teach but not spend another five years in school, I could get an MFA or a Masters in Education.  If it came down to that, I would probably go the MFA route, since it would be the best synthesis between my hobbies, my dream goals and real life, and I could get a tenured position at a university (if I am successful enough in publishing).  On the other hand, if I went the education route, I could teach high school, and since I would have two master's degrees, I could probably get into a pretty good school district.  That would be challenging, though, and I am firmly against standardized testing, so I don't know if I could do it and keep my sanity (which is already probably in question by some, including myself, but I guess, if I am aware of it, that means that I am not crazy, right?).

I think I would rather get a writing/editing job, quite frankly in any kind of industry, although preferably for a news/entertainment website or for a marketing, PR or advertising firm.  The problem with this route is there are not many entry level positions in this field (which doesn't entirely make sense), and, although I do have writing experience, it is never exactly the right kind (even though I had to be a pretty decent writer to get into grad school [I did score in the 93rd percentile in writing on the GRE] and especially to get the graduate assistantship) and I did work for one of the better college newspapers in the Midwest as a reporter--so it's not like I have no experience and I am not qualified.

Along these same lines, I think I would also be good as a social media manager or a Search Engine Marketing Specialist, which is part of the point of this blog, the social media I update, and my experimentation in publishing--because I can see myself working as a professional in this industry, and I believe I would be good at it and an asset to any company.  I do come from a blue-collar sort of work ethic, and I am always trying to be the best at what I do (which can sometimes be a character flaw if I don't keep it in check some, which I am learning to do as I grow older).

What I need to do is spend more time deep searching for a job, finding companies along the lines I am seeking, continuously updating my resume and cover letter and making them fit for whatever qualifications (i.e. highlighting how I am qualified for the position), and applying for jobs on the companies' websites (which I have done some, but I need to do more thoroughly).  The job boards are mostly filled with trash, and what is not trash is usually some kind of sales job, which is not a bad career, but it is not what I see myself doing.  Maybe I am being too picky, but I feel like, to a certain extent, I need to hold myself to higher standards, otherwise I will just settle for whatever comes along--and, while it might be better for the current moment, it will only carry me further away from my goals, and I don't think I would be any happier, since for me, the key to happiness isn't money (it's in living the kind of life that I wish and sharing my life with the people who I care about and admire).

If I can't find a full-time writing/editing job, or something along those lines with the sort of company in the sort of industry where I am wanting to get my foot in the door, then maybe I should teach part-time at a couple of universities and start freelance writing and trying to get some of the papers, stories, etc. I have already written published.  I don't know.  If that is what happens, I will try to make the best of it and keep moving forward and keep working towards the next opportunity.

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