Here's my story and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.
I graduated in May with a master's degree in the communications field. The 2008 – 2009 school year was a long and challenging one filled with personal and professional difficulties and triumphs. I was excited to start my life, start a long-term career and finally make my way in this world (you're picturing me tossing a beret into the air right now – admit it).
Right as I graduated, a department chair of a small school offered me a part-time position teaching in my field. It wasn't tenure-track, but it was paid employment in the exact area I'd planned on working. How exciting! I'd be working during the fall semester and planting the seeds I'd need to begin a career in education.
The department chair rescinded that offer in a truly unbelievable manner that I'll discuss in another blog entry.
That event left me a bit dejected, but allowed me to focus on researching PhD programs that would start in the fall of 2010. I developed a three-prong application process that I started in late June. The first was to continue the pursuit of college teaching jobs throughout the country. Second, I would really hone in on exactly what I wanted in a doctoral program. Third, in August, I would begin looking for full and part-time administrative, clerical, and only if I was dead broke, retail work to pay those pesky little bills.
Plans one and two kept me busy and motivated for a good two months. It was also rather nice to have a couple of months to myself. I was free to go swimming at a friend’s house on a moment's notice, go to parties, and get back into consistent exercise.
Then August rolled around and I was ready to make some coin and I needed plan three: part-time employment. I hit Craigslist just like I had done several times throughout the last six years. This time, it was different. There wasn't much out there. Now I haven't done any statistical research on Craigslist's ads in the last six months, but it seemed as though there weren't as many listings as I'd seen in April, the last time I'd gotten a temporary job.
Undeterred and really not too worried, I plugged away at submitting resumes to employers via the site. Then, on August 20 I heard loudly and clearly for the first time how much I needed a job. I knew my financial situation down to the dime. But, hearing the automated voice of my credit union tell me, in no uncertain terms, made it official.
"Your balance is $7.34."
I'm pretty sure I had a stroke.
Those feelings of suffocation and anxiety made me long for the days when I struggled to live paycheck to paycheck after undergrad. Oh. Good times.
And so I search for jobs to get me through the rough patches while I hope for a real career and a chance to become a vested member of some organization.
Guest blogger Anasa D. Sinegal hopes to find a long-term career in teaching or public affairs.