I’m graduating in two days (although then I take another class so I really don’t finish until the 22nd. Boo). And I don’t have a job. For the first time, I’ll be standing in my cap and gown with no idea what I’m doing with my life.
Sure, my husband has a job, so I know we’ll be supported, where will live and all that jazz. But if we’re just looking at *me* and *my life,* I don’t know what I’m doing. And while the general chorus is “don’t worry, you’ll be fine!” if the tables were reversed and I had a job and the husband did not, let’s be honest, people wouldn’t be saying, “it doesn’t matter – your wife has a job!”
I want a job. I went to graduate school for two years not only to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, but to help me further a career in working with marginalized people of society, and particularly their health needs. If I don’t get a job immediately, it’s no biggie. I paid for graduate school myself, in cash, and helped support our little family while doing it. We aren’t out any dough. But still. Whenever that conversation turns from “congratulations!” to “what are you doing next?” I hate answering with “any suggestions?”
I’ve filled out four job applications, sent cold-call cover letters to four other places. I’ve gotten one call back with a “we will keep you in mind for a job we might have opening up.” I’ve polished my Linked-In profile. I check the school career center, Montana NonprofitI’ve passed my resume along to several family members, and had some networking opportunities, which have also mainly ended with “we’ll call you if the stars align and something opens up.” So it’s not completely dead ends, but no “when can you start?” either.
I don’t know at what point you start setting you sights lower, as several people have told me to do. To volunteer, to do Americorps (not again!), to take an hourly wage, entry-level job that only requires a high school diploma or equivalent. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not proud. I’m willing to work my way up, to do the grunt work, to earn my worth. The thing is – I’ve already done that. I’m experienced; I’m educated; I’m qualified.
I listened to this talk today:
It makes me wonder about the advice I’ve been getting. Don’t worry – your husband has a job. Take a job you’re vastly overqualified for. Sell your self short. Would we be telling that to a man? Probably not. And that’s why men succeed. The career world is already tough on women. Any job I apply for, they’ll see a woman in her mid-twenties, married, and think “is she going to have kids?” But we don’t think that with men. And you know what? Men have kids at exactly the same rate women do.
I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that I’m already applying for jobs I’m over qualified for (not vastly overqualified, just as in they are looking for 1-2 years work experience and a BA and I have 3-4 and an MA) and I haven’t heard anything back. Not unusualy when it comes to state jobs I hear, but still, frustrating. I’m frustrated that I can’t even get a “no thanks, we’re not interested” from places I cold call. I’m frustrated that the job market where I live now is miniscule compared to where I came from. New jobs in the non-profit world are posted every few weeks, not every few days here. I’m frustrated the economy is terrible and that my generation is graduating into a significantly bad job market. And, yes, I still plan on voting for Obama because voting for a party that wants to defund the public sector, you know, pretty much the only people who do public health work, doesn’t make sense either. I know there are many people who have been looking for work much longer than me, but I am still frustrated.
I’m smart, I work hard, and I’m ready to get started.