09 October 2008

Why was it that I didn't go to law school?

I have the great pleasure of looking for a job in the middle of the worst economic meltdown in a very, very long time.

Oh- and did I mention that I'm in the humanities. You know, the "useless crap" courses that the "make" you take in college. So there's a big demand for me. Right.

At first I was fairly freaked out. ok, totally freaked out. I'm sending out 20 applications so far--not a huge number considering the 100s of us freshly minted PhDs that will be out there this year. That definitely makes me nervous, because even coming from a top-20 program, the odds are decidedly not in my favor.

I'm slowly, but surely letting go of that, though. I should know by Christmas if I have interviews. If I have interviews, I have a real shot. I'll know by March or so if I have campus visits. If I have campus visits, my odds just skyrocketed. And if I don't, or if I don't have very many, I have a good 2 months before the University stops paying me to find something else to do.

I'm lucky in one respect--I could stay on as a student next year. This might actually be a smart move if I took that extra year to add a chapter or two to my dissertation that makes me eligible to apply for contemporary or 19th c. jobs. The problems? 1) I don't want to pay for daycare if that's the case-we could use that extra $5000+ a year in other ways. 2) I'd still be a student--albeit with health insurance. 3) Doesn't really allow for a baby-- you really can't be showing when you're interviewing. 4) There's no guarantee that another year will make any difference and I'll just have more student loan debt to show for it.

But I have other options- I could adjunct. My department will supposedly "support" me for 2 or 3 years after I graduate. I don't think that includes health insurance, though. I also really, really want that to be my worst case scenario. Really. It puts me at a disadvantage in terms of scheduling, class assignments, and seniority. Blech.

But I could also go find something else to do. Right now, staring at 150 pages that badly need revising and another 50 or so to write, something else is sounding mighty good to me. Mighty good. Also a bit terrifying. But lots of people retrain and get different jobs, right??

Damn, if I only had some fabulously rich long-lost relative who could bequeath me their fortune, I could fall back on my master plan of moving somewhere near water and opening a B&B not decorated in the usual Victorian frillery. Not happening.

So I'm applying and waiting and wondering what comes next. But it's getting better. Really.


AcadeMama said...

I'm with you on all of this...and, of course, have the added pressure of making sure I'm not showing while at the MLA. But then, that only matters if I have interviews, which I'm not counting on getting. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.

Feeling your pain--

Karo said...

I think adjuncts get health care only if they teach 3/3 :(

LD said...

yuck- 3/3? Blech and double Blech. I can buy it cheaper than that through Carle. I think the big problem is that deep down I really believe they can't afford me. SOMEWHERE's gotta pay more than adjuncting, no?

And as for the baby thing- I hear you. It's been the cause of many long and drawn out conversations in our household and the reason why Little Man won't have a sibling any time soon. I wish I could adopt the pleasantly surprised approach, might save some heartache later-- oh well.

c... said...

I believe you get coverage at a 2/2 load as an NTT as long as you're given a full [school] year contract, which you would be (you can confirm that in the rhet office). The guarantee for employment is only 1 year (though in recent years many people have been able to stay on longer).