Some of my friends are unemployed, a few are underemployed, and most have struggled through the economic cycles of our lifetimes. I have friends with doctorates, living with family and working retail jobs. It is easy to get depressed when you look around and see so many gifted people wondering if they can survive.
I don't know what is ahead for me, but I'm never giving up — I will write, and write, and write some more. I am a writer. Whatever else I must do to survive, that's okay. I've told my own students that life should be about what you love. I love writing, and I love teaching about writing.
Follow your dreams, but be prepared for the struggles along the way.
I am tired, physically and emotionally drained, from this "go-round" on the job market. I keep arriving at the starting point… I'm a writer, trying to earn enough to live on so I can do what I want: write.
Do I need to use my computer skills to earn a little money? That's okay. Teach at a university? Definitely okay. But, right now I'm wondering if I'll end up stocking pet supplies at PetSmart overnights.
This is not the situation I envisioned when I entered graduate school in 2004. Without a job offer for the 2013-14 school year, I'll have to so something. What? An unemployed Ph.D. isn't an easy pitch to the local retailers. I've applied to the two nearby bookstore chains, an office supply store searching for computer techs, and a nearby newspaper. I've applied to be a school district computer tech.
I have had interviews with nearby universities. Some still haven't made hiring decisions, but I'm concerned. It's hard not to be worried. One has indicated I might be able to adjunct. That's not a bad idea. I'd like to teach part-time and write the rest of the time.
During the summer, if I don't have a contract, I'm going to contact every college and university within 100 miles about adjunct posts. I'm a good teacher (according to my reviews and student evaluations), but there seems to be a glut of good teachers for a handful of positions. A nearby college just sent me a nice note that they had more than 150 applicants for one opening.
The odds are 150-to-1 for that post. Another post had several hundred applicants. Yes, several hundred! It is hard to fathom.
Maybe my plays will be big hits in Pittsburgh and my career as a writer will take off — leading straight to New York or Hollywood. I can dream.