Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Job Hunting

Another non-sewing post, another cat picture.  Groceries loves putting his face on J's mousepad for some reason; maybe it's warmer?  At any rate, it's not helpful when J is trying to look for jobs.  

We've found ourselves in a position strangely similar to that of AB and her husband J, and AB's blog is a good read if you're dealing with uncertainty (or want to see some awesome cactus hats).  We're waiting to hear about one last fellowship which would keep us in Overcast for fall semester, but otherwise it's mostly official that we'll be chased out of town for part of next year, so J is looking for jobs.  Not with too much anxiety, because we have at least three months and potentially as much as six months until we would have to move, but job hunting makes both of us a little anxious.

J has a degree in Theater, and he's trained as a carpenter and technical designer, so he builds sets and props and makes sure they're safe to union standards.  Hiring positions are surprisingly narrow, so much so that this theater search seems a lot like the academic job search I'll be doing in a few years.  Lots of decoding job ads, massaging the resume to fit, looking nationally for the few jobs in his narrow field.  And apparently, although there's a lot of theater in NYC, a lot of their sets are built out in Yonkers and beyond (probably because large spaces for building large sets is cheaper).  So there's the possibility we may end up in some suburb of NYC, which I know even less about than Brooklyn.

We--mostly I--are also wrestling with the possibility of moving home to Snowy State.  Not moving in with my parents, who live there, but with getting an apartment near where J and I went to college (which is also near my parents).  My parents and I get along great, and they love J, so that's not the problem--the problem is that my parents love hanging out too much.  I also used to volunteer with a group in Snowy State that demands a lot more time than I have to give--it was great in high school and college when I had no job and lots of free weekends, but now I have a dissertation to write.  

Snowy State is otherwise great for what we need--a large university, lots of theater jobs, easy access to flights to the archives I need to go to.  But I'm afraid my parents and my old volunteer group would demand so much time that I would get nothing read and even less written.  Not helping matters is that I'm the only person of my family or social circle who's gone to graduate school--no one seems to understand that, while the school will give me free money to write, that money won't last forever and writing takes as much time as a real job, because it is a real job.  Academia has its own problems with recognizing writing as real work--by demanding it for hiring and promotion, but progressively cutting back resources for faculty and graduate students to have time to write--but my extended family ranges from supportive but confused to outright hostile to the idea that I'm being paid to essentially write a book.  

That ranged a little far from job searches and moving, but the point is this: we're looking for jobs nationally except for the two places I really want to be, Overcast and Snowy State.  And it makes my heart hurt.  The good news is that this move will be for two years at most, so it's not a forever move, but I feel like these moves put life on hold for so long.  Not that that keeps me from reupholstering couches in the mean time.

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