I haven't blogged lately because I've been preoccupied with my dissertation defense. I'm happy to say that I successfully defended my dissertation! I will now get my Ph.D., and I am FINALLY done with graduate school! When my committee told me that I passed, I wished I had a hat that I could fling joyfully into the air like Mary Tyler Moore did. I also resisted the urge to run gleefully down the hall, yelling, "I'm FREE!!! Footnotes, be gone! WHEEEE!!!!"
The completion of my dissertation is definitely a relief. It's consumed my life for too long. I sacrificed several fun things that I could have done, like watch Lisa Loeb perform here in Chicago, spend time with my friends, and work on my fiction writing. I worked so hard that I was about five footnotes away from writing the words "REDRUM" and "All work and no play makes Neurotic Workaholic a dull girl" over and over again in my dissertation.
Now I have to focus on finding a job. I've received more rejection e-mails, as well as a couple leads. I could have taken a full-time teaching job at a small school in the South that paid the same salary that the janitors at my school make. I did some research on the small town that the school was located in, and I admit that the caffeine addicted city snob that I am cringed at the idea of living in a town with only one coffee shop (and it wasn't even Starbucks).
I just had an interview with another school in a different state that requires a heavy teaching load (more than most of the other schools I've applied to); it also requires full-time professors to work as advisors. But the salary is very low compared to the amount of work that they expect teachers to do.
The salary that this school is offering is only about a thousand dollars more than the salary offered by another school that I'm interested in, which offers a lighter teaching load and doesn't require professors to work as advisors. I'm still waiting to hear back from that other school, but I'm thinking about withdrawing my application from that school that I did the interview with.
I'm not the type of person who demands or expects a high salary. I just want to earn enough money to live on, with some money left over to pay off my student loans and put in my savings account.
If I took the job with that school, I'd be overworked and underpaid, just like I've been for the past several years. When I work too hard, I get so stressed out that I start screaming at inconsiderate drivers that cut me off and I stand by the tables of WiFi freeloaders in cafes and hold my coffee cup threateningly over their laptops.
I always thought that once I completed my PhD, I'd finally have a chance to breathe. Maybe I could finally find a full-time job that pays enough so I don't have to work a second job (or a third). I'm worried, though, that if this school offers me that job and I turn it down, it may be the only opportunity I have this year for full-time work. And then I'd end up working three part-time jobs again anyway.
Have you ever "settled" for a job that you didn't really want? What are deal breakers for you when it comes to jobs?
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