Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the job hunt

So very few people know this, but for about three months I was a pre-business major... and I hated every single minute of it. My schedule consisted of accounting, statistics, I systems, and public speaking courses. I think I did it because it felt like the responsible major. I asked several people why they were business majors, and they always said things like, "Because I'll make the most money" or "Because I don't really know what else I would do." I know there are people who love business, the way I love English (for example, my husband), but I just never felt the passion in those classes that I did in my English classes. So I switched back to English major.

When you tell people you are an English major, they immediately ask you if you are planning on teaching. I guess that is the stereotype associated with English. Ironically enough, many businesses want English majors. Evidently we know how to communicate better than business majors. Even more ironically, most of us don't want to work in business environments-- that's why we didn't major in business.

I want to teach. However, I want to teach junior college. There are a myriad of reasons: I like the age group, you get more diversity in junior college, you aren't as restricted as a high school teacher but you don't have as much pressure as a professor, and mostly because that is where I feel like I personally could make the greatest difference.

In order to teach at this level, I need my Masters. I plan on getting it, but that goal has been momentarily put on hold. I did just get married, Nate is still in school, and more importantly, I have a few more requirements before I can even apply for a program. And... I don't even know where I would like to go. BYU seems like the obvious choice, but there are many other schools that might be better options. However, for the time being, I will have to focus on another more urgent goal: finding a job.

This is easier said than done. I obviously know the different factors that are important to me in a job, but since the perfect job probably isn't out there I don't know what factors best to compromise on. Is it more important to make money or enjoy what you do? If someone else were to ask me, I would say "enjoy what you do," but considering our circumstances, money would be really nice too. What about higher wage or benefits? Working a great job that you can only get 30 hours so you might have to take another not as great job? What about long commutes? Something completely random or something that fits into my future goals? Doing something I am good at even if I don't enjoy it? Getting a job that will consume my life but will also pay well? It's a pretty difficult decision.

I was basically offered a really well-paid position at a great company-- but in the interview I was asked if I would be okay working alone. Not if I am a self-starter or if I don't need micromanaging. If I would be okay being alone in a room with a computer, no other human contact, for eight hours a day, five days a week. Is it just me or does that sound awful? I really thought about it, and I felt really good about turning it down... that was nearly four weeks ago and I haven't really found anything since. I've interviewed for a couple of positions at BYU... but I worked there for a while and I know they generally promote from within, which I don't blame them for. I just received an email that a position I was one of the top candidates for, is now being changed to a thirty hour a week position and could I please reapply? At the very least, I'm slightly frustrated.

Most of the jobs I have gotten in the past were through people I knew. After looking through craigslist nearly every day for months, networking is definitely the way to go. However, it is difficult because most of my contacts in Orem and Provo are other college students who are looking for jobs themselves. Evidently Provo has a really low unempoyment rate-- something like 2.5%-- but about 80% of people are underpaid. Most of the jobs around here that I'm looking at that require college degrees pay about as much as I was making in high school. I know that the cost of living in California is higher, but it's hard to take a job that is much more difficult and make the same amount of $$$. Plus this economy isn't helping much either.

I actually got the job I have right now through another student in my program at BYU. It has been a great job for cementing the skills I learned in editing, it's fairly good pay, and the hours are flexible which was nice with the wedding. However, I'm feeling a little lonely working at home all day, I'd like a good reason to shower and get ready, and they aren't giving me as many hours as they promised which is making our monthly budgeting slightly more difficult than expected.

We're still doing fine. I still have a job and Nate's job has worked out really well. I didn't write this blog to complain. I'm usually a really private person, but I think I've learned that when something is difficult for you, the more people that know, the more people that can help. So I guess in a way I'm trying to network :) So if any of you know of anything or if you have suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them! I know many of you college-grads have gone through this struggle in the past, or are currently going through it so you're definitely sources of information for me! Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy blog. I promise to post more entertaining things soon!


Ray and Jen said...

Good luck with your job hunt. I know exactly how frustrating it can be in Provo. Oh, this is Jen by the way, Ray isn't one to read or comment on many blogs! I love your blog, and look forward to reading it! You and Nate are such a cute couple! Hope you are doing well. We wish we could have been there for your wedding, it sounds like it was awesome!

Meg said...

MC, I totally hear ya. This is exactly my life in a nutshell. I too want to go back to school and get a Masters but am in the same boat you are with the whole just got married deal. :) But I know someday I will go back. The pay is absolutely ridiculous here in Provo which is very discouraging. I'm not even getting paid in my internship. But on the bright side, at least we both know that once we leave Provo the pay WILL be better, and I say definitely don't give in to the whole money factor. Do what you love. It will be worth it in the end.

Meg said...

Is suggesting Southern Exposure out of the question? Or maybe butterfly tattoo wedding planner girl wants a partner? I think you should keep pursuing the BYU position even if they put you through a lot of hoops.

Kaela Cusack said...

My job is opening up :) It's full time, with benefits, and I think I get paid pretty well. I'll be moving to a new position at Omniture in January/February, but the sooner I find a replacement, the sooner I can move on. Interested?