I am officially job searching. It feels pretty liberating to say it publicly. I am leaving Sonoma State University at the end of this academic year to move to Tampa, FL, to be with my partner, and start this next phase of my life. My departure is bittersweet as I know it is time to move on, but I am also leaving at a time of unrest at the institution. However, that discussion is for another time.
Finding my job at SSU was a combination of patience, luck, and perseverance. It was a tiring process of online applications, crafting cover letters, submitting materials, following-up with campuses, uncomfortable phone interviews, wearing suits, and hoping for the best. There was a constant anxiety surrounding the process. You did your best to focus on your own search, but it was always a bit unnerving to hear about others finding jobs while you were still on the hunt. Over time, things work out, but there are still frustrations along the way. It is disappointing when that “dream job,” your “perfect position” decides that you are not the right fit. Ultimately, it all works out.
This time around, I am entering my search with more experience. I have more patience. I am being more selective, to a degree. I am geographically bound (within 30 miles of Tampa, FL) and there are only a few institutions in that range. I know that residential life will not work because of my situation, so I am not even worrying about it. I know that once this first wave of jobs are filled, there will be another wave of new openings. Coming into this search with having one-and-a-half already under my belt is a revelation.
I know that there is a good chance that I may not find something right away. I know that I may be working in an area of student affairs that I was not initially anticipating. I know there is a good chance I may not be working at a college at all. These are all things that I have come to terms with. These are realities of my situation. Surprisingly enough, I am extremely comfortable with it.
What has been the toughest aspect of Job Search 2.0 was actually starting it. That has been my biggest hurdle to this point. I am not desperate to leave my current position; it is just a reality that I will be leaving. I have been doing some serious procrastinating. I completely redid my resume. I scraped my sample cover letter and started from scratch. I took the time and energy to put a more complete profile of my higher education career online as a website. These things were not necessary. They were distractions. They kept me from facing the inevitable. They helped me avoid the grind of applying for jobs.
I have no more excuses now. My search officially begins tomorrow. My first application of this cycle will be submitted first thing in the morning. It would be nice if it was the only one I had to submit. I know that it won’t, but I can dream can’t I?