For months I have been applying to jobs, and as I am writing this, I remain unemployed. I have made my move to Tampa, FL. The transition has been a bit rough. I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss California and my situation. I miss walking to the grocery store, work, pretty much everywhere. I miss being in a humidity-free climate. Things are just vastly different. I know that I will adjust. I adjusted to California over time. What is compounding the issue is being jobless.
When I initially moved to California, there was culture shock. I had only been to CA once before accepting my job offer and moving out there, and it was for my on-campus interview. I made the three day drive had a week to settle into temporary housing and then started work. It was the perfect situation. I know I was adjusting to being in CA and a new lifestyle, but I had work to help me through that process. Eventually, I acclimated and now I am enthralled to be heading back in about a month.
I do not have that same outlet in my recent transition. I have not had work to help me through this adjustment period. I have been applying to anything and everything within higher ed in the greater Tampa-area over the past 6 weeks. Nothing has happened. I was close with one job. In fact, I walked away thinking that I had the job. Turns out, not so much. My search has been frustrating to say the least. I am struggling to understand why. I know that I am good at what I do. Why can’t others see that? Why can’t I communicate it in a way that others can see it?
So here I sit and write. I am at a crossroads. Last night, I went through the classified section of the newspaper to see what else I could do. It was demoralizing. I recognize that I need to make money, but I want to be making money doing something that I love. Something that excites me. That keeps me coming back to work each day because I couldn’t think of doing anything else. It seems that higher ed doesn’t love me back the same way.
For the past month, I have been a daily passenger on the Struggle Bus. Getting picked up daily and driven around and around. I want to get off. I really, truly do. I am tired of it. My problem is that my life has been so tied into my work identity that without work I am lost.
And here is where my new dilemma lies. I need a job to sustain myself. I have been trying to think of things and ways to keep myself occupied in the meantime. Ways that I can stay engaged in higher education if I end up outside of the field. I am at a point where I just want to quit. I know that I can’t. But after submitting applications to tons of jobs, having numerous phone interviews, and going on a few on-campus interviews, you just get beaten down by the process.