Riding the Struggle Bus…

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.

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About Justin Sipes

Learner Input Strategic Achiever Analytical
This entry was posted in Higher Ed, Job Search, Personal, Student Affairs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Riding the Struggle Bus…

  1. Justin, there are times I’ve thought of looking outside if higher ed, especially right after we graduated and everyone was posting their “I got a job” posts. I’ve also thought about it when we consider moving.

    I think you can stay engaged using ACPA, NASPA, and other organizations. Now might be a great time to do some intensive reading and writing. But I also know it can be difficult to stay motivated in doing that in the current situation.

    I wish I had more words of wisdom. It is a struggle. Ages ago, before grad school, I was in a similar situation. I opted to take a minimum wage position (fast food even) so that I could continue searching without feeling like I would leave a company in the lurch if I found something.

    Sending you support my friend.

  2. C.J. Mathis says:

    Sorry to hear of your struggle, buddy. I hope that you soon find peace. I don’t recall you being a particularly religious person, but I would consider you a spiritual person. I have found that once I become comfortable in my current place and release trying to control my fate/destiny then things eventually fall into place. Of course that doesn’t mean stop trying, but just know that as long as you are giving your all to the process and to your current situation, what is meant to be will be. Hope I don’t sound like a total douche. Good luck!

  3. Justin Sipes says:

    I appreciate the support you two. Thank you for reading and your words, as they mean a lot. And C.J., you do not sound like a douche. 🙂

  4. Amanda Antara says:

    Justin, I had no idea you blogged, moved to Tampa or were job searching! I know it can be a tough road and we’ve all been there at some point…if I had a hiring power and an open job, I’d hire you in a second flat! Keep your head up and let me know if I can do anything to help.

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