Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Great Job Search of 2011

With only 5 weeks left of my contract in Indonesia and only one more payment from Georgetown on the horizon, my thoughts have been increasingly focused on my financial situation and the big question of what am I going to do next to earn money? I've dubbed my job search The Great Job Search of 2011 and have entered the process optimistically, comparing it to a big raffle.

Every job application I send off is like a raffle ticket. Clicking 'submit' or 'send' represents a chance to win the big prize worth tens of thousands of dollars - a full-time job with benefits! And even if I don't win the big prize right away, there are a lot of smaller prizes to be raffled off as well, namely telephone interviews and on-campus interviews. Over the past month and a half, I've submitted 8 applications to various jobs. I've already gotten one rejection email but I'm not going to let that get me down because I still have 7 tickets left in the bowl. And the great part is, there's no limit to the number of tickets I can buy! I'll just keep buying and buying until I win something. 

So, where am I looking and what kind of job do I want? 

Well, it's been clear to me for a while now that I want to live in the United States again for the foreseeable future. While I'm grateful for all my adventures and experiences overseas, I feel that my life is waiting for me back home. I want to share Thanksgiving dinner with my family and I want to spend time with my cousins' children (especially my goddaughter). Basically, I just want to feel more a part of the fabric of my own life. My number one rule for the job search is I can only apply to places that are within a day's drive of my family. Essentially, this means I am only considering jobs in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. And I have a particular focus on the DC metro area because of a certain someone :-). 

As for the type of job I want, well, there are some options. The obvious choice would be to apply for faculty ESL positions since I've got the degree and I've certainly got the experience. A big problem with ESL positions, however, is that many of them are for adjunct/part-time work. Occasionally, I'll see postings for full-time positions - and I've even applied for one - but those are pretty rare. Another consideration is that, after teaching English for seven years, I'd like to spice things up a bit. Call it the career version of the seven-year itch, but I just have a really strong urge to do something a little bit different. That's why ESL jobs with added responsibilities in the direction of language program administration or campus-wide ESL support are appealing. Another strong area of interest for me is international education. I've applied for a handful of jobs with the title of International Student Advisor, where I would be responsible for counseling international students about academic, visa and cross-cultural adjustment issues. I would also get the opportunity to develop workshops and programs to cater to the needs of those students as they transition into American culture. 

I'm excited about the possibilities out there. I search the job boards every day hoping to find some interesting gems to apply to. I realize that 8 applications in a month and a half is not much. My pace may have started off slow but it's definitely picking up speed now that my contract is coming to an end and unemployment looms. If anyone reading this happens to have some leads for me, please send them along. You never know which application will be the winning ticket! 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Take A Chance On Me

For those of you who may be wondering, my trip to Washington, DC to visit Henry last month went really well. In his words, it went better than expected and it meant a lot to him that I came all that way to see him. All of the weirdness I felt over New Year's was gone and we had a lot of fun together. My first night there he took me to the Melting Pot restaurant where we feasted on cheese fondue, salad, meat fondue and dessert fondue. And we washed it all down with a bottle of Riesling. It was delicious! The next day we headed off for our road trip to North Carolina. We spent a couple of days exploring the Outer Banks and then headed back to DC via Charlottesville, VA, where we stopped to see Monticello and dine on food from yesteryear at Michie's Tavern. Somewhere in between eating delicious food and laughing along to Car Talk podcasts on our road trip, we realized that we can be a couple again.

But we still have our challenges. Since the trip, Henry and I have been emailing a lot and talking about the issues that didn't get discussed while I was there. Maybe this is because we were too busy sightseeing or meeting up with my friends for dinner in DC. Or maybe it was because we were just too shy. Whatever the reason, we're talking more now than we have in a long time and I think that's a very good thing.

I'll be back in the U.S. soon and we'll take it from there!