In no particular order they are:
1. Writer/editor/researcher (in an academic, government, or corporate setting)
2. Head reference librarian (university, research, or public)
3. University administration, especially something along the lines of "associate director and/or director of ______ program" (women studies, career services, and the like)
Now, all of these options sound fairly reasonable for someone with a Ph.D. who also works as a freelance writer on the side. But there are large, disheartening obstacles attached to each alternate career I have listed. I can sorta see the light at the end of the tunnel but am unsure whether I'm 100% ready and willing to start jumping through a new set of hoops, or climbing ropes, or scaling fences, or doing push ups. (Although the intense workout would be a pretty sweet bonus in any case.)
|Am I fit enough to navigate my way through?|
The 2nd option, working at a library, is even more fraught with difficulties. Becoming a reference librarian requires an MLS degree in addition to the Ph.D. I have looked into this and experienced a feeling of revulsion upon learning that I would need to pay for and retake the GRE; submit undergrad transcripts; find people willing to write letters of recommendation; demonstrate mastery of a foreign language (again); and pay thousands of dollars to sit through 36 more credit hours of schooling. Um, yuck. It's not that I'm against going back to school, I just don't know if it would be worth it to me in the long run as an unemployed 30 something, when there are so many other things, I hope, that I can do with just a Ph.D. But the idea of being surrounded by books 24-7, and not having to sell anything, is awfully tempting.
Breaking into university administration sounds less than glamorous, I must admit, but it would allow me to use what I know and tap into my type-A personality skill set. I like the idea of helping to run a program and continuing to work with academics and students. But would I enjoy working with university staff and higher-up admin types on a daily basis? Again, I have no idea. Therein lies the problem. With limited administrative experience, and no experience managing people or budgets, why would anyone hire me for an administrative position when there are more than enough qualified applicants looking for work right now? My sense is that HR would place my application in the "REJECT" pile straight away, unless I had special connections. Hmm . . . need to work on establishing those connections.
In sum, I don't have a steady employment history doing, well, anything; I've spent the last 10 years in school and part-time teaching but I no longer relish the thought of teaching as much I used to; I don't have the additional qualifications necessary to work in a library; my lack of administrative experience doesn't bode well for an office job; and I haven't worked long or steadily enough as a freelance writer to prove that I'd be a good hire for a staff writer position.
Ugh, back to square one. If I was really smart I would establish a "Kick Your Soft Ph.D. Ass Into Gear" career transition boot camp. As long as the fees were low, I bet there would be plenty of takers. Who wouldn't like to tone up, lose a few pounds and prepare for a new career all in one go?
|Ready to get buff and make $!?!|