How's it Feel to Want?


While I enjoy learning from working as a staff assistant in an academic department, I still look for professional positions. The nice thing about where I live is that it gives me access to two different job regions, all within an hour commute. My current position gives me access to a lot of professional development training along with the ability to sit on committees with a wide variety of professionals across campus and the school. I really enjoy working at my current university, it’s very student-centric with student success as the most important goal. I truly believe that almost all student can succeed in the right program with the right support, so I think I fit into the culture well and I’d love to stay here.

I’m usually a fairly positive person, I can (usually) find the silver lining and keep a good attitude when all else seems lost. Lately, however, I’ve taken job rejections really hard, almost personally. I’ve been applying for jobs now since 2010, sometimes more actively than others, but I’ve kept looking for opportunities. I appreciate job rejections because it means someone at least had the opportunity to look at my application materials and consider me as an applicant. But lately (again) the rejections that state something like “we’re considering applicants who are more qualified than you” have hurt a lot. How are they more qualified? I meet almost all or all of your requirements and preferences. I’d love to respond to these emails with “Can you please give me more detail as how to how I could have sold myself as a candidate better? (Because I promise I’ll work really hard and dedicate myself to the job)”

All of this job searching has led to me being frustrated and thinking about changing careers. I can help people outside of higher ed, possibly even without going back to school. I could work with animals or community youth or other populations who are equally deserving of my attention. But I want what society promised me: the job of my dreams. I did all of the stuff society said to do: graduate high school with college credits, graduate college (early), graduate graduate school (that last one is fun to look at). I learned to learn and found I loved learning, I gained valuable experiences within higher ed and in customer services, and I know the population I want to help succeed.

So now that I’ve completed life’s education requirements, I’d like the job I was promised; I want one that challenges me, one that makes me think, I want one that allows me to help people succeed in their goals. I want one that I don’t have to worry about bringing home because I’m that passionate about it. Above all, I want one that satisfies and fulfills me, just like society promised me.

I know my frustrations and negativity have probably been reflected in my tweets and status updates. It’s probably even creeped into my personal life. I hope I make it out of the frustration phase soon and move back into being positive about my job search. Until then, I’ll keep telling myself the job rejections aren’t personal and that I will find my dream job eventually.

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