Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Job Stuff Some More

I was supposed to hear back from the woman I've been negotiating with over at Prospective New Company today. I didn't. I think this means that the news that's coming is bad: that they're not going to be able to give me what I asked for.

That's okay.

I mean, not "okay" as in, "oh, okay, I'll take the job anyway." It's okay because my options are wide open. While considering this job offer, I realized that it's not an either/or situation: it's not a simple choice between a) stay in my current job for another year until I quit to go to graduate school and b) take that job. I can do any number of things. I could put off grad school some more if I found my dream job, or I could quit altogether and try to make it through to grad school doing freelance writing (hey, that's why they call it a Freedom Fund, my friends). In the meantime, I've contacted a well-placed friend of my parents' who's agreed to chat with me about working with books and ideas in a couple of weeks. I've got a lot going on in my life right now: planning parties and starting blogs and thinking about my future, in addition to some personal stuff I'm still having to put time and effort into, and then the big push for graduate school coming up if I don't find my dream job in the next couple of months...

The thing is to remember to treat it as a joy to have so many options. It is a joy, and a privilege, and I tend to choke up and flip out about having to make decisions about my life--I'm working on not doing that so much. Breathe, I am trying to remind myself. Breathe.


Kaitlin said...

You can apply to grad school, but only go if/where you are fully funded. When I was applying I was told "you don't pay for grad school." You teach/research/"fellowship" your way through it. A little cushion is nice, though. I work part-time so I don't have live quite as paycheck-to-paycheck as I would otherwise.

David said...

I am preparing to apply for Grad school too and I have heard the "you don't pay for grad school" quite a lot. The most important thing I heard though is that when you are accepted to a school you can negotiate with them. It is, in fact, the ONLY time you will be able to do that, so take major advantage of it. If you really want to go to one school that accepted you but they aren't offering enough money right away go to the head of graduate admissions and say "Hey, I want to go hear but I need $4,000 more a year to live here comfortably." I know that sounds really weird, to not just be super thankful to get in, but you will have many years ahead of you with essentially no choices. So take advantage of this one while you can. Best of luck with your decisions.

English Major said...

Not make it THROUGH grad school with freelance writing—through TO grad school freelance writing, i.e. support myself until I start school and the stipend kicks in by doing freelance writing jobs rather than an office job.

Kaitlin said...

Ah. Yes, that was an important little preposition that I missed. Good. (You would be surprised how many of my fellow grad students got all the way to second semester without realizing that they weren't "supposed" to be paying for it.)

stackingpennies said...

Is the "you don't pay for grad school" true for all fields? I was under the impression that in humanities/fine arts it was a little more common to pay for at least part of it yourself.

However, I don't know much about those fields, so it seems I was mistaken.

English Major said...

stackingpennies, it's really more about the degree than the field--it's not uncommon to pay for a Master's (and pay out the nose for an MFA), but you shouldn't ever have to pay for a PhD. If you do, the school doesn't want you badly enough.

Andrew Stevens said...

The obvious grad school exceptions are professional degrees, which can include many master's degrees. You do pay to go to law school, medical school, or to get your MBA (well, somebody's paying for it, though often it's your place of employment), but anybody who pays for a PhD is doing it wrong.

Lindsay said...

You have such a great attitude about all of this. I'm going to try and adopt it. I know how it feels to sort of be in limbo. I was laid off from a publishing company in Orlando not too long ago, and am temping my way through the transition until I find something I want. It's hard to be like, "Why?", but in the end, I'm making more money here, helping me beef our emergency fund back up after we used most of it to pay our bills while I didn't have this temp job. Things will work out, you've got a lot going for you!

APFB said...

It sounds like you are approaching this very cautiously, which I think is a good thing. I have changed jobs a few times. I have found that while it is always best to look out for one's best interests, maintaining a good relationship with past employers can reap rewards later. On-the-job performance speaks the loudest, and it sounds like you have that in your favor. Good luck!

Hedy said...

Good luck in your job adventures.

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