Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The reason I am in grad school....

[I]t is better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb then half way up one you don’t.
- Dawn, The Office [UK], Season 1, Ep. 6

From this post:
"You’re better off taking a low-level job that excites you than a mid-level job that drains your will to live. I essentially did that with my own writing career and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I might have lost income, but I gained the joy of being a more involved father and husband."

When I was unemployed in Portland and crazily looking for jobs, I kept coming up on the same postings for receptionist and office worker. Those are great positions and if they were for companies that I could believe in and eventually move upwards (community service organization, non-profit, school, etc.) then I would have been fine but those are so few and far between that it seemed pointless. The more I applied for dead-end positions, the more I felt like I was losing the fight for independence and happiness. Pretty big stuff, right?

So I chose a field of work that I could see myself in long-term. Then, I looked at what was needed to get to those positions and one thing kept coming up again and again: graduate school. Experience can take the place of education but with Oregon's unemployment rate the second highest in the country (at the time), I knew I was fighting a losing battle. Thus began the great graduate school exploration of 2009. I researched schools, looked at admission requirements, studied for the GRE, and went on every grad student forum I could find. It was an exhaustive experience that had me put my job search on hold for a few months to get all of the paperwork and requirements completed. It was so absolutely worth it AND I found an amazing temporary position that filled up the time between admission to EMU and actually starting classes.

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