Friday, July 20, 2007


This afternoon I had planned on getting my WA license at the DMV but decided against it based on how packed the waiting area was. Having only my iPod with me I wasn't sure how I'd pass the hours of waiting. Last time I was at the DMV with Mr. Sleyed for his license we were there a long, long time.

So I came back home and went shopping again - for good deals on a house and a job for me. I'm not optimistic about either one. If I am lucky, I'll get the research analyst job I applied for. The pay and responsibilities are commensurate with what someone with a PhD should get. If I am less lucky, but still lucky, I might be able to convince someone to let me do secretarial things (blech) or practice my therapy skills... for a grand total of 32 thou a year. That's terrible pay.

The recurrent problems with me finding employment outside of academia in this area?

1) People see I have a degree in psychology and assume I am qualified to be a counselor. Those in mental health know this isn't the case.

2) People are reluctant to hire a PhD for a job that only requires a BA. They may figure the PhD won't stick around, would require too much money, or I suppose create insecurity for those who don't have that level of education. I think those are all justified worries, but would you really take a lesser candidate simply because you think you couldn't keep the better one? And, if the person doesn't take a job because you can't afford them, that's the way it goes. Why assume that you couldn't negotiate pay that would be mutually satisfactory?

3) I really don't know anyone and we all know a lot of jobs get filled because someone knew someone. Many jobs are never advertised. I've started networking with alumni in the area but am running into problem 1. It gets really old hearing people tell me I should get in touch with mental health organizations. Jeeezous. I have a freakin' PhD in psychology for dogs sake and you think I couldn't figure that out on my own?

As you can imagine I am fed up and frustrated. I'm thinking this potential move may be a really bad idea, especially if I can't find employment. At best, we'd be there one year and end up living in a place that is not in a great part of town. I don't know if I am being pessimistic or just realistic on this one. I've been having a heck of a time finding employment and a house that is at least as nice as ours, is not in or near the bad part of town, and can still be afforded on one, albeit well-paid, income.

Wanna see an unbelievable dump? This is not entirely atypical of what can be had. Now, if I only had a job offer for something that pays even modestly, we could have this lavishly beautiful place.

What do I do?

Last time we moved for a job (me), we thought that it would pay off. It hasn't. At least not yet anyway. I'd like to think moving for this job would pay off but it seems like all we'd be doing is trading a great job in a livable small town for a job slightly higher up on the totem pole in a town alternately called Yuckima or Crackima for well-deserved reasons.

Anyway, all of this will be over in less than 2 weeks.


B said...

Good luck w/ the job search! I hear it can be very difficult but have patience something will probably come through! I worry about this all the time as well. I still have to post-doc but finding one of those is almost always about who you know.

Anonymous said...

One phonomenea that has occurred in this area is the "interest only mortgage". It actually helps make some places affordable when it appears they are not. For exaample, a 21 year old HS graduate (that's right, no college) working as a network person (without certification) was able to afford a $250k condo in our community. If you are seriously considering this, look into it. There are serious things to consider 1) the rates are adjustable and 2) it is still a 30-year loan, so you will be paying a lot more after 5-10 years unless you refinance. Anyway, something to consider.

Field Notes said...

Yeah, I know about those mortgages. I can understand the appeal, but I'd never sign up for one. I'm just not that desperate to live in Crackima! If we need to sell the place in a year, as could easily happen, we'd lose a serious amount of money.

dude in the desert said...

Additional wishes for luck in finding desirable employement.
That lavish house is fantastic!