The Beginning of the End

It has started.  Hubby began applying for jobs outside of academia last week.  He doesn’t feel good about it.  It must feel like a dream-crushing, soul-selling step for him.  But, I have to admit, I’m relieved.

I feel selfish and mean for admitting that because poor Hubby has been so depressed about it.  And seeing him depressed is absolutely heartbreaking.  But something has to be done.  After what he figured to be roughly 150 applications over the last four years, he’s no closer to his dream job.  He never got a single phone call or email–no response at all, other than a stack of rejection letters.

The “plan” now is to continue to apply for academic jobs for next year while simultaneously trying to find something immediate, something to get us through.

He got some help converting his mile-long CV into a 2-page resume (because he couldn’t shrink it to one), and he’s been sending it out online, out into the deep space of the internet.  Where I hope it will land softly before a pair of sympathetic eyes.  Which I hope will result in an interview (or two) and a job.

Because we’re ready for the end.

And when I say “the end,” what I really mean is the beginning.  Because it will be the end of uncertainty, the end of waiting, the end of this hellish limbo.  It will mean we can finally move forward with IVF or, if we’re very lucky, IUI.  It will mean the start of something we’ve been waiting years for: expanding our family of two.

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21 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End

  1. Making the decision to move on is hard. I’ve done so multiple times and, even though I’m more use to it, it doesn’t make it any less painful. That said, I think it’s a wise move. Him being unemployed for so long is not going to help him achieve his dream and it’s likely that as he closes the door, something far better than he could have dreamed for will appear.

    Wishing both of you all the best as you begin this new chapter.

    • Thank you so much, Cristy! I keep wishing he would find someone as helpful as you have to assist him in getting funding for a postdoc, but that just keeps not happening. And while he’s got tons of teaching experience, none of it seems to be helping in the job department. I think that, whatever he ends up doing, he’ll at least start to feel better about himself, even if it’s not his dream job.

  2. Mr. Husband is also looking at leaving academia and going to industry due to an insulting lack of jobs. May I ask what your hubby specializes in? Mr. Husband just completed his Ph.D. in mathematics. He has a 1 year temporary position at UK in Lex, but nothing lined up after that. It’s scary and tough.I wish your husband all the best in his quest outside of academia.

    • I would love to tell you more about what my husband specializes in, but he has requested I not do it on my blog. Can I email you?

      Hubby’s been doing lots of teaching, but it’s part-time/adjunct, so the pay is pathetic, and there’s no benefits. It’s pretty much the most demeaning thing he could be doing with his PhD. And he is, understandably, tired of it.

      I wish Mr. Husband the best of luck in his job search, too!

  3. Echoing Cristy….I know this has to be tough, but it sounds like you guys are moving in a good direction. And, nothing is forever, right? Is it possible for him to work in academia for a while and then move to a better position after a couple of years?

    I’m catching up with your blog – love the new format. Also, when/if you guys get to IVF, let me know if you would like my leftover Follistim. It’s unopened; one 900 cc container and one 300 cc. That would probably save you about $1000 if you are having to pay for the drugs yourself. I believe the expiration date is not until 2014 but I will check.

    • Thank you so much for your generous offer! I’ll definitely let you know when we’re getting close to pursuing IVF!

      Hubby is actually hoping to leave academia temporarily and come back to it at a time when either there are more jobs, or he’s got a more impressive CV. But he’s afraid once he’s out, it’ll be much harder to come back. We’ll see.

  4. Oh, if only those Baby Boomers would just retire. That was the promise when I started my PhD. “Now is a great time because we all plan on retiring in five years!”, so they said. That was 2006 and we all know how that turned out. I’ve never wanted to go into academia, but I can imagine how crushing it must be to not be able to gain a foothold in the academy. Things haven’t been so hot outside the academy, either. I’ve even contemplated removing the PhD from my resume. I don’t think it is doing me any favors at this point. I hope that you guys can find a great job and move forward.

    Also, you are right, the pay as an adjunct is horrific. When developing and implementing a new class my total time invested resulted in a rate of about $4 per hour. Awesomesauce.

    • Exactly! Stupid economy.

      Hubby actually has a friend who got a tenure track position in 2007. Just in time. By the time Hubby started applying for jobs, he was getting a lot of letters/emails back saying, “Oops, turns out we don’t actually have the funding for this position. Our bad. Maybe next year.” Or something like that.

  5. Truly sorry for this difficult time, Daryl. My hubby just left academia last year after/during getting his PhD and lucked out on finding a company that really wanted him and that he actually likes (at least he doesn’t complain about the job much, so I’m assuming he likes it. lol).
    Keeping my fingers crossed for you and your hubby!

  6. Hi, I’ve been following your blog but never commented. I just had to today because I so empathise with this post! My husband and I are both academics (in Europe/UK) and are in the process of coming to a similar conclusion. I *know* how soul destroying piles of rejection letters can be, and I *know* how much that can compound the stress of ttc with IF/loss.
    I am in the social sciences, so alas there are no great ‘industry’ jobs to fall back on but at this point I’d rather have stability with an ok community development job than the full-time headache of applying and then nada…What is your husband’s field? Whatever the case, I hope he finds something that suits and that it brings you one step closer to realising your dream for expanding that family of two! I so hear ya!

    • I’m so sorry you guys are in the same position. It’s such a disheartening place to be. My husband doesn’t want me to give away too many details about his work, but if you’d like, I can email you more details. I’d love to hear about how your and your husband’s job searches are going, too!

      • Yes, please do! Although I’m not a blogger myself, it’s always nice to ‘meet up’ with others in this community 🙂

  7. Thats so sad for him but the sucky part of this whole “adulthood” thing is having to put your dreams on the back burner. Now is whats important and he can always keep trying. I hope he gets good news soon and you will both be able to begin your new journey together soon!

  8. Oh wow! I thought I had already commented on this, sorry for the delay!
    Well, I know first hand that it can feel so defeating to look for jobs you don’t really want, but I’m also really happy that he is casting a wider net. Who knows, maybe he will find something totally random and end up loving it! I really believe that the people you work with is a much bigger influence in job happiness it misery, then the job itself. I’ve had some pretty “crap” jobs, but I lived them because of the people. And I’ve had some pretty “impressive” jobs I loathed because of the people.

    I’m so happy and hopeful that he finds something quickly and you guys can start the “end” 🙂

    • I just hope he finds something he doesn’t dread doing every day. I’ve been there, and it’s no fun. Oh, and good insurance would be pretty amazing, too! 😉

  9. It is so so so hard to look for a job. To know that you’d be a good fit and have to convince someone else of that fact. Sending a lot of good thoughts for the job search.

    • Thanks, Mel. He’s four years into his job search, so he’s decided to change direction. We’re hoping the change will increase his chances.

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