What I haven’t been talking about.

My sister is obsessed with finding my husband a job in her city.  Apparently, she’s been doing her own job search and emailed me the link to an opening at a local university, which I forwarded to Hubby.  Of course, it wasn’t a good fit for him, but I appreciate that she’s trying.  Mostly though, what I think she really wants is for us not to move out of the country.

I haven’t written much about Hubby’s job search because, lately, there hasn’t been much to write about.  He’s received a few more rejection letters in the last couple of weeks and applied for a few more jobs, but the status quo is still the same: nada.  He is teaching a class this semester, which is a good thing, but he won’t get his first paycheck until the end of February.  It’s better than nothing.

Which is what I’m terrified of.  If we’re lucky enough to get a BFP after our FET next month, Hubby will have roughly 8 months to secure a job.  He’s still confident.  Annoyingly so, because after more than four years, he’s no closer to starting his career.  He keeps saying it’s going to happen, but I have a hard time believing him.  Not that I think he’s lying.  He’s not capable of that.  In fact, he’s honest to a fault–often brutally so–which is part of the problem.  He’s not skilled in the kind of creative bullshitting required to procure gainful employment.

That and, as my sister pointed out, “There are no jobs.”  Tell me about it.

Between the job stress and the embryo stress, I haven’t been sleeping.  I’ve resorted to taking sleeping pills, even for a nap, and I’m not looking forward to another restless night before having to start a new work week.  Last week was pretty rough.

I want to believe in Hubby, but after four years of believing and getting  nothing out of it, my faith is a little broken.  I know he needs to do something different, but I’m not sure what that something is, and even if I did, I can’t do it for him.  I want this FET to work so badly, but with that come so many other what-ifs.  I just wish I could know it will all be okay.

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20 thoughts on “What I haven’t been talking about.

  1. Academia is a hard market right now. So many people are coming out after finishing their degrees only to find that the positions they were hoping for are unavailable or nonexistent. So, I have a crazy suggestion: can Hubby go to a conference in his field? Grey is doing this as he prepares for the job hunt as conferences are great for learning about what’s current and for networking. I’ve personally witnessed more ideas exchanged over drinks following a presentation because someone came up with an idea and the other person happens to have some idea of how to get it off the ground. Equally so, putting a face with a name is usually useful and I’ve witness more than one job created because someone formed a connection with someone in a position of power.

    Granted, these things aren’t cheap. Usually people apply for scholarships and institution support to attend these things (and grant money is usually set aside for this stuff), but it may be a worthwhile investment.

    • Unfortunately, he’s already attended more conferences than I can keep track of (and paid for all of them out of pocket). The problem is that anyone who seems interested in his research doesn’t have money (or isn’t willing to apply for funding), and those that have the money don’t like his research. That seems to be the trend, anyway. His field is interdisciplinary by nature, but I have a feeling that means he’s not fitting into the tidy little boxes some in academia have in mind when they’re hiring. It’s just really frustrating for him, and I don’t know what I can do to help because I’m not in his field or academia, so I don’t know what to suggest.

  2. Oh dude, it is no good that you are having trouble sleeping because being tired makes everything else seem all that much more shit. Times are tough. But you are a very strong lady and I think you will come out of this rough patch jsut fine.

  3. I believe, in the end, it WILL all be okay, but I know that means very little because, really, I know squat. But I’m hoping for you, Daryl. Remember…just one day at a time. The big picture can be overwhelming in any situation, but taking it one day at a time can help it seem less daunting. Hang in there, friend. So many are rooting for you and hubby!

  4. That’s a lot to worry about on top of infertility, I’m sorry that you’re going through it. Things have a way of working themselves out though, even if it’s not how you pictured. Eight months is still a long time…could he consider something outside his field even if it’s just for the short term? There are so many people who end up with kids on the way when they’re not in their “ideal situation” and they just find new ways to make it work. I know you guys can do that too.

    • He’s been applying for things outside of academia, but with not much luck there, either. A couple of phone interviews, but nothing more. Still, it’s better than anything he’s gotten in his field. I know if it comes down to crunch time, he’ll find something, but I don’t want him to be miserable, either.

  5. I hear you on so many levels. First of all, S is completely the same way. This eternal sunny optimist – sometimes despite all evidence to the contrary (how he got like that I don’t know, when actually he’s had such a harder life than I have!). I both love it sometimes and sometimes get so frustrated with it – I don’t always feel like optimism is that helpful. I describe myself as a pragmatist but he would argue sometimes a pessimist… Still, more effective in getting stuff done right?! (or at least that’s what I tell myself)

    Secondly, I also really understand the whole academic job-market frustration – it’s awful and there are so many people I know caught in ridiculous financially-untenable limbo because of it. I’ve fared okay but my sister and her partner are in the exact same situation as you guys. One thing I’ve found helpful to read is the blog Jobs on Toast (http://jobsontoast.com/) which is specifically to help PhDs think about how to approach other careers outside of academia. Don’t know if you already know it but something to get started with? I think the guy that writes it does careers counselling too, I’m looking into it also.

    • The optimism/pessimism balance in this house sounds about like yours. I insist I’m a realist, but Hubby always accuses me of pessimism.

      Thanks for the link. I forwarded it to Hubby. He says he knows it all already, so I countered with, “But do you know how to execute it?” Don’t know if it’ll help, but I hope something gets going soon. There are just way too many PhD’s right now and not enough jobs to go around.

  6. Sorry to hear you’ve got job stress on top of everything else. What people forget is that while all this IVF treatment is underway, ‘normal’ life worries are still happening. I’m also going through career transition on top of IVF. It’s not easy for sure! Keep believing in your husband. One day you will look back and wonder how you got through this period in your life. One day!

  7. Oh, I feel your pain. I’ve just started applying for jobs, and I’m already depressed and sure I’m not going to get one. I need some of your hubby’s optimism.

    Hope you start sleeping soon… I’ve been doing this fun thing where I wake up at 4 and lie in bed till DH’s alarm goes off. That’s tons of fun since now I have whole hours to obsess about things that have bothered me.

    • Oh, man. One night last week I woke up every 7-8 minutes between 5 and 6:30. That’s on top of waking up about 20 times before 5. The last couple of nights have been better. I hope it continues. All this job stuff makes it really hard to sleep well!

  8. The thing is, it will all be ok. Its the not knowing in the meantime that is the killer. Regardless of what happens (baby or job) you both will keep plugging away until the pieces fall into place. Its hard to see that from where you are sitting though. Right now, its deep breaths and focus on you. Control what you can, let the rest go.

  9. It really is the not knowing that’s the worst, isn’t it? We are in a similar situation, in that being two academics we’ve had to trade off in the job market to keep us both up-to-date, and this also usually means a major move for a limited employment contract. So far it’s kinda worked out and right now he’s teaching while I’m picking up bits and peices of work, but if we’re as pregnant as we hope to be later this year (fingers crossed!), he’ll just have to keep going, which leaves him no time to actually finish his PhD, thus limiting his later job prospects. The situation in academia sucks right now, and add to that all the uncertainties and worries that come with IF…it’s a strong cocktail!
    As someone with the same worries, I know it’s of little consolation to hear it, but things will work themselves out, one way or another. In the meantime it’s nice to have people like your sister wanting to help. And I don’t think your really natural fears and doubts about what the future holds represent a loss of faith in your husband.

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