And it’s all “nouveau” yet again….

How do you feel about new beginnings?

Do you actively seek that which is new or unique or are you, like much of the population, bound by that which is already known? When you do take a risk and make that needed (or desired) move — whether to a new house, a new job, or into a new relationship — does a sense of déjà vu strike you every now and again during that first week in a new place? Do you get the sense that you’ve done it all before?

I am in a strange place just now, and this is “nouveau” in a number of not-so-comfortable ways. I’m a disenfranchised academic looking for a new full time position. It isn’t only that I love teaching (I do), but oddly enough, in spite of all the years I’ve paid it, my mortgage has not yet learned to pay itself. And so I, like so many other un- and under-employed, am discovering the realities of a Very Scary Economy.

Do I have irons in that proverbial fire? You bet I do.

  • I signed up to work with a temporary agency. Given that the last time I’d done so was in the 70s, this was an experience worthy of its own blog entry. As a note aside, even though I more than exonerated my claims of proficiency when I took their skills tests, I have not yet been called to duty….
  • I’ve been networking — not a comfortable activity for somebody for whom doing so rests waaaaay outside that comfort bubble.
  • I exercise my research skills on behalf of the Veterans Job Club at my local Department of Employment and Economic Development office. Yup. I’m a veteran.
  • I’m debating the pros and cons of going the SIX SIGMA or PMP route — but if my Ph.D. doesn’t serve me well, are these likely to do so? Corporate entities have a difficult time seeing how academic and/or military project completion stack up in what is euphemistically called “THE REAL WORLD”.
  • I’ve signed up for a class — beginning silver-working. While it won’t help me land a teaching job, new skills are never to be sneered at.
  • I’ve been entertaining my love of creating things — I am seeking to purvey my daughter’s request for “steampunk” jewelry into a small home business. Isn’t your dining-room table littered with vintage watch movements, antique clock hands, and the miscellanea (in the form of jump rings, chain, filigree, and crystals) necessary for repurposing them? If not, why not? Creativity is a fantastic way to ward off the inevitable sense of futility one feels when one week stretches into several months of under-employment.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not whining (much!). I’m not new to “nouveau”. I’ve had a lifetime of career choices and changes — 7.5 years in the armed forces, years of administrative work, graduate school while 30-something followed by years of teaching. I’m just striding towards the next new “nouveau”.

Hey!  You up there? Quick walking so darn fast!

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