@andnowlights You worked there for 5 years and still can't spell it properly? English majors these days...
@questingbeast Well, realistically, this is following years of "I can't get a job with my PhD OH GOD I'M A LEPER WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME" observations.
@KathleenD@twitter And that is fine! By leaning out, you're providing opportunities for others.
@highjump Any interest in technical writing or marketing? I know it's not the pure creative flame of an MFA, but in my area at least, these are highly employable skills and can be very creative fields. Otherwise, yes, PhD or bust. Even that's a gamble nowadays (don't ask how many unemployed arts/humanities PhDs I know...) but no one seems to have a better path to success apart from stacking multiple diplomas on top of each other. I thought this month's post was very insightful. You will have so many opportunities to see and do exciting things, don't feel the need to cram them all in now, especially when finances are tight.
@Michelle I get what you're saying and wanted to add another perspective. Maybe what he wants isn't just the materialistic items, but also the social bonds that come with it. Working transient disposable jobs in my 20s made it really hard for me to find a group of peers who cared about succeeding professionally, and/or make societal commitments like volunteering (not happening when work schedules 24/7 and you don't have the $ for cab fare anyway) or starting a family. A weird chasm erupted between the post-grads who *had* made it (largely through family connections, but also luck and some real talent) and the untouchables - us scholarship kids who succeeded academically but had no concept of the work world from our parents. It takes a baseline level of income and stability to volunteer, have a great relationship, be personally fulfilled, etc. Maybe that guy's baseline was a little off, but he does has a point and those were dark days for many of us.
I think your approach is the way to go. I too have an "unexpired" student ID but it definitely looks like it's 10 years old, you know? And why on earth would I be using it 1,200 kilometres away from my university to get a monthly bus pass in March? I digress. I flatter myself that *I* look the same but the plastic has aged poorly...realistically it's probably a bit of Column A, a bit of Column B
Another downside to (mostly) car-free life: people don't understand why your life is in your knapsack. I had a employer once tell me that my bag was too big to fit in our store room/employee coat room and that "most people left their stuff in the car." Good for them. I'm not about to do that with a cross-city bus route.
@Stina That is a great way to approach it! I appreciate the fresh perspective. Here's to good contracts for us both in 2013.
I... don't know. On a positive note, my seasonal job is about to start up again, which means my income will go up again. Off-season, I did a pretty good job of cutting costs to stay within my severance pay. Not so sure I accomplished my other goals (networking, more education, etc.) On a negative note, everything's set to become more expensive (rent, utilities, employment-related expenses, added transit costs). I need to learn how to drive ($1000 for 10 lessons), take the tests ($50 admin fees) and get insured/pay for gas (??? Let's say $200/mo insurance and $30/month gas for occasional driving). That is a HUGE stressor on my stretched-to-the-bone salary. Oh, it's graduated licencing too, so I won't even be able to rent a car or pass the final test for another 18 months. This is assuming I get enough driving practice to do so (I grew up in a rural area and am deathly terrified of city driving). I never had the money or access to a car until recently and it's quite frankly terrifying me. I would only ever want to drive if I left the city. However, I can't leave the city until I learn... I can't work two jobs as I have to be available 100% of the time during the season. I've looked, and looked, and looked for other work opportunities for YEARS and it's just not happening. Unfortunately my region is bilingual, and short of spending tens of thousands of dollars (+ cost of living) to attend a specialized government language training school full-time, there's no bloody way I will learn the (underused, barely relevant, was not taught in schools where I grew up) second language. Emigrating is a highly attractive prospect some days. Going back to school for a (non-bilingual) trade would likely set me back another $30K, once moving, cost of living, tuition, and lost income are factored in. I would only enrol in a program with high employment prospects... so I'm not even sure how well I'd do, academically. I have two advanced degrees, for reference, in subjects that are apparently completely useless to the world. I could relocate 1000 miles across the country for oilsands work, but I'd lose the things I've managed to buy over the years and struggle with the lack of car/high rental costs/loss of partner and pets. So! Clearly I am a little stressed about the year. Any advice?