So What Happened?

Loyal readers, you may be wondering what happened. For those of you who haven’t been here before, I disappeared from this blog and never re-appeared. So what happened?

Well, the short answer is I had a baby. A healthy, beautiful, lovely, charming, sweet baby girl.

I didn’t disappear because something went wrong or anything like that, captain doomsday. I disappeared because I gave birth much sooner than we ever could have expected, and just haven’t had time to get online now that I have my daughter. Btw, I love saying those words: My Daughter.

I won’t be sharing any of the details of the birth because it is so deeply personal and our own private little event. Suffice to say we have been made the luckiest & happiest people on earth. If you wish to continue to read about my journey (with life, motherhood, work and/or anything else, my goal is to get my old blog up and running, but I don’t think that will happen until next year). I got a baby to take care of, people!

What To Expect from a Job Interview When You’re Expecting

I finally managed to land a job interview. For a real job I would actually love to have! I’m beyond excited, but the interview is TOMORROW. Btw, seriously, people? You call up a job candidate to ask “What are you doing tomorrow between 11-12:30?” because that’s your only available window for an interview? Hmmm. I’m guessing I was on the alternates list.

I can’t afford any interview clothes but lucky for me, my pre-pregnancy wardrobe still fits okay (mostly). I can barely zip the skirt, but with my cheap imitation Bella band, it should be fine. So, if you find yourself in this situation, here is my advice:

  • Wear prints on top. It’s distracting and no one can tell that there’s a growing bump.
  • Wear a jacket or sweater, or even just a long scarf over the printed top. (Maybe she’s just locally fat?)
  • You could do crazy make-up. Then they’ll be puzzling over your face and too distracted to look south at your belly.
  • Don’t accept the bottled water they’ll offer you. You have to pee every 3 seconds anyway, so don’t press your luck.

And when they hand you a document to sign that says:

“[Employer] takes pride in the quality of employees to whom we have extended employment opportunities. In an effort to ensure that you are taking every advantage of your new employee training period, we highly suggest that you maintain 100% attendance during the training phase. Tardiness and/or absenteeism may result in disciplinary action. To ensure your employment success, we ask employees to keep their schedules free of extended appointments and vacations during the first 6 months of employment. Please provide us with the information below if you are not able to currently modify any future appointments. Requests for time off are not guaranteed and may not be paid during your first 90 days of employment. Leaving this section blank indicates your schedule is free of appointments…”

Lie. Lie, lie, lie.

Here’s the thing: if I were obviously pregnant, I probably would have been honest on the form because my interviewers would just march back to HR and say, “Either she’s pregnant or she swallowed a bowling ball.” But I’m not obviously pregnant. Even though I’m due in 3 1/2  months, I’m not really showing. I was able to wear my regular non-maternity clothes to the interview, and by wearing busy prints on top, I can further distract from what’s going on.

More importantly, I’m not sure how I was supposed to handle this.

After I’d been laid off, I got in touch with my HR representative at the museum where I’d worked to ask how to handle the pregnancy disclosure at job interviews and negotiations, and she said in no uncertain terms that I should not say anything until I recieve an offer. (An aside: My friends have been incredibly naive about this, btw. They’re all up on a soapbox screaming “You can’t do that! Employers can’t not hire you just because you’re pregnant! That’s discrimination!” News flash: Sure, employers can’t discriminate against you because you’re pregnant, but they can find *other* reasons not to hire you, including the all-purpose “It just isn’t the right fit right now.”)

So by saying on the form, uh, I’m going to need time off during the training phase to keep up with my bi-weekly, soon to be weekly, doctor’s appointments, that could be a major red flag and they could just say, well, maybe the timing isn’t right right now since you can’t commit to our training attendance policy. And by saying, uh, I’m going to need at least 6 weeks off this summer, they could not hire me because I’m asking for extensive time off during my probationary phase. So I left it blank and signed it. We’ll have to wait to see what unfolds

Rollercoaster

I thought I’d take you along on the rollercoaster ride that I’ve been on lately. Between being laid off (booo!) and knocked up (woohoo!), it’s been a hell of a ride.

Would you rather get the highs or the lows first? Actually, as I type that out, I realize that part of the problem is that they’re pretty intertwined so they’re inseparable. Sound crazy? Well, it is…

  • A high: Why, yes, I am currently working part-time, but (here’s the low): only for 6 more weeks, then it’s back to unemployment (and by then I’ll be almost 7 months pregnant and who will hire me then?!).
  • A high: My part-time job affords me the opportunity to have a time set aside each and every week to look for and apply for work. A low: I haven’t found anything. At all.
  • A high: I did go on two interviews in the past couple of weeks. The jobs weren’t all that suitable given my skill set, but I was still happy to have a chance to practice my interview skills, if nothing else. A low: I got the “not the right fit” spiel for one of them, a “thank you for your interest, we wish you luck” form letter for the other.
    • It’s hard enough to find a job when you’re not pregnant. Nevermind a job that’s a good fit, especially in this craptastic economy. But when you’re pregnant, employers may not be able to discriminate against you because you’re pregnant, but they can find tons of *other* reasons why you’re “just not a good fit right now.” It’s like a time bomb – the sooner I find work the better – before I’m really showing, ideally.
    • The fact that I’m switching careers doesn’t help. Any little thing (up to and including the very little baby I’m carrying) can be used against me when I’m competing against folks who already have more directly applicable experience in [fill-in-the-blank].
  • The highest of highs: I am so excited to be having my first baby! Also thanks to my part-time job, I get paid to surf the web shopping for cribs, nursery décor, and strollers. The downside to that: I can’t afford any of it right now.

See what I mean? Is it the hormones, or the unemployment? Since I’m experiencing both, I don’t think I’ll ever know…

What’s Not to Like?

I’m sitting at my new job – this is my second week. And honestly? It’s pretty great! Not just because I’m employed (although that, in itself, is a relief) but the work, the work environment? I’m not sure I have been more content with work in a long, long time.

What’s the deal? Well for starters, this is just the confidence boost I needed. For years now I’ve been bouncing around from job to job, and, as a result, my museum career felt very wobbly or uneven since my employment has been so inconsistent. After years of that, and especially with my layoff last fall, I suffered from a crisis of confidence in my own abilities. A more competent person would still be working at one of the many museum jobs I’ve had. I must not be talented at my chosen field because otherwise, my employers would have found some way to keep me on longer than they did. Why did I get laid off when others didn’t? What did I do wrong? Why am I not good enough? It sucks when you work for employers who may not understand or make full use of your talents and abilities…but when you start to take THEIR opinions about yourself to heart? That’s just sad. I started to believed that the problem was not my employers, but me. When they didn’t see value enough in my work to keep me on board, I began to question my own work products, too.

For years I’ve been ignoring that my confidence in my abilities has been slipping away. I came out of grad school a confident gal. I knew I was smart, capable of doing so many different things, and ready to take on whatever task or project I was given. After the last 10 years, though, I don’t even recognize myself. I don’t have faith anymore that my talents and skills will see me through adversity, and I lack the tenacity to even try. I’ve been trying for so long now to make a go of a museum career and it hasn’t worked out – I’m unemployed despite years of trying to prove myself and my worth as an employee. And the problem became even worse – getting laid off has shown me that I came to equate my self worth with my value as an employee, believing that my employers’ assessment of me (as demonstrated by my sputtering around from one short-term grant-funded project to another instead of getting to work as a permanent employee) must be right.

But this work? Answering phones, greeting clients, and taking charge of general office tasks? That I know I can do. I have no doubts about it. This is the first time in years that I have not found myself second-guessing my abilities and glancing over my shoulder at every second of the workday, leaving exhausted and anxious at the end of every day and dreading the next. Instead, I find myself walking out of here with my head held high – knowing that I did a great job today – and not even giving a second thought to what challenges await me tomorrow. And I know that my employer fully recognizes that I’m doing a great job, too, but that’s not even at the front of my mind, and that’s the biggest change. I fully know that I’m doing a great job so I don’t find myself worrying at every turn what my employer thinks and if they are aware of my worth and contributions. A real shift from the mindset I’ve been in for years, where I’ve been seeing myself as my museum employers have seen me (Apparently expendable).

There’s another thing that’s totally fabulous about this gig, though. Freeing up all that head space that was occupied by constant worry and anxiety about job performance? All that space is now freed up so I can focus on other, MUCH MORE IMPORTANT things. Things like: I AM HAVING A BABY!!

I cannot express how excited I am getting about Baby. Until now, yes, I was excited. But there was a huge wet blanket over that, which was my ever present companion of “I’m never going to find a job. What am I going to do?” I may not have found a long-term solution to that, and I still can’t answer what I want to be when I grow up, but I’m starting to let my anxiety about that slip a bit. I’m just BARELY starting to show…and what this humble job is showing me is that maybe I’ve been going about about this job search all wrong. What if I let go of a possibly unrealistic pursuit of work that I find satisfying and instead focus on finding work that lets me rebuild my workplace mojo? That just might free up the space that I need right now to be able to fully experience the undeniable gratitude I feel for the blessings in my personal life as we prepare to welcome Baby.

A Small Break

I have some good news: I found a job! I’m working on weekends at a tax preparer’s office around the corner answering phones, filing, etc.

Okay, so it doesn’t exactly make use of all my skills and abilities…and it doesn’t pay all that well…and it’s only through the tax season…but still: a job. I really had to do some fancy footwork to convince the tax preparer that I would stick around through April 15 once she saw my resume. She was skeptical…and I get it. This kind of work isn’t exactly what I would have envisioned given my resume, either. But I was just honest: Look, I need work. And I saw your ad on Craigslist – your office is right around the corner from my house. And I’m not looking to do this long-term. I’m reliable, I can do the work, and I need a job. So maybe it was a pity hire, but it was just the break I needed. If nothing else, it makes me feel better that someone is willing to take a chance on me because so far, the jobs that do align with my abilities haven’t been calling me. At all.

And there are good things about it too: the tax preparer said (and I quote): “I don’t care what you do while you’re here – surf the web, read, work on other stuff – as long as you get the phones answered and the tax returns filed.” So I have 28 hours a week (Thursdays through Saturdays) when I get paid to surf the web looking for work and work on cover letters and resumes. And I don’t have to use gas money (that I don’t have) to get to work. The way I see it, the worst that could happen is I use the time to try to line up another part-time job for the workweek.

By the Numbers

I haven’t had much to blog about lately. Last time I checked in here, I was excited about a couple leads I had. Which led nowhere. No responses, no phone calls, no emails…nothing. And both positions have been filled (or at least have disappeared off the series of tubes). In the meantime, I’ve been trolling the web looking for work, and fired off a few applications but nothing exciting on the horizon. Here’s a look at the jobs hunt thus far, by the numbers:

  • Number of months I have been looking for work: 8
    • I started looking May 1, 2010 – a full 3 ½ months before I would be officially notified I was getting laid off (and 6 months before I was laid off). Luckily, I had started looking because I had already seen the writing on the wall – that I was next in line for a layoff at the museum I worked for  – but I’d also already decided it was time for a change for myself – to work in something other than museums.

In those 8 months…

  • Number of local museum job openings: 2
    • Number applied for: 2
    • Number of interviews: 2 (1 for each opening)
    • Number of offers: 0
    • Both were entry-level, and so I was “not the right fit” for either. One even told me she would kill to have me but that “you would be bored to death.”
  • Number of exhibit writing job openings anywhere: 1
    • Number of interviews: 0
    • Though it was out of state, I figured why not apply since at least it’s in my wheelhouse. Would have crossed any out-of-state bridge in the unlikely event it had come to it
  • Number of copyediting and/or proofreading jobs applied for: 4
    • Number of interviews: 0
  • Number of random other jobs that correlate directly to my experience: 1
    • Number of interviews: 0

That’s pretty much the long and the short of jobs that are remotely parallel to my experience, skills, and abilities, and/or align even a little bit with my qualifications. I’ve switched up my strategy – I’m going to apply for any and all jobs – retail, restaurants, whatever. I’ll just keep at it til I find a paycheck.

Paper Dolls

It can be easy to get discouraged by the job market and sometimes I’m not very enthusiastic about the jobs I apply for. I wish that I had been given the luxury of thoughtfully planning a career transition while I still collected a paycheck, but unfortunately that’s not the case. I tried like hell for months to find other work before my unemployment happened, even before I knew for sure that I was getting laid off. While I was still working, I was applying only for things that were directly relevant to my background, but now that we’re without any paychecks at all…and I’m now 3 months pregnant, I’ve been applying for anything and everything that remotely relates to my qualifications, but just haven’t found anything very interesting.

Then there are the times like this when I stumbled on and apply for jobs I think I could be really interested in, jobs that really connect with my experience and skills and interests, and that I would have applied for even when things were not starting to get desperate. Two case studies.

I applied for an editing job at a publisher that specializes in western American history. They are looking for an acquisitions editor – someone to read, evaluate, and make recommendations on manuscript submissions. I meet all the qualifications (someone with a background in western American history) and I couldn’t envision a more appropriate fit for my work experience, degrees, skill set, and most importantly, interests. I’ve been thinking for a long time – long before my layoff, actually – that publishing would be a great fit for me. I’ve done a ton of research and writing, editing, proofing, and layout, and at a full-service traditional publisher like the one that’s hiring, I could really see myself staying long-term as my role would likely evolve over time. Part of what has been so frustrating about museum work for me is that I’ve had to go from short-term to short-term gig, never settling for more than 18 months or so, as most (actually, all but one) of the jobs I’ve landed has been grant-funded project-specific work (e.g., catalog this collection, research and write this exhibit, develop these educational materials, etc.). In other words, you come on board to get the job done and when it’s done, the museum may not necessarily have money to keep you on full time. Or at all. (And where “may not necessarily” should be read as: does not.) I’d like a shot at a career that uses my existing skill set but working in a place that fosters my development and growth over time (instead of leaving it all up to me, as it has been for more than 10 years). I could totally see myself in this role in particular as something that’s key for me is never standing still – there would always be something new to read, some new author to meet, some new project to take on. In other words: I could totally get excited about this job.

Another job I came across is the baking recipes editor for a website. Qualifications: that you know something about baking but you don’t have to be a professional baker (check!), that you are detail-oriented and know grammar (check!), that you feel comfortable writing in a conversational blog style (check!), and that you know a little bit about photo editing and website coding (check!). Seriously – what could be more perfect?! And the description of the company sounds amazing. It’s a casual work environment, flexible hours, you can telecommute part of the time, they provide drinks & meals, and they have a…are you ready? On-site daycare. Hello! Even though I know a ton about baking and crafted a very clever cover letter and meet all the qualifications, I doubt I’ll make it past the gatekeeper, but I could totally see myself rolling to work against the morning commute, wearing jeans, and with my baby in tow to play with his/her little baby friends at daycare, where I would grab a free latte on my way down the hall to check in on baby. Benefits – fringe or real – have been largely absent in my museum work. I’ve worked in only one job that provided health insurance and/or retirement. Are you kidding me?! Why I was ever naive enough to be okay with that, I don’t know, but the older I get…and with a hospital delivery on its way…benefits like health insurance are nothing to scoff at. This one would combine my skills in writing with my creative outlet of baking with a dash of design and a pinch of coding thrown in for good measure.

It’s not just that these seem like great jobs – it’s that they could be just the spark to ignite a whole new career path, avoiding having to take the first job that comes along while I still float about the job market looking for a better long-term fit. When I find jobs like these two, I start envisioning the version of my self and my life if I got the job. Hopefully I’ll get to entertain those versions of my self in a little more detail if I can just get interviews…

Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom-to-be

Not having an income sucks. But I gotta say not having a job is kinda great. Sure, a lot of my time is spent looking for work, writing cover letters, and tweaking my resume. An awful lot of my time, actually.

But I also have plenty of time to think.

Sometimes I think about what I want to do with my life vis a vis work. But mostly I find that pointless because I don’t feel like I have much of a choice. I just need a paycheck…any paycheck. It doesn’t really matter what I want to do, so much as it matters who’s hiring right now and for what.

Mostly I think about what it will be like to be a mom. Everything that I do as I go about my day, I think about what that will be like once I have a baby. During my long aimless walks in the middle of the day, I think about the routes I could take for our long stroller walks – taking baby to the park, going past the elementary school playground where s/he will be someday, and coming home via the canal so s/he can watch the duckies. When I go to the library, I pretend to scan the shelves or mindlessly flip through books while I secretly eavesdrop on the moms, wondering if that will be me someday holding a book about how to keep my kid from biting. And when I lie in the hammock in the middle of a weekday (like today), I imagine how nice it will be to be swaying back and forth snuggled with a baby in the crook of my arm watching the clouds overhead.

Yep. This is way better than any job.

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

My museum career string of dead-end jobs is over. It will take me a while to be okay with closing that chapter. After all, I thought it was my dream job for more than 10 years. But I’m ready to do something different. If only I knew what that was. Last time I posted here I was thinking not about possible career paths but about immediate job prospects. A necessary consideration given that I’m typing this in pajamas thanks to my current unemployment. But I also think a lot about my future career – what I want to be when I grow up do next. There are a lot of things I think that I’d like to do. Things I can do. Writing and editing, for instance. Photography and photo editing. Baking. Web design. But what I can get hired to do? That’s another story.

I’ve taken an inventory of my existing skill set: googling, instant messaging, and procrastination. Okay, so I guess my work in museums did develop skills and abilities beyond those, when I think about it. As long as I think really hard, anyway. Research, writing, public speaking, planning, database administration, project management…But identifying those skills is one thing. Figuring out how to get employers to take note of my museum experience is another thing entirely.

Take writing, for instance. Writing (and the accompanying research skill set that enables me pull together the content to write about) has been, by far, the major component of my work for…I don’t even know how long. For the past 6 years continuously, but even my first job out of college was to write, edit, and layout all the museum newsletters, brochures, and marketing materials. My last job title was, well, Writer. But the only time I see jobs in publishing or writing, they are looking for someone with a degree in English or Journalism. I’ve written website copy, brochures, newsletters, social media campaigns, grant applications, press releases…and, oh yeah!, museum exhibits. Over the years, I’ve written tons of different kinds of materials for highly diverse audiences but it feels like I might as well toss those years of experience out the window when it comes to jobs that list degrees I don’t have even when I match all the other qualifications. Sure, I could provide a portfolio, I guess. But mine consists of tight little 100-150 word labels, which is a highly technical skill in and of itself but evidently does little to impress upon the general reader how much work goes into crafting them, nor the research that goes into their content. (You try transforming highly complex scholarly information into an approachable and engaging narrative written for general audiences using 125 or fewer words per label on deadline and let me know how it goes.)  I can’t provide my personal blog (read by my faithful audience that fluctuated between zero and two) as a portfolio of my talents. I’ve said “fuck” and “shitballs” on there, people!

My degrees are in history and anthropology. Useless, really. Okay, fine. I don’t really think my degrees are useless – I think they have served me well in landing short-term employment in jobs that pay poorly and provide no benefits. But they also helped me develop a ton of skills & abilities. Historians rely on a journalist’s skills – the ability to research using a wide variety of sources and critically examine the claims and biases of all sources – and the writing chops of an English major to tell the stories of the past. And I’m really good at all of those things. But since employers don’t see “English” or “Journalism” when they check my resume against their minimum qualifications, I don’t think my resume and cover letter make it past the recycling bin. Especially in this economy when even folks who match the minimum qualifications get weeded out because there’s always someone else with more directly relevant experience.

I feel like I need to stumble upon someone who could serve as my ambassador to potential employers. Someone who understands the skill set I bring to the table. When you work in nonprofits like museums, you wear a lot of hats, which has afforded me the opportunity to code and design websites and put my Adobe Creative Suite skills to use in developing and designing exhibits, catalogues, newsletters, and all other manner of whatnot. But try as I might, I can’t get anyone to notice that my work experience is directly relevant to any publishing or writing job because I lack the specified credentials. If I decided I wanted to go into web design, I could send a portfolio of the websites I’ve done, but since I don’t have a web design certificate or degree, I’d run into the same problem I would with publishing and writing jobs.

Figuring out which experience I even want to take with me to my next career is tough, too. Take database administration, for instance. I did a TON of database work in museums – collections management databases, development (read: fundraising) databases, membership databases – TMS, re:Discovery, Argus, PastPerfect, Access, Crystal Reports, and so many more – but I’m not interested in doing database work. I left collections management to go into exhibit development because I was sick of sitting at a computer staring at databases all day. And, even if I wanted to do database administration, “real” DBAs would take issue with hiring someone whose background/degrees/job titles weren’t in computing.

My work experience feels so unbalanced. On the one hand, I found my M.A. to be simultaneously required for my work in museums and yet totally and completely unnecessary for the tasks that were assigned to me in my museum jobs. On the other hand, I don’t have the degrees needed for the work I’d like to be doing. And I’m still not clear on what that is, anyway. I guess if I could dream up any job that I wanted, it would be to work as a blogger (writing my own blog, not writing SEO crap for some realtor or for about.com). But as far as I know, the only ways to get paid as an individual blogger are to a) write stuff & b) make sure folks are reading it, and last I checked, well, let’s just say I’ve got a long way to go. Hmmm. Maybe I should take a crash course in SEO – ha!

Somehow I lucked into figuring out how one can have both a good amount of work experience directly relevant to jobs I’d like to do and exactly the wrong credentials for the same jobs. I’m not asking to go into a totally new career at a highly advanced level – I’d totally be willing to accept a lower-paying job in publishing or writing just so I could get started as long as there’s a possibility that I’d advance as I brought my skills and abilities to bear on whatever new career I choose.

As I think about all this, though, I also think that I don’t really have the luxury of carefully orchestrating a career transition. Thanks to sudden unemployment, right now what I need most is to find a steady paycheck before this baby gets here. After baby’s here, I’ll worry about what I’d really like to do with my career…It seems likely that more short-term work is in my near future while I try to sort out my long-term career goals.

Calling It Quits

On the heels of our Vegas getaway, I’ve decided to go ahead and call it quits at work. I’ll be pulling the plug today. It just makes more sense to go ahead and end this now, before I get asked to move a baby grand.

While it’s been nice to get a paycheck, I need to shift my time, attention, and energy away from the past and towards the future. My immediate job prospects, my future career path and my future role as a mother, for starters. It’s hard for me to think about my future self as a mother when I am so preoccupied with not being unemployed, so let’s look at the other two.

The future career path is so undetermined, so hard for me to wrap my mind around. A few years ago, I did career counseling. The pathway that my counselor recommended as a best fit for me was to get to a place where I could balance working part-time in something that is more, um, mindless, I guess, for lack of a better word – retail, baking – anything other than sitting at a computer – with writing part-time in order to harness my creativity and direct it towards something that is more personally fulfilling. (With the larger end goal of tipping the scales more towards writing as a long-term career.) That all really resonated with me. And still does – I’d still like to get there eventually as it sounds lovely. But right now, that seems really far off. I just need a paycheck. So on to my immediate job prospects…

While we were in Las Vegas, I spent a ton of time looking online for jobs, by which I mean napping and listening to podcasts. And also looking for work. (They’re really one and the same. Surfing the job listings would get me so discouraged at my prospects that I would shut the laptop and resume lying in the fetal position while listening to This American Life).

There are the jobs I would want but for which I am absolutely not qualified – proven blogger with readership numbers large enough to make it possible for me to work for myself, for example; the jobs I qualify for but don’t want – social media campaign coordinator, anyone? I’d rather shoot myself; and the work that I once enjoyed but which would entail a huge reduction in pay – retail, that would be you.

I decide I shouldn’t even bother applying for the jobs for which I’m absolutely not qualified. A total waste of my time and energy. The ones that I qualify for but don’t want? Well…they would bring in a paycheck, so I probably should at least keep them on the list. And the work I once enjoyed? First I’d have to convince someone that I really do have experience in retail…even if that was 11 years ago…and then I’d have to be able to absorb the decrease in income in order to possibly achieve an increase in satisfaction. I mean, who’s to say I’d still enjoy retail? Or that what I enjoyed about it was something other than the work itself – a more casual work environment, a variable schedule, not having to report to work before 10 a.m…That’s all stuff I’d have to consider…if I could just get an employer to consider me.

It’s so discouraging to apply via some nameless, faceless, generic online portal. Okay, I get it. This is just how jobs get filled these days, and without the web, how the hell else would you find work? And employers need an efficient way to screen out unqualified applicants. But it makes it really difficult for those of us who are trying to switch careers. No matter how many job openings I’ve looked at, I have yet to see a question prompt for: “I did something completely different for more than 10 years but the following applicable skills and experience are directly relevant to this opening (list and explain in detail here).” It’s hard to make my work experience fit in the boxes provided when I’m trying to think outside the box.

With all of that weighing on my mind, I was looking at job ad after job ad, and I just kept seeing language that indicated that positions were to be filled quickly (e.g., “Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled” as opposed to the more traditional “Initial close date is XYZ though applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed until position is filled”), so time is of the essence in closing in on my best near-term job prospects. I’m done standing around at my current dead-end (literally) job. I go home at the end of each day exhausted, only to have to scroll through websites looking for new job postings and pull together an application somewhere between dinner and bed – a very narrow window these days. I’ve decided to quit today so that I can devote 24/7 to finding a job pronto. When I leave today, I will neatly pack my museum work past into an archival, acid-free box, and label with a teeny tiny catalog label (reading “best intentions” or something along those lines), and get my ass home to find my new job. Bonus: my new commute from the bedroom to the living room is going to be epic.