Saturday, May 16, 2009

I Need This

I have spent the last 14 years of my life pursuing knowledge of psychology and the social sciences in general. It is my passion, and goddammit, I'm good at it. 

For the past few months, in the face of what seemed like a million rejection letters and an impossible uphill climb, I have wavered in my pursuit of this passion. I have thought about giving up and just staying in my boring-ass job for the rest of my life, where I would be free to just enjoy "life" in whatever way I wished. 

But just as a life without my husband is not one I want for myself, a life without psychology is also not one I want for myself. I love reading books and articles in my field, but quite frankly I'm sick of not being the one writing them. 

I have been actively seeking out paid research jobs for a couple of months now. I have not had any success. As mentioned in a previous post, I just applied for a fucking amazing job at SFRSHS West. To be frank, this particular opportunity would change my entire life. I don't think I'll get it in a million years, especially considering how widely advertised it is and the level of prestige associated with this particular university. But if I did, it really and truly would change my LIFE. 

I've spent a lot of time picking apart my CV, my qualifications, my experience, trying to figure out which part of the package I'm missing. It might be my GRE quant score. It might be the fact that I have not spent any time caring for dying children in Africa. It might be that I finished my undergrad too quickly. It might simply be a matter of never being in the right place at the right time. 

I have tried with each job application to convey my level of enthusiasm for and dedication to my field while still maintaining professionalism. As much as I would love to write "I'm fucking PERFECT for this job, can't you see that???" I have managed to restrain myself. 

But I need this. I need to be in research. I need to get that leg up somehow. It can't be as simple as a math GRE score, unless the system really and truly is that fucked up. I refuse to be shut out of the ranks of the top scholars in my field. If SFRSHS East gets sick of seeing my name on job applications, so be it. But at least they'll KNOW my name. 

All I need from you, Academia, is a chance. Let the stars align perfectly or whatever needs to happen - I don't care - but just give me that chance. I'm doing what I can here, but if you could just cut me a little bit of slack that would be fantastic. I feel like I'm just waiting to be discovered, waiting to get in front of just the right person. It seems to me that academia is a lot like the entertainment industry - it's not just about having talent, it's about stumbling across that golden opportunity at just the right time. 

Actually, Academic Universe, if you could somehow arrange it so that Phil Zimbardo's car breaks down on my street and he needs to use my phone, that would be Awesome. 

But in the meantime I'll keep applying for every RA job that comes up. I'll keep studying the social psych literature and looking for opportunities to network. I'll keep plugging away. 

Because I need this. 


Comrade PhysioProf said...

Academia rewards persistence!

leigh said...

meanwhile, i'm doing all i can to get the fuck OUT of academia (running screaming-like)... kinda funny, how that is.

job hunting is a full time job. if you're serious, put in the time and don't sit around waiting for that one opportunity to call you back. find more of them and chase those down. otherwise you're just wasting time, just like i did after getting so excited about that interview.

Isabel said...

"It might be the fact that I have not spent any time caring for dying children in Africa."

I meant to ask you about this before. Isn't there something you could do, even on a local level? It might be fun also. How's the networking going? You mentioned you were going to go to conferences while your husband was away.

Hermitage said...

You can do it! *shakes pom poms* I have faith in you.

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