The day after I posted how much I loved living on site at my job, I found out I’ll be cut to 50% next June; that’s effectively a layoff. It was probably inevitable that the state budget cuts would catch up to me.
The thing I will miss most about this job will actually be the Trumpeter Swans. (This is a photo that I took near my front door.) I never was a birder until I took this job; it was all about the bugs. But I completely fell in love with Trumpeters living on this lake.
But, while it will be hard to say goodbye to my awesome co-workers, students, and the swans, I’m kind of excited about the possibility of a completely new start. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now know this job was waaay beyond a 40hr/wk employment experience; I wasn’t able to have much of a life other than work. Aside from a rather spherical cat, I don’t have any dependents anymore; I am free to move anywhere I want.
I’ve spent some time thinking about what I want to do with the next 15 years until I can (in theory) retire. I know what I’m good at; in fact, despite some considerable challenges, I think I’ve done some of the best work of my career in this job. I’m good at social media and instructional design; I’m good with students, and I’m a good teacher and manager. Somehow, if I can sort out how to combine that with bugs or nature-y stuff, I’ll be all set.
It’s clear to me that I need to do more hands-on stuff to really be happy. I’ve been applying for some very long shot jobs that I’m quite geeked about, but I don’t expect to successfully land.
The hard part is explaining why someone with a PhD wants to be a low-level flunky. I’ve done the high-level admin thing. I climbed up the career ladder, and I found out the stuff towards the top is a lot less interesting to me than what’s at the bottom.
I would much rather be cleaning poop out of cages than planning a grant to fund the cages and poop cleaners, or create a multi-year strategic poop plan.
If you happen to know of any poopy jobs opening in the near future, please send them my way.