Hello all! Sorry I’ve been gone for a while–I’ve been having an existential crisis.

If you are only interested in bug stuff, come back in a few days. For the morbidly curious….

It’s basically just not a good time to be a state employee, since budget cuts abound in nearly all states. So yes, I need to find a new job (again), and I need to figure out what I want to do with my life (again).

The problem is that looking for a job is not only time-consuming, but also a little soul-destroying.  There are a lot of cool jobs that I know I could do, and do well–but convincing someone else of that in a highly competitive job market has turned out to be extremely difficult.  I get a lot of rejection letters.

I also am, frankly, OLD. As someone who used to be on the other side of the hiring desk, I can see why an employer would not want to hire someone who is 50.  (Turning 50 isn’t helping with the whole existential crisis, either, since it’s hard to stay in denial that you are not “middle aged” at that point.)

As an aside, it’s also a little difficult to see crap like this in my alerts for the word “insect” EVERY DAMN DAY, and maintain a positive attitude.

Anyway, there are many, many great bug bloggers out there, so you won’t lack for content while I’m off sorting my life out.  Now would be a good time to check out some of the blogs on that blogroll over on the side!

I should be back soon.   I just have to sublimate a few more feelings with some Tiramisu Gelato.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Alas, I am not good enough to be on the blog wall. :(
    It’s true though…I get too easily distracted by stupid graduate school and other…KITTY!!! Wait…what was I saying?……

    Anyway, I wish you the best in your job search. I know I have posted this before on your FB page, but http://www.indeed.com is a great resource for job searching. How far are you willing to move for work? What fields are you willing to pursue?

    You know…there’s always NASA. :)

  2. Really sorry to hear you need a new job again. Is 50 old? Well maybe, maybe not (I’m 55) but in the job market it is just plain wrong that experience isn’t valued more highly. As for the cretins who post the crap you show above, well they are unlikely to be more intelligent than an educationally deficient amoeba and with luck their genetic line will end with them and the insects will get their revenge. Hang in there. Andrew

  3. Actually, you may just be one of the ones I haven’t added yet, Bug Witch! There are so many bug blogs now, I can’t keep up!

    As for the job question–I’m looking for either something in the right place, or something in the right field. Both together probably not going to happen.
    Place: Portland, OR; or Ann Arbor MI.
    Field: Education, outdoorsy type or nature related; I’ll go anywhere for the right job.

    Mostly I’m kicking myself for not taking spanish. So many cool jobs open if I was bilingual! Sigh. Learn from my fail, Kids!

  4. I think I saw a few things in Oregon on usajobs.gov. I’m willing to let you take a stab at them as I still appear to have another bazillion years of grad school ahead of me.

    You know what they say, you only have to start paying Uncle Sam back when you stop going to school…

  5. Don’t let it get you down. Keep on loving what you do and ignore the insect-hating jerks. Think of them as primates with fears and insecurities – which they are. Would you let a chimpanzee get to you?

    And good luck with the job hunt.
    Looking forward to reading future posts.

  6. It´s never too late to take Spanish! Why not look for research projects somewhere like Costa Rica, go there for a while, see loads of amazing creatures and learn Spanish while you are at it.

  7. I hope you find something stimulating, you deserve it.
    Best of luck to you.

  8. I am very sorry to hear this; I’ll call soon and see if there is anything i can do and of course we have to get you down here to ACK in August for the moth bioblitz

  9. questioningauthority June 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I’m a few years ahead of you, but you’re right. It’s hard to find a job after 40 and it seems to get exponentially worse after 50. Like so many things in our culture, it makes little sense.
    Definitely seek out a recruiter, though. You don’t have to do this alone, and a recruiter shouldn’t charge you a dime.
    If you have access to libraries, see if you can find Spanish tutoring CD’s to get a start on learning it.
    Make sure your friends in the areas you want to move to are watching for openings for you. Use Facebook e-mail to alert those friends, unless you have no pride like me and feel comfortable with just broadcasting it. Indeed is a good resource, as are any specialty boards that cover your field. I’m willing to help you, too. You have my e-mail. :-)

  10. I wish I could offer you a position, but maybe undying admiration will help. Your faithful minions will wait for you!
    As for the bug-haters, what can you do — I open one of my talks by pointing out that an old survey found that people were more afraid of insects than they were of dying. Insects were #3 in the list of fears, death #6. Of course, #1 is public speaking, which always seems kind of ironic to point out in a talk.

  11. Aww, Thanks Marlene! This would be so much harder without my good online friends.

  12. I’m sorry to hear that you have lost your job and wish you the best in your search. I work for the Federal Government and we are also under attack – if Mitt wins, I’m afraid many more of us will be looking for a job. My only saving grace is that I’m not far from retirement and I’m about ready to say, “take this job and shove it.” I’m planning to head to Oregon also (Portland is nice, but I hope to end up in a smaller town. I was born in MI – too damn cold! Again, good luck in your search (and 50 is not old).

  13. Ahhh, so sorry to hear. Teaching is my second career, and I’m only one year ahead of the layoff notices. There will be teachers who’ve got six years of teaching under their belt who won’t have a job come September. It’s tough for so many. I’m in SoCal. If any job prospects bring you my way, you’re welcome to stay. You can earn your keep by just being you. Wifi is free!

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