Last night, I had one of those moments where I thought how glad I am I left academia and joined the State Department.
A friend from my dissertation program wrote on her blog about the current job market in academia. She said she thought she would be able to apply for four positions this year...that in years past, the number of available positions were in the double digits. Now she is faced with having to continue being an adjunct, with little pay and even fewer benefits. She said she made more twelve years ago as a secretary than she is as an adjunct college instructor. She is also looking at post-docs, which are temporary, and may not pay enough to justify a move. She has even been looking for non-academic jobs, but not finding them.
She finally says:
"Grad school is looking appealing again, which is absurd. I really wish I had not pursued my interests, but instead got a degree in something lucrative and kept happy with hobbies."
She is really good at what she does...she should have been able to find a job.
They just don't exist.
So who is to say one would have existed for me?
And I think about the timing of my joining the service. About how easy it was to join...ridiculously easy for someone who never even considered the Foreign Service. Like it was meant to be. Yes, I believe in that sort of thing.
And like I said the other day when I got an invitation to apply for a tenure-track position, I am getting paid far more than I would have in academia and am looking at a cool job living in Europe rent free for the next three years.
So glad I joined the service!