Dr Alice Violett
Book witterings and PhD archive

No More Feeling So Useless

So, after 10 weeks and 5 days of unemployment, I finally got a job offer.  I get to blog and stuff for a library service, so of course I’m accepting it!  Just waiting for them to check my references, which I have no reason to believe won’t be fine.  Also, my viva date is definitely set for 5th October, and now I’m not mired in job applications and interview prep, I actually have some time to prepare for the thing.  So stoked right now!  It’s all coming up Alice.

Of course, I’m not naive enough to think that having a job will make my whole life instantly better - it’s a new adventure, and a damn sight better than being unemployed, or working in a job I don’t like or am unsuited to, but I’m not going to be able to get a house immediately (there’s making sure I do actually like the job, surviving the probationary period, and the entire process of finding and getting a house) and the change in routine will take some getting used to.  It’s been years since I had to get up horribly early (read: any time before 8am) every morning and be out of the house all day, and I’ll need to ‘bed in’ to the commute too - a 15-minute bus ride, 20 minutes on the train, then 15 minutes walking, which sounds a lot worse than it actually is, especially when you consider I was initially thinking the train part would be an hour to London every day.  I’ve decided to transfer to a different branch of my current gym rather than change to a different ‘traditional’ gym, in order to avoid having too many new things in one go.  I’ll be walking past the other gym branch on my way too and from work every day anyway.

I do wonder if, six years ago, I’d turned down the job offer from the shop (where I ended up for two years, between my BA and MA), I’d not have actually had to wait for too long to get a job I actually wanted.  I took that job in September, and this year, it’s been September when the interviews have been coming in thick and fast (before the offer, I had three scheduled for this week, and one scheduled for October).  Then again, there were so many variables - the recession was brutal in 2010, I was on jobseekers’ and felt pushed to take any job that was offered to me, I didn’t have the confidence or interview skills I have now, and I didn’t have my work experience at Glass of Bubbly to talk about - and that came up a lot in the interview (privilege disclosure: I was lucky to be in a position where I could take on unpaid work experience instead of getting literally any job to pay the bills).  It’s not like I can never know for sure, and besides, it was partly because of my apparent lack of employment prospects that I went back to university - and I don’t think I’d want to swap those four years of researching, writing, reading, having ideas, improving my skills, and saving up money (kind of involuntarily since it was basically impossible to get somewhere to live BUT STILL).  If I haven’t done a PhD, I wouldn’t have started this blog or used Twitter for anything other than light entertainment, which means I wouldn’t have come to think of myself as someone who is good at writing for the internet and social media, which means I probably wouldn’t have seen/considered/had the time to do the Glass of Bubbly internship, and so I wouldn’t have ended up in this great position.

My head is already full of ideas of things I could put on the library’s website and social media feeds, and I’m really excited to start.  I still can’t quite believe it, though - that I was judged the best candidate for a job, that I’m not doomed to permanent unemployment, that I actually get to be paid for something that matches my skills and interests.  And I’ve taken that decisive step out of the academy and into the permanent, full-time role I wanted and needed.