Big Changes Ahead!

I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with change. On the one hand, I crave it. I love new places, new people, and new challenges. These keep me inspired and motivated. But on the other hand, too much change, too quickly can overwhelm me.

Over the past few weeks there has been a lot of change in my life, leaving me feeling excited, inspired, and totally scared!

Let me back up for a second. Over the summer while abroad I began applying for full-time positions in global education and international studies departments. I felt like a sent out a ton of cover letters and resumes and heard absolutely nothing for weeks. Slowly despair set in. My PhD funding ended in the spring and I was facing unemployment! Then, seemingly out of know where, I heard back from several schools. Three wanted phone/Skype interviews within the week. It is amazing how quickly things change sometimes. I went from no prospects to a couple very good prospects in a matter of days. Just before I left Italy, I was notified that two of these universities wanted to bring me to campus for on-site interviews.

Suddenly the ball was rolling. I didn’t have much time to think. I focused on the task at hand and before I knew it I was excepting a great job offer in another state! The following day it hit me — everything in my life is about to change. Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited about landing such an amazing position, especially given the current state of the academic/university job market. Yet, at the same time, I truly enjoy my life in Tampa — great friends, a home I love, close to the ocean, delicious food scene, my favorite gym classes, and the comfort of my routine and what is familiar. Yet, I also felt like I was beginning to stagnate in Tampa. I am nearing the end of writing my dissertation, but I am feeling very uninspired and I am laboring to finish. There also isn’t any opportunity for me in Tampa, nothing to challenge me or push my career forward. So as anxious as I am to leave my happy life in Tampa behind, I am also ready for a new adventure.

In many ways landing this job was nothing short of a miracle. It is at a great university doing exactly what I love — teaching and researching history and working on developing study abroad programs (for privacy reasons, I don’t want to broadcast the name of the university). If you are familiar with the university/academic job market, you understand what a coup landing this job was. It is like the Hunger Games out there for young scholars. After watching so many friends get screwed over by the war on tenure or being exploited as adjuncts for years, I knew I wanted to take my career in a different direction. So from the start, I had my eye on more administrative positions. Over the next couple of weeks I hope to share what I learned about applying for and transitioning to the administrative side of academia. While PhDs acquire incredible skill sets over their (sometimes) decade-long education, we are rarely taught how to transition and market ourselves outside of academia.

And don’t worry, I fully plan on completing my PhD. But, the reality is that a dissertation comprised of original archival research on early modern Italy simply cannot be completed in 4.5 years.

I plan on spending my last couple weeks in Tampa/Florida enjoying all of my favorite things, in between packing of course. Follow me on Instastories (@historyinhighheels) to see what I am up to and how I plan on decorating my new place!

14 thoughts on “Big Changes Ahead!”

  1. That is amazing to hear. I am approaching the end of my funding as well and terrified to start looking/figuring out what is next! Lets just hope finishing up my dissertation will go somewhat as planned!

  2. This is comforting to hear. I graduated with a degree in History, with a minor in Education, and it is very hard to find a job! I can definitely identify with the feeling of despair! So glad that you have found a great job!

  3. That's awesome! I also ran out of funding (because, yeah, a dissertation with archival research and – for us Europeanists – at least two languages just isn't going to happen in 4.5 years!) and took a full time job. Not in education, unfortunately, but I'm trying to tell myself that it's okay. Glad things worked out – and if anyone needs a British historian of art and culture, let me know! 🙂

  4. So very pleased that you could figure out the best scenario for you. You'll finish your dissertation and work. Folks do it all the time and you're very skilled, intelligent, and resourceful. Congratulations.

  5. It is so scary! Just be open to different opportunities and don't fall into the adjuncting trap. I have seen too many friends get exploited as adjuncts and have no time to work/write/publish. They end up dragging out the process of finishing for years.

  6. Ugh, how I wish funding took the difference between Europeanists and Americanists into consideration. It is a completely different ball game… and those Ancient Historians, well God bless them lol. I think a full time job is much better than adjuncting a million classes. I will let you know if I see something in British history!

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