When I was in college, I didn’t really know what career I wanted. I liked marketing because I read Brother1′s marketing textbooks while he was in Business School (that made me about 12) and found them fascinating. I thought about teaching, because it seemed the thing to do with a History degree. But you know, I didn’t go to any career fairs and I honestly don’t remember any. Does Johns Hopkins have no career fairs? Or was I just too depressed to notice any? Maybe I considered Sam Goody a fine career in itself (always possible!). So I went to my first one last week. Actually, first two. All I can say is, it’s just like speed dating, except you hope to see everyone again.
I played the job fairs like I learned to play Monopoly with my friend around the corner every Saturday as a child: buy everything you land on. That is, I stopped at every booth that had no line, then swung back around to hit the tables I had missed the first time (some still had lines, others were better), and I gave my resume to anyone who would take it. The only places I didn’t talk to were cities I absolutely, positively would never live in, like Houston or Mumbai (no offense to my readers in Houston and Mumbai). But I went as far north as Albany and as far south as Northern VA. The thing is, with my specialization, it’s hit or miss as it is. If you’re an English teacher, people either need you or they don’t. They don’t say things like, “wait, so what exactly is it that you do?” or “we just started last year and right now we’re K-2. We will definitely think about adding that in five or six years.” Uh, fab, but who is going to pay my mortgage now? But the people who get tech really get it and so I talked to them wherever they were. And walking around selling yourself, you get your elevator pitch together pretty fast so that by the last person, you’re blurting it out like the homeless guys do on the subway. I am not a drug addict I am sick and lost my job and home could you please spare some change so I can eat today thank you god bless you all.
Sadly for me (and society), most of these people who understood and believed in what I do represented well off sorts of places like private schools and expensive suburban districts. That’s not exactly why I left the music business, to help the children of the executives amongst whom I used to work. So I’m a bit conflicted. Today I had two interviews with two night-and-day different schools. The interviews were by phone and back to back. The first was with a fancy Manhattan private school of which you may have heard. The second was with an inner city charter school in Washington, DC of which I’m sure you haven’t heard. The positions were both great and challenging and the schools both had philosophies which I support. But that was pretty much where the similarities ended. Certainly one reason I’d be more inclined towards the private school is that I wouldn’t have to move (as much as I’d like to be back in Baltimore, I’d still rather stay here) but the other school is really more appealing to my original mission Now, the private school would be a dream job, for sure, and I would be delighted to have it. But I’d still feel I was betraying something. Of course, there’s a good chance that neither job will be offered to me, but I can see it’s a decision I may have to face down the line. Unless I get no job, in which case it’ll be easy-peasy!
And luckily I have my homeless gal speech all ready to go.
Title comes from:
The Smiths – Rusholme Ruffians