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What other types of jobs can I apply for?


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So, my husband and I have always kind of planned to follow his career around. It was a decision we both made together, and I was/am on board with that. He is trained for a field that may require moving around fairly frequently, or at least on fairly short notice, and it is a job we both believe in. As such, I have never really looked for jobs except where he is or is planning to be. I am getting my MA in literature, and my plan was always to be an adjunct wherever he is with another part-time job on the side.


However, he has recently come upon a few snags in his career, has kind of burnt out temporarily, and feels the need to take a break from that route for awhile. The reasons behind this are complicated, but I very much understand and support his move to step back for awhile if he feels he needs it. He's still not sure how he'll feel in a couple of months, and I am okay with whatever he decides to do-- take a break or keep on trucking. So that leaves me in a very unexpected position. I am graduating in May, and he basically told me that I should look for whatever type of full-time job I want wherever I can happen to get one, and that (assuming he is still feeling burnt out) he'll follow me there and find a job based on where I am working.


So now I have that wonderful, terrifying existential freedom. I can literally do whatever I want, unbound by geography. But I feel at a loss for what to even apply for. As I said above, I am getting my MA in literature. Right now, I am looking at publishing jobs and full-time work at community colleges, both fields in which I believe I would be happy. And that's where my creativity ends. With the whole country at my disposal, what other kinds of things can I apply for with my degree?

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You are not going to like this answer...

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Your first place to start is a headhunter agency.


The first thing that came to my mind was high school teaching, but you need to do middle school AND high school internships, take tests to get a license (English PRAXIS exams are the toughest than any other course subject). If you want to teach at a college level, a masters degree will only place you as a part-time professor at a community college (and they don't make a lot compared to a public school teacher). You would have to go for a phD.


Even so.. you want to study a field that will make you more marketable. A literature background doesn't cut it. Just narrowing it down to publishing companies limits your marketability. In this economy, beggars can't be choosers. The only way to get a job in publishing is having connections with people from within- not just the level of your education. If you got that, you're good.


A master's at 6-12 has a slight better chance with better pay than a teacher with a bachelors. However, budget is a problem for MANY school districts. Some states (MD, VA, NY, NJ, CN, MA, KY) strongly prefer teachers with master's and will give you an extra 5k salary... but some of those school districts are going for teachers with bachelor degrees because they cost LESS, only HALF of them stay as career teachers after 3 years (yes.. teaching is THAT tough)... and schools hire other new teachers for less money. Then there are some states (mainly in the South or midwest) that don't require it and even if you have a master's... they won't increase your salary pay.

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I very much know how unemployable my degree is-- that's why when I was offered to be paid to go to grad school, I accepted. It was better than cleaning toilets. Eventually, once I have a family, I'd like to work part-time as an adjuct at a community college so I can be a SAHM and also contribute to the family income, which is why spending the time at grad school was worthwhile despite the relative uselessness of the degree.


I've thought about going back to school to be a high school teacher, but I definitely don't want to do that right now. I have spent a lot of time time school, and I want to (and honestly, need to) experience the work force. I am not set on publishing or teaching at the college level, and I am quite aware that even with whole country at my disposal, getting a good job in either of those fields is a crap-shoot. I would like some ideas about specific jobs to apply for that wouldn't suck. Of course, I may still get stuck in a crappy job, and I understand that and would be willing to accept that. But right now, I'm looking for ideas regarding career paths that would be fulfilling and would utilize the skill set I have gained, even if it may not be directly related to my field.

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With your background (I assume you've done a bit of writing for your degree) you might be able to freelance as an editor or proofreader, which you could do anywhere, and clients do not have to be local to you, and you could move it with you if your husband does take jobs that require frequent relocating. You might do it as a sideline to start, but you could continue with it as a stay-at-home-mom.

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Yes, and I know I'm not super qualified for a ridiculously well-paying job or anything. I don't have crazy expectations. I'd just rather not work as a janitor again. It's good, solid work that needs to be done, but I'm not cut out for it. I'm looking into academic publishing. I think my years of experience with textbooks and academic writing would be very useful there, as well as my strong command on style and grammar. And I'm open to a lot-- I honestly think being an administrative assistant in the right kind of company would be fulfilling to me as well. What about some good non-profit agencies? I know they don't pay super well, but one of the reasons I don't desire to get my PhD is that academia just seems to hands-off for the long-term. I want something where I can be involved in the community, and I'm not about to go through 10-15 years of butt-kissing and 70 hour weeks just to get to the point where I can actually make a difference (as a tenured professor). It just seems like whenever I look up non-profit organizations, they are looking for people with a background in social work. I know there is room in those organizations for people who are great communicators, editors, writers, problem-solvers, instructors, etc., I'm just not sure what type of position I should be looking for.


P.S. Thanks for the idea of freelance editing-- I hadn't really thought of that!

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