Where Now?

What is this blog for now that the degree is finished? Does it still serve any useful purpose I wonder? First person research doesn’t end with the degree of course so it continues to be my on-line learning journal.
I think I have about 6 months to ‘claim my graduate identity’ and this has to be my next priority. Big changes have to be made to where and how I live. Change terrifies me in some ways and excites me in others. These will be good changes, changes to make my life better, not threatening but challenging, not a closing down of options but an opening up of possibilities.
Defining the problem
I need to change my job. I can’t stay where I am. In practical terms it simply wouldn’t be financially possible to live where I do on what I earn. So a move is needed. It’s more than that though. I need a job where I feel I’m seen as a graduate, where I can claim that graduate identity, and where that is seen to have meaning.

Plan
Apply for jobs, use rss to track vacancies
Act and observe
Yep – I’ve found a few to apply for, need to keep up the search. Using VoodooPad to keep copies of jobs on the laptop seems to work well. Been very rushed with a couple of them having short dates.
Review
Having an up to date, flexible cv would help when closing dates are close
Plan
make a cv , maybe use Linkedin
Act and observe
I’ve used the forms I have filled in to start to make my cv in VoodooPad.
Reflection
Trouble is my experience doesn’t look all that extensive or impressive when it’s written down and I’ve no idea what to do about that. It is what it is and whilst things like Linkedin look great for someone like Andy (who has in fact got quite an impressive profile) it works less well for me. In fact mine looks almost totally unimpressive! So much so that I don’t even want to link to it from here!
The other big issue is the whole idea of Linked in bothers me. It’s premise is that people get jobs because of who they know. Well, for me that’s an almost overwhelmingly depressing concept. I don’t know very many people outside of teachers. Before I worked in my current school I haven’t worked in lots of places. A lot of my life has been spent working as a child minder, both paid and unpaid. People I know are mostly mothers in similar jobs to my current one, unwaged or they teach. Old friends are scattered all over the country but none of them are in positions that could be helpful to me career wise ( apart perhaps from Jude, writer of the world’s greatest references!). I don’t have a ready made network to tap into and I haven’t the faintest idea of how to start to build one up. Is it a gender thing I wonder? Is it just coincidence that most of the people I know are women and most of the people I know are in low paid jobs? Andy thinks I’m discounting people, being negative. He asked me if these women had partners that I also know, short answer – mostly no. Lots of the women I know don’t have partners of the few that do I don’t know their partners at all.
What do I do next then? I can’t take the network issue forward till I work out what to do. What action can I take?
Review
I’ll carry on building up the CV and ponder this further, trying not to get too depressed by it.

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