Jump to content

What would you do if you were me? (Living at home and finding a job)


Recommended Posts

Hey all.

 

Before I get on to my question, I just want to put out a disclaimer that I'm kinda freaking out and being overall very negative. I have applied to three master's programs in microbiology, all with a due date January 15, so I know it's going to be a while until I hear anything back.

 

I currently live at home with no job after just graduating in December, and it sucks.  My mom is pretty cool and understanding, but the feeling of being a "bum", lacking financial independence, and having NO IDEA about my future is driving me crazy, and I'm falling into a depression.  (I'm aware applying to 3 programs is very low, but I wanted to make sure the schools I applied to were places I really wanted to go to instead of safety schools.)

 

So it looks like I have two options:

 

1.  Suck it up.  Continue living at home rent free.  Get a job in retail (there are very few lab or biotech jobs in the area).  Work until I hear about acceptances/rejections.  I'm afraid if I do this and don't get into any schools, I will have kind of wasted my time (besides saving money) as I would want to get a job in my field eventually to further prepare me for grad school next app season.

 

2.  Look for jobs in my field in Chicago, where I went to college (I'm about an hour and a half away on the interstate at home).  I wouldn't have a car, so I would have to take public transport (not a big deal, since we have a great system here... it's just cold).  I would have to pay rent/utilities/train fare/food and find a cheap apartment with a roommate.  A bachelor's in biology won't get very well paying jobs (~$15/hr), but I could maybe get a job as a tech and would be able to live cheaply and maybe even save a bit.  I'd also be closer to a couple friends.

 

What what you do?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just get a part time job or a "temporary" job (by which I mean those who won't mind the turnover, such as retail or office clerk) and just wait it out until you hear back.  Once you know what your future plans will be, it's easier to make big decisions like moving away from home, etc.  I feel like it'd be a waste of effort to move and secure a full time job if you may possibly just be moving off again in August/Sept in the case you get accepted.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When do you think you'll hear back? Moving and getting a legit job makes no sense if you'll be quitting in 6 mos. time. I know it's hard to live at home after graduating - I did it briefly, and while looking back it was only a few months that I barely remember, at the time I felt like I had failed at life, despite the fact that I graduated into the peak of the recession and all of my friends were in the exact same situation! Anyhow, I know it sucks, but maybe try to find something super-temporary and non-committal (like the retail jobs you mentioned) to get some spending money, and then make your next move once you find out where the grad school chips fall, as it were.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello fellow live at home-er! I AM you in this case, except I graduated last May. 

Just a note some job positions, even as lab techs can take several weeks, months to get hired. Then again, there's always that super quick hire story..

So I've tried option 2, and I actually got a job offer, problem is, they only wanted people who could sign a binding contract of at least one year. I had to make a decision, do I take the short term job which allows me to use basic skills afforded to me by my degree, and a chance of improving my qualities as a graduate student applicant, or do I refuse the job (since it started in Dec/Jan, obvious time conflict with the grad cycle) and go for broke on the grad app that I worked on for a very long time. I chose to go for broke. If you pick option 2, you may very well have to make a similar decision. (I may be stupid to have done this, who knows, only time --and the adcomms -- may tell). 

If you truly want a job, I'd say go for option 1. Option 2 is not worth the headache of potential hard decision time (making a decision during the waiting period can be hard, especially with gripping paranoia), the cost of moving and finding a place nearby, etc. 

Alternatively, you would try for internships - perhaps they'd be more forgiving, you'd get relevant experience, but no money. :s

Also, and most importantly, You are not a bum Negativity may be all round, but you have to realize that even qualified people with masters degree take months to get their first job. This is not a new phenomena, but it has been increasing in today's financial situation. A bum is someone who seeks to solely live off others. That's not you. You're seeking to be an independent graduate student. Are you currently being helped by your parents? Yes. But are you failing at life? A loud and resounding NO. You have a dream and you are pursuing it, with the help of loving parents (go on, hug them, they sound awesome). Right now, you've done the best you could, sending in apps on time, and keeping some of your sanity, and now you have to wait. But please don't fall into depression D:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for their thoughts!  I was really tempted to look for jobs in Chicago since I'm kinda missing the socializing aspect... but you're all right.  The pain of finding a job, securing affordable housing that's close to public transit (along with a 6 month or month to month lease) is just way too much effort when there's the possibility of leaving for grad school.  I think I'm just freaking out about NOT getting accepted anywhere (a familiar feeling, I'm sure).

 

And VBD, thanks so much for those kind words!  I definitely needed that.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest you find a local retail job. It's NEVER a bad idea to earn some money and save it for later, especially if you may be in a grad program soon! Plus, working will give you something productive to do to take your mind off of the waiting game. I wish you all the luck in the word, Tubulin. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you thought about trying both?  The economy being what it is, it may be hard for a college grad to get a retail job (in some cities, mine included).  It may also be hard to find a lab job.  It may be worthwhile to try for both types of jobs.  You may not get hired until you hear back from your programs, anyway.  In the meantime, you can go to Chicago for interviews and not worry about getting a place there unless you get a decent job offer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

i've actually been looking for anything close to my field for the past six months and nothing aside from some tutoring. i've recently started work at a bar in ny (i live in jersey) because of all the financial burdens, which includes the cost of applications and all. as already advised, it's probably best to try to send out applications to related jobs but also apply to any service or retail jobs as well. with the high expectation of relocating in six months time for grad school, i'm also trying to have some money in the bank to make that first month as easy as possible.

Edited by anoveldave
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.