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Figuring out what you're qualified for


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Hi, everyone:

Just wondering if there are any good resources online or elsewhere for someone to figure out what they're even qualified to do. I ask because I've reached burnout with adjuncting. I've got two terminal degrees with honors from good universities (not that that matters outside of academia) and 8 years experience in higher ed with a couple of years in government (doing human rights advocacy) and church. Because I haven't published a book yet and I don't have a PhD, I haven't had much luck finding a secure teaching job with a sustainable wage, and because I'm not ordained (yet--though I'd like to change that), I haven't had much luck finding a church positions.

My plan for now is to move closer to home (I came far from family for my MFA) and work on seeing if I'm priest material/hopefully doing some chaplain-ing, but until then I need to figure out what sorts of jobs I'm eligible for that would pay the bills. My educational and professional backgrounds are in English/writing, religion/ministry and LGBTQ+ interests. Lots of teaching, lots of proofreading/editing/publishing, and ministry/activism. 

I used LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed and various others but have not found them to be super helpful, but whether that's the platform or because my skills are not in high demand is another question. I went to the career center and spoke with a career advisor at both my master's programs' respected universities but did not find a great deal of specifics, though I received good "you're worth something and you can do it" pep talks. :) 

All ideas welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Edited by besixdouze
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Something you can do is to find people working in positions you think you might want to do / be qualified for and talk to them. They can help you get a good sense of whether you are qualified and if not, whether a few small things can change it or if it would mean a lot more work to get there. Asking for an "informational interview", like 15 minutes over Skype or coffee or something might be a good idea.

The hard part is finding people who can do this. Sometimes you can just ask---it doesn't really hurt! But if you know someone who knows someone at an organization you want to for at (or similar to one), then reach out and see if they can introduce you. That's what LinkedIn is partially for anyways!

Another thing to try is your career center again (if you can still access them as an alumni). Instead of just talking to a career advisor, perhaps ask them to connect you to alumni at organizations you are interested in. The names you get would presumably be all people interested in speaking with you since this would be a self-identified list of people!

These connections are the way the majority of people I know from grad school who either left the PhD program for a good job or went onto a good job directly after graduation.

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