Missing Out

This year will be the first year since I have been an AAFS member that I am not going to the annual conference. Yes, I am bummed out. I’m mostly bummed out that I no longer have any ties to forensic anthro. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’m trying to explore other closely related fields like pathology and radiography. I would have to go back to school, of course, which isn’t necessarily a problem but this stuff takes a lot of prep. For instance, if I wanted to apply for a pathology program I would have to wait to apply until later this year and it would be for the class that starts in the Fall of 2014. That’s assuming that I am going to pursue my phD, which I would obviously love to. The problem is, there’s no point right now. I have nothing to show for in forensic anthro besides a master’s degree that is actually hurting me at this point. I’ve had to take my master’s degree off of my resume when applying to jobs so that people will stop telling me that I’m overqualified or I don’t have enough experience. It would be nice to have a mentor or someone to even go back and talk to. All of those avenues are shot. My advisors from BU ditched me and no matter how much I tried to get involved with the forensic anthro program at BU, my professors just ignored me. I even went there in person.

I could try to get a certificate in radiology as an x-ray technician to start. That would be fun for me if I could only get passed the fact that I would have better luck finding a job and make more money than I do now if I get an associate degree or certificate in something and that it’ll take me another two years. I’m not sure I can get over having to go to a community college after just getting my master of science from a pretty prestigious medical sciences university. I’m not knocking community colleges, just saying it seems like another pointless avenue for my situation.

Then there’s my actual job now that I have recently been largely disappointed by. In 2009 I started as an Administrative Assistant, worked my way through grad school, and took on other roles like Training Coordinator and Change Control Coordinator. Then in 2012 I moved up a bit to Associate Financial Analyst of a different group, a larger one. I was excited to do something different and have more of a specialty than just taking on all these different roles. When I first took on the new position in April 2012, my new boss told me that she would support me taking on project management duties and work my way up to project manager. Several months after gaining the new position, about September, I was still doing the other three jobs and my new one. I could balance them all and that wasn’t the problem. And at this time my new boss said that they were not filling my old positions and we talked about how if I take on all the roles that it will better prepare me for project management. Well, last month, January 2013, I mentioned to my boss that I would like to apply for a project management certification program and she basically said that we’re not going hire any project managers any time soon, as in the next 18 months at least. To add, we are not getting our usual raises to match inflation, nor am I getting any further compensation for taking on all of these roles. Our company is experiencing huge budget cuts and laying people off.

So, my salary is not going to increase over the next couple of years, my incentive to become a project manager has been squashed, and I am the youngest person in my office by 8 years. Most of the people I work with have children my age. I sit at my desk in my cube alone all day and stare at a computer screen. Not to say I’m not doing work, but I am not a sitter downer loner. I may be going temporarily insane in my cube day by day. Also, since I have moved I have a much longer commute and the amount of gas that I use is disgusting. But! I do like my bosses and I do like the people who I work with. That is something that not many people can say. Not many people can even say they have a job either, so I am thankful for that too.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts is at a 6.6% unemployment rate, which is less than the overall national rate of 7.8% (December 2012). It’s interesting to have this experience in these particular economic timeframe. The world just doesn’t seem to make sense as far as job opportunity goes. I am one of the many who have over $100,000 in student loan debt and no job opportunity that pertains to my field. If I had not been so lucky as to be able to stay with my company for the past 4 years then I would be completely out of a job. I’ll never say that the freedom of opportunity has been lost though, especially after my short trip to Haiti. Speaking of.. most of my blogging time has been spent on writing the chapters of my experience based on my journal. At the top of the blog it says, “JOURNAL ENTRIES FROM MY TIME IN HAITI”. I am organizing it in book fashion using chapters and subheadings. If you’re interested, enjoy!

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