Summer Work & Job Hunting

apple laptop

This summer I have focused on trying to improve my little corner of the world financially.  Almost every day during the summer, I was sitting in front of the computer working on lessons and applying to jobs.

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It has been a LONG semester

I can’t help but be excited that this semester is ending.  Between the winter storms, all the holidays, and other problems, I’m still not sure how I survived.

This winter has been the worst that I have experienced so far.  There were so many school cancellations.  I had to think creatively to get the students focused on academics and to try to get the material completed in time.   The large number of holidays that my college observes also interfered with my class.  I have never had a day off for  Presidents’ Day before moving here.  Final exams are next week and I am crossing my fingers hoping that they all pass.

During most of April, I searched for summer and fall employment.  I need summer jobs to make sure that I can pay my bills until the fall semester starts, and hopefully save some money.  I didn’t want to get stuck with no classes  again.  This year I was more aggressive with my search and it paid off.   I am still looking for full-time employment in the fall, but also considering more part-time work if that doesn’t work out.  Following up with companies has kept me busy.

I think I scheduled too many classes this year because I feel exhausted.  Unfortunately, I will probably end up accepting more classes than I should next semester also.  This seems to be a vicious cycle that I am stuck in.


Upcoming Interview


As I mentioned inJob Hunting Milestone #2: The face-to-face Interview,”  I have an interview in a few days.   I have made a few preparations in the meantime.

I want to make a good first impression. I went to the salon and got a haircut, and made sure my interview suit is in good condition.  I have copies of my resume on special resume paper.  I have a briefcase that I use for interviews that helps reinforce professionalism.

Next, I will prepare myself for any questions they may ask.  I am currently researching the company and its mission.  They have given me a specific topic to teach in front of a group of people.  I am reviewing the topic and will take advantage of this time to highlight my teaching skills.

My worst problem is that I tend to get anxious and panic in high pressure situations.  Maybe if I prepare for it and do my research then I will not feel as anxious.

Job Hunting Milestone #2: The face-to-face Interview


I did it!  I still can’t believe it.  As I mentioned in The Long Winter did not kill my Quest for Full-Time Employment, I applied to a full-time position at one of my current employers.  I got a face-to-face interview!

I was expecting them to turn me down.  I was expecting one of the ‘rejection emails’ saying that they received applications from many talented applicants.  That is not what happened.  They called me and requested a time for an interview.

I made sure to give myself time to prepare.  I am going to have one opportunity to make a good impression.  I need to make them believe that I am the perfect person for this position.

On a related note, what if I actually get a job offer?  How do you let them know about a chronic condition and request accommodations without scaring them?

The Long Winter did not kill my Quest for Full-Time Employment

During the past few months, I could not job search as often due to my heavy work load.  Things were even worse due to a harsh winter, which made it difficult to get to networking events.  I tried to make the small amount of time that I did have as efficient as possible.

I tried a couple of new things that have been helpful:

  1. carefully analyzing job postings – I am analyzing the job postings more critically.  I will also look at their mission statement.  Do I agree with their philosophy?  I only apply to the ones that I feel really resonate with me. Sometimes you forget this principle when looking for a job.
  2. Created a job search portfolio – a detailed account of when I applied for the job, who I contacted, etc.  This has been particularly useful for me.

I also looked at my current employers.  Are there any opportunities for me to transition to a full-time job? After talking to some other part-time professors like myself, they did not know of anyone who transitioned to a full-time professor position.  Many have applied for full-time positions, but were not hired.

I knew this already, and applied for a full-time position at one of my current employers.  I am proud to say that my application is still being considered.  I am following up with my contacts on a regular basis, and have not received a rejection email yet.

I am still attempting to network with others.  I feel this is an area is hurting me at the moment.  During some small pockets of free time, I try to go to meetings and other events to meet new people.  Large groups still make me nervous, but I’m hoping that with practice and time I will get better.

Intense workloads and chronic conditions

Student working on a laptop

The blog has been a little quiet over the past few months.  This semester I am working between two different colleges.  I am teaching multiple classes to a diverse range of students.

One of the colleges that I work at has finals next week.  In two weeks my course load will be much lighter than before.  That will be good because the stress is getting a little high and I feel exhausted.   Some days I come home and go to sleep right away.

I already have some classes reserved for me for Fall 2015.  That has relieved some of the stress.  However, I would have the same problem of working multiple part-time jobs with no benefits and no personal life.

Unfortunately, I don’t know if I’m going to get a summer class yet.  This was an issue last year (see summer employment), and I hope it doesn’t become an issue again.  I am already talking to people to see if they need a math professor over the summer.   I’m hoping because I’m being more proactive this year will lead to better results.

In the little free time that I do have, I have been job searching and making more attempts to network.  I will update you on my progress in another blog post.

Has Much Changed from Last Year?


It is the end of January 2015 and I find myself still trying to make ends meet. I will be able to save money if I keep using the principles that I learned last year.


I can save a lot of money on food.  There is a local discounted farmers market near me, and it is open all year.  I just need to be careful of the produce.  I was able to buy produce for less money then at the local grocery store.   Eating out at restaurants has become a very expensive, so I will have to limit it to special occasions only.

Health Insurance

I knew that I had to reapply for health insurance, but I needed to try to get an option with a lower premium.  I needed to save money wherever I could.  I applied in December, and even had to send them proof of my income.  After calling to make sure that everything was going okay, I was able to choose health and dental insurance for myself.


I am actually teaching more classes than last semester.  I didn’t see any choice in the decision since bills need to be paid, and I need to save money.  I am working at two colleges teaching math at one place and physics at the other.  I am trying to use good time management skills to make sure everything gets done when it should.  Unfortunately, I have gotten paid at one of the colleges yet.  I’m not sure how much longer I can keep working like this.

I would like to be able to attend more networking events.  This would help increase my chances of getting full-time employment.  However, many of these events are expensive.  I will have to be careful to select some good networking events that are not terribly expensive.

When you are trying to make sure you can pay all your bills, it is hard to think about what job would be perfect for you.