The last twelve months have included a stunning set of major changes in my life. I finished my Ph.D., said goodbye to my father, dealt with a seemingly-neverending series of legal and real estate issues related to dad’s estate, left the company that had employed me most of my adult life, and started up some new career paths.
It’s been quite the adventure, that’s for sure. And I’m just getting started.
Six months ago, I took a major leap of faith and left my almost-twelve-year career at the bank that had employed me since my MBA. It was a huge gamble, but it was long overdue; I was ready for a change, and definitely needed a fresh start.
I got that fresh start, for sure… Before I’d even left the building, I was fielding calls from colleagues at a diversity consulting company, and that part-time job has kept me plenty busy. I was ridiculously busy for several months, but that’s slowing down a little now. In some respects, that’s terrifying; it’s my primary source of income, so when there are stretches of time without any new gigs, that means I may not be able to pay my bills. But they’re still trying to find projects that fit my expertise and my availability, so I’m staying cautiously optimistic.
I am, however, expanding my other career paths. I’ve added not one, but two, additional universities to my online teaching portfolio. At one, I’m teaching undergraduate (Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs) students in HR and management courses. At the other, I’m teaching doctoral students in their Ed.D. program. This means that I’ll have taught students at every level of higher education, which is an exciting way to round out my experience.
The one gaping hole in my teaching portfolio, however, is that all of these have been fully-online classes. It looks like I’m going to be filling that gap in the Fall semester, however, as I’m going to be teaching a class one night a week here in NYC. (I actually had a second one lined up later this summer, with a very prestigious university in New York whose name I’ll leave off for the moment, but it turned out there were schedule conflicts that I just couldn’t get out of… But hopefully there’ll be something coming from that missed opportunity soon, and I’ll be able to gleefully share the details when it happens.)
Broadening my teaching experience helps address one major gap in my credentials — the one that cost me the job in Philadelphia earlier this year. But I’m also working on the other significant gap in my candidacy for academic jobs: my lack of published research. This is definitely still a work in progress, but there’s been at least one good development there: an article that I submitted with two colleagues for a very prestigious journal has been given a “revise and resubmit”, meaning they’re tentatively interested but identified some areas that we needed to improve on before the paper could be accepted. This is, apparently, quite a normal part of the process, and is by itself an accomplishment to be proud of. (That said, I’ll be much more proud when it, you know, gets published.)
In the mean time, I’m still applying for full-time academic jobs that are focused on HR and management, and nearly leap out of my chair when I find the occasional job opportunity teaching/researching diversity and inclusion. I recognize that I’m a long-shot candidate while I’m continuing to work on my qualifications, but now that I’ve realized what I want to do when I grow up, I’m optimistically digging in.
Here’s hoping I have good news to share with you soon.