So I had a minor freak-out last night. I didn't have the best day to begin with and then, in the evening, I sat down, put High School Musical 3 in my DVD player (yes, of course I had to get it on the day it came out), turned on my computer and started looking at job postings. I'd been avoiding the job search for the past week because I just didn't want to deal with it. Since I'm going to ACPA, which isn't until the end of March, it feels like there's still tons of time left. But then I also know that - with Spring Break (I'm going on an alternative Spring Break Trip with residents), the Invisible Children Challenge on March 21, and other things that will come up - it will be the end of March before I know it.
I pulled up the ACPA Placement site and looked at the job listings I had saved. There was one that I was really excited about. I went through the list and...
IT WAS GONE. Well, it just said, "Position no longer available."
So then I became paranoid. Maybe they had hired some internally; maybe they have to leave the position vacant because of budget cuts - what if there won't be many positions this year because of the current economic crisis. What if I didn't find anything else that I was really excited about? What if I didn't find anything at all?
And then I started thinking back of my job search and how most of the institution I ended up having campus interviews with were the ones that had contacted me, not the ones that I had actually searched out and applied to. Why??? Had I been looking for the wrong positions? Only one school has contacted me so far and I turned them down because it wasn't what I was looking for at all. But what if nobody else would contact me? What if I get a million interviews at the convention again but then no on-campus offers? What if I'm being unrealistic looking for coordinator-level positions? Maybe I should just stick with Hall Director jobs. But even there aren't that many in the geographic regions I'm looking for.
And then the whole visa issue. What if I don't get a job in time for them to apply for a transfer of my H1B visa to their institution? I wouldn't be able to start working when the school year starts...how bad would that be! And what if institutions don't want to go through the pain of the visa application process - or can't afford to sponsor me...I mean, with the economic crisis and everything - AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Whenever I mention my whole visa issues to Americans, they just tell me, "Don't worry. It'll work out." I'm sorry but that is NOT helping. It doesn't make me feel any better. It doesn't make me stop worrying. People have no idea how frustrating it is to be searching for jobs - knowing that some institution will never be able to hire me because of this visa issue - even if they love me, even if I'm their top candidate. I often feel like this country doesn't want me. I'm not wanted here. They'd be happier if I left. But what would I do if I left??? I have a degree in a field that doesn't even exist at home. I have built a life in this country. I have a career.