Every week, I coerce employed friends into giving job advice.
What I do all day: I teach math to 9th graders, and they teach me about E-40. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
What I would rather be doing all day: Sitting in a cushy chair in the library, reading the great works of dead white people, like I did back in college. I really had no idea how good I had it. Being a first-year teacher in an urban school makes grad school sound like Club Med.
Where I found this job: One of the organizations that recruits teachers from non-education disciplines took me on. The recruitment process was basically a cross between a college application and a normal series of job interviews.
Why they hired me as opposed to hundreds of other overqualified Ivy league grads: I think they mentioned something about leadership ability. The idea is, even if I’m not a teacher forever, that I’ll be a lifetime advocate for changing public education to better serve the students on the wrong end of the achievement gap. I think it was a kind way of saying I’m loud and opinionated and that I believe in the same stuff they do, so I’m a fit.
Best part about being employed: I have my own bathroom. It’s amazing, and I don’t know anyone who’s unemployed and not living with their parents that enjoys the same thing. Also, I do get paid (albeit poorly) to hang out with kids all day. I also get to feel like I make a positive impact on their lives, which is a bonus.
Worst part about being employed: I wake up in the dark and work until I’m too tired to keep my eyelids from falling down. And no one gives me free food for being a starving student any more.
Heartfelt advice to your jobless friends who may have been freeloading off of you for months: Split your time between looking for a job and doing fun stuff like reading and watching SportsCenter, because you’ll probably no longer have time for them once you’re employed. (Actually, I guess this is only really good advice for people looking to work in banking or K-12 education.)
If you would like to be featured in the weekly Why I have a Job column or know someone who would, holla.