As I mentioned previously, I often make decisions in random spastic ways, and this pattern has usually served me well and I alluded to the fact that my new job search was somewhat similar to the way I had chosen my undergraduate university.
All is ready to be revealed because I got a job offer and I accepted! Yay, yay, yay!
So one would think that with higher and higher levels of education you would you have more choices in the world available to you. That's kind of true in some ways, but not so much in others.
You see, there's only so many places that a person with a PhD can work. And the job openings for those people don't open up often. So when you go out to look for a job your choices are somewhat limited. You go where there are job offers and that often means you have to do a nationwide search. And that's what most PhD students do.
That's mostly what I did...but with some limits. I know that the economy is bad right now and just getting A job anywhere I can should be my goal. But in the words of one wise person, homie don't play that. I really cannot be expected to move just anywhere. Besides the fact that I am generally picky about my surroundings, I have actual real-life concerns like is my family going to be discriminated against or worse, hate crimed? Why in the world would I choose to move somewhere more backwards and conservative than Indiana? And while we're at it, why do I want to live anywhere uglier than Indiana and farther away from civilization?
So I needed a plan. And here it is:
Oh how I love MS Paint
Anywhere in the "Not Even" zone would be immediately passed over for consideration. Generally speaking, these are very conservative states where my family would be in danger and/or highly undesirable places to live anyway for a multitude of reasons (ratio of city to farmland, distance from the beach, plethora of Southern twang, etc.). Now I'm sure some cities in the zone are "just lovely," but frankly no amount of convincing on the part of a native is going to convince me I would want to live anywhere in the zone. So I didn't apply anywhere where jobs were listed in this area.
I heard from a lot of people that this was a fool-hardy decision; I shouldn't limit myself so much. Well guess what? I applied for 52 jobs outside of that zone. FIFTY TWO. That's a lot. I was sure I'd get SOMETHING.
And guess what?
I did. Suck it naysayers.
And not only did I get A job in the desirable zone, I got one of my top choices in my very top zone of ideal living.
I accepted a job at California State University-Chico on Monday. My heart is singing on the highest mountain-tops. Starting this fall I will be a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Chico State. I've never been so happy in my entire life. Once again, random strategies for world domination have worked in my favor. Go me!