Education, Employment

If you don’t ask, the answer is “no.”

Creative writing class-fine arts center (40269...
Creative writing class-fine arts center (402690951) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two years ago, I took a full-time job working as a civil servant in an academic department at a state university. I’m a media manager, writing the occasional news story about my department, editing the department newsletter, liaising with textbook reps, and doing all sorts of tedious work (like putting together course evaluation packets) that have nothing to do with anything I went to college for. It’s not exactly my dream job, but it allows me the flexibility I need to be able to pursue my dream career, which is writing.

Prior to taking this job, I worked as an adjunct instructor at a state technical college. It’s a typical career path for many in my situation, but I soon learned that it was not conducive to writing. Sure, I only spent a couple of hours in the classroom each week and was able to work at home the rest of the time. But, I spent many of those long hours at home grading papers, reading basic essays written by students who really did not want to write them. There was a lot of drudge work involved for very little pay, and it left very little time for my own writing pursuits. Continue reading “If you don’t ask, the answer is “no.””

Education, Employment

Why you probably shouldn’t send your kids to college

Molly with Mike Rowe and UFC CEO, Dana White.
Mike Rowe is probably best known for his role on the Discovery Channel series, Dirty Job.Molly with Mike Rowe and UFC CEO, Dana White. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning, a friend of mine shared an interesting article on why Mike Rowe thinks most people should not pursue a 4-year college degree. Click here to read the article.

Personally, I think Rowe is absolutely right. In fact, I have been saying this myself for a while. I’ve been teaching at a 2-year technical college for two years now, and for two years, I have watched my students graduate and find jobs right away. Not just any jobs, but good jobs that pay far more than mine does. I keep trying to tell people to stop pushing their kids to go to a 4-year college, and they just look at me like I am crazy.

I think this is part of why our economy is so screwed up. Hordes of Americans are flocking to 4-year colleges to earn degrees for jobs that no longer exist. They are graduating and getting jobs as waitresses and baristas instead of stepping into the high-powered office jobs they thought would be waiting for them once they crossed that legendary stage. Disgusted, many of them are going on to graduate school with the misconception that a Bachelor’s degree just isn’t enough anymore. The Master’s is the new Bachelor’s, right? Continue reading “Why you probably shouldn’t send your kids to college”

Employment, Memoir

My first jobs

Mandy in uniform
Look how adorable I was in my Air Force uniform!

Recently, Vikki over at The View Outside wrote an interesting blog post on her first job. I enjoyed reading about her first job experience and thought it would be fun to revisit my own. Then, thinking of my colorful job history, I thought it might be even more fun to give you a list of all of the jobs I have done. Brace yourself.

I got my first regular gig in the 8th grade (age 12-13.) I worked as an after-school nanny for a family with six kids. While I was technically only paid to watch the three youngest (the three oldest weren’t much younger than I was and were supposed to be watching themselves,) I was ultimately responsible for keeping all six alive.

The three oldest were all boys, and all terrors. I’m pretty sure at least two of them had crushes on me. So of course, they liked to torment me. Because that’s what boys do at that age when they like a girl. I worked somewhere around twenty hours a week for an entire school year until the family moved away. Then I was back to working the occasional weekend babysitting job or cleaning up my neighbor’s wooded lot once or twice a year. Continue reading “My first jobs”


This is why I can’t find a job.

Feet in the forest
My feet feel right at home in the forest.

When I was a kid, I wanted to do everything when I grew up.  I wanted to be a writer, of course, but I also wanted to be an airplane pilot. And a race car driver. A Peace Corp volunteer, a detective, a horse jockey, and of course, a nun.

So now I’m (supposedly) an adult, I have finished graduate school, and writing jobs are hard to come by. I keep widening and broadening my search only to realize that I want to do a ton of really cool shit that I am completely unqualified for.

For example: why didn’t I go to school for forestry management? That job sounds awesome. I am so jealous of the people who get to manage the forest for a living. It is so unfair. I want to work full time in the middle of a national forest. I want to drive a bulldozer and plant trees. But I can’t because I didn’t go to school for that. Continue reading “This is why I can’t find a job.”

Blogging, Digital Marketing, Employment

Check out Fiverr for buying and selling writing services

I will tell you how to drive readers to your blog for just $5.
Check out my first gig on Fiverr.

A reader (thanks, Tonette!) recently suggested I check out a website called Fiverr to see if I can find someone to design a book cover for a collection of poems I would like to self-publish. While I haven’t yet found someone to design my book cover, it did occur to me that maybe I should post a few gigs of my own on Fiverr.

My first idea was to offer novel critiques to fellow writers looking to polish their novels before self-publishing. (I also borrowed this idea from another reader.) I posted a gig for this, but after getting to know the website a bit better, I do not think this is quite the right format for advertising this particular service. Continue reading “Check out Fiverr for buying and selling writing services”


Today’s top four signs you should turn down that job offer

The Office cast in the third season
My job interview was like something you might see on an episode of The Office. | The Office cast in the third season (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been looking for a full-time job in my area for about four years, with no luck. I seem to be overqualified to do anything but teach, and full-time faculty positions are hard to come by. A few weeks before graduation, I decided to open up my job search to a slightly larger geographic area to see what would happen. Within two weeks I was offered what sounded like the perfect job for me. I began to make arrangements to transition to this job, and things were finally looking up. After several weeks of preparation, I arrived at my destination. Then my dream job quickly deteriorated into a nightmare. Continue reading “Today’s top four signs you should turn down that job offer”