Right now I am having a "crisis of professional faith" of sorts. As you should all know by now, I am in a Masters degree program for a MA in History, with a focus in Ancient and Classic Cultures. After this weekend (assuming I pass my current class) I will have seven classes left before I reach that goal.
But then what?
A MA in History, when combined with about five bucks, can get me a Happy Meal. And that's about it. I can't move into teaching, because I need to have specific teaching credentials or a PhD (either way, even more school). And there isn't a whole lot of call for people with that sort of education anyways. So, I am here, racking up student debt, all for a piece of paper that says I am intelligent and well-read, but with no special skills. My most marketable skills are those that I have gained from fifteen years working in the trenches as an office-monkey and cubicle commando.
Oh, but I have writing skills. I can spin a good yarn, so I'm told. But, with recent rumblings in the publishing industry, there isn't much of a positive outlook on that. I know professional writers, with multiple novels under their belts, that are having to take second jobs just to make ends meet. Writing has become a devil's choice. You either write for commercial success, or you write for personal fulfillment, hoping that others want to share in that. It seems a very rare few can have it both ways these days.
Then there's my day job. I work for a great government department, whose primary purpose is to help families with children cope with the realities of a depressed society, family dysfunctions, and unforeseen unemployment. My boss is the best boss I have ever had. I get a lot of freedom to do my own thing, as long as I keep up on my work tasks. But, on the downside, I make about 20% less than my lowest-paid private-sector contemporaries. Add to that the fact that I have yet to get a raise in the past two and a half years, and in fact have seen my take-home drop so my governor can point to black ink on a ledger.
I'm not bitter at all.
I know I usually try to be upbeat and positive here. But sometimes...
I'll try to be more positive later, after I process all of the crises my life is handing me.