At this moment, my hands are trembling, my heart is racing, and I vaguely feel like I might vomit at any moment.
No, I didn’t get into a car accident, or find out I’m pregnant, or violently wake up from a dream in which I’m falling into a deep abyss. All I did was apply for a job.
Not just any job, though…my dream job. Or, more specifically, the most realistic manifestation of my dream job that I could possibly obtain at my age and level of experience. The real kicker? It’s at a university right here in my hometown. I wouldn’t even have to move. It is truly the perfect job: a true career directly in my desired field, where I don’t have to leave my family, friends, and boyfriend behind or go to school for several more years, with the economic stability a full-time job with benefits brings. Except for in my wanderlust-fueled fantasies, I couldn’t imagine a better situation.
Honestly, it’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have even been looking at job postings. I don’t need a job right now. I’m more than sufficiently employed for this semester, and I am basically guaranteed the same level of employment next semester. I’m supposed to be applying to PhD programs in the coming months, after all, and a “real” job was only to be a consideration next spring if I found out I wasn’t accepted anywhere. I had no business prowling university job postings yesterday.
Yet, I did, and I can entirely blame my tendency to eavesdrop in public spaces.
Allow me to explain. Since I am an adjunct professor, my office spaces are all open, shared environments. I was in one of these said spaces prior to a class I was teaching, just minding my own business (mostly) and polishing my PowerPoint for the day’s lesson, when I overheard two separate, but equally important, conversations: a telephone conversation in which an adjunct was telling his mother that another adjunct had gotten hired full-time at a library, and a conversation between two other instructors about how applications for tenure-track positions were due soon.
Hearing these two conversations, especially within mere moments of each other in the same room, really made me stop and think. Should I already be looking at job listings? Was I missing out on full-time positions?
I can’t stand to be left out, so I decided I would go ahead and take a look. Just for shits and giggles, you see. I knew for a fact that my home institution wasn’t hiring full-time employees in my field, and wouldn’t be until summer (if at all). I was also pretty sure that the community college I’ve been working at wouldn’t have anything either. So, I decided I would look at the public four-year university’s postings. Again, just for shits and giggles.
Imagine my surprise when one of the first listings on the site is not only relevant to my degree, but my damn dream job. Right there, right down the street. And with qualifications I actually meet. I couldn’t believe my eyes, my luck, the chances of this odd encounter with this job posting.
So, today, I updated my CV, wrote a new cover letter, and applied for my dream job right here in my hometown. I, the girl with three jobs, responded to a job posting I never should’ve seen in the first place. It’s been one of those weird, cosmic-aligning instances that my entire career has been based on.
Now, I’m left with bated breath and a nervous heart, waiting to find out what fate holds for me.