Good news! I've got two new part-time job-ish things to keep me busy. At some point, I decided the monotony of the job hunt was wearing on me too hard, so I started applying for entry level jobs. This is how I landed a job as a teller at KeyBank. I have had several other PhD types seems surprised and excited that I was able to get this type of job- it is well paid, respectable work, even if it isn't what my committee had in mind for me. I told my interviewer that my passion for learning is what took me to grad school, and my passion for learning would propel me to success in a new industry as well. This meshes well with the corporate culture (which likes to promote from within, and encourages and facilitates training opportunities for career development), and I assume the fact that I can speak well, am personable and have been practicing dressing like an adult helped a bit as well. It's a bit humbling to decide to go this route, you don't need a college degree to do this type of work, but I am ready to get to work. And I am being reminded of all those nifty perks that other professionals get, like retirement options and paid time off. However, this doesn't mean I am done job hunting.
The other part time gig I'll be starting is as a commercial licensing intern at the University of Washington's Center for Commercialization (C4C) (Tech Transfer office). They have a nice program to provide Ph.D.s the opportunity to provide (unpaid) technical and intellectual support in terms of considering the commercial viability of ideas and products. I'll spend a few hours a week on campus interacting with licensing managers, Entrepreneurs in residence and innovators, digging up info on a tasked basis. And I'll get journal access, which I was worried was going to catch up to me eventually. It is awesome that they are able to provide this type of opportunity in the community, I am hoping to learn the language of business and expand my network while doing it.
While both of these feel like good opportunities, I still feel frustrated that the things I can do don't feel like they really get me that much closer to the prized job. Working as a teller will ease the financial burden of job hunting, and maybe give me some perspective to reassess what I really want out of my working life. But do you see that side-bar? Someone out there spend hundreds of thousands of dollars training up my brain, and I feel compelled to do something good with it. The internship is more like what I am looking for, but I have no expectation that a position will open up at C4C. Even though it is a much more relevant opportunity, it's not really the short track to finding work, either. A lot of this job hunting work doesn't seem to result in a job, it just primes you for when the job comes along. Wish me luck- both start in a couple weeks.