For the second time in, just about, two years I find myself on the hunt for a job. My prior job lasted a lifetime; my current a single year. That's not to say I've only ever had 2 jobs. Quite to the contrary. I've waited tables, worked for the Census Bureau, worked my fingers to the bone making vacuum and steam cleaners while assistant managing a 7/11, made donuts, ran around like a crazy person in a bowling alley, managed a business and worked as an AA in a local government office. I just never had a career until my previous position. Like my others, it didn't begin that way, but it certainly ended so. I spent my life hoping one day I would have a career I just couldn't wait to get out of bed for, and without knowing it, mine fell right into my lap. I "fell" into private education. Never, in a million years, would I have ever believed one day I would be a Teacher.
To enhance my new found love and joy, I did what I thought was the "right thing". Because I didn't do it right out of high school, I went back to school to finish my education. Before I knew it, I had earned my bachelor's and my master's. But something, inside, was still missing. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, until one day I came across the perfect Ph.D. - online. I had spent my entire career teaching students, and adults, how to incorporate the use of technology in the classroom, the importance of copyright, et.al., online security, and digital citizenship. Finding this particular Ph.D. was like a God send, so I made the decision to finish my education.
Ok, so what's the problem?
Funny how one simple conversation can sometimes make us feel the decisions we make are coming back to "bite us in the butt", and the bank account. In the last few months I have been on my fair share of interviews, but there is one that has stuck with me. According to one interviewer, I’ve managed to educate myself right out of a job, especially one outside of private education. The reason. No one wants to hire anyone that is “pompous and pretentious” and that's what a Ph.D. says to those outside private education (paraphrasing).
Second problem? Secondary education shy's away for fear they can't afford a doctorate holder, or they are only interested in "traditional" doctorate degrees. Higher Ed demands educators with a doctorate but they, too, look primarily for traditionalists; Professors who teach math, psychology, English, science, etc.
Finally, adult education doesn't care one way or the other. They just want teachers with adult education experience and, no, other educators do not count.
I find myself, now, stuck at a crossroads. I’m almost 2/3 of the way through my doctorate in psychology (of integrating technology, learning & psychology) and I’m wondering, do I stop and begin paying back the government the thousands upon thousands of dollars I owe them, or do I continue my dream and begin working on the dissertation I am so passionate about, at the risk of becoming "pompous and pretentious"?
It makes me wonder, when does one stop following their dream just to meet the status quo?