How long does one continue job searching in their field before throwing in the towel and giving up? I've read numerous articles lately that have been discussing the fact that while many, many people remain unemployed, some employers are having a hard time filling open positions. This was explained by the theory that people are having a difficult time reconciling the significant difference between the job they once had and the jobs that are available. No one wants to go from working at a cushy office job to driving trucks all day.
I've been wrestling with this issue too. As my job searching continues to beat me down, I've begun to consider possible alternatives to teaching. Not long-term, mind you, just temporary so I can pay the bills. I feel as if I've gotten to the point where I might have to fall-back on my old stand-by, waiting tables. When I tell this to the people in my life, I get different reactions from them. (Image Source)
The G-Man, who waited tables a time or two in college, has a BA in psychology and was ushered into a completely unrelated field of work a month after graduating and is now on the cusp of earning six figures, thinks waiting tables is a viable option for me.
SMos, who waited tables for many years in NYC, just completed the same Masters program as me, and has been working as an art teacher for almost six years in a public school in Brooklyn, thinks waiting tables is one option, but agrees that it would suck, but also points out how great the pay could be, but then laments about how shitty it would be to have to wait tables again, and then suggests other options for me and frequently emails and texts me with job possibilities she stumbles across (I love her).
Thing Two, who I have no knowledge of any of his experience waiting tables, has a Bachelors degree and a Masters, has shelled out tens of thousands of dollars to become a lawyer, and is now pushing papers for some government agency in DC, thinks that my talk of being a waitress reflects a defeatist's attitude.
Twin, who waited tables for a while in The Middle of Nowhere, Texas (while pregnant, mind you), has a Bachelors degree and a Masters in teaching, and is now working as a stay-at-home mom to her two beautiful sons because she can't find a job teaching English, thinks... well, now that I think about it, I don't recall what her thoughts on the subject were.
As you can imagine, I'm torn. I don't want to settle for a job, and I understand that many big wigs in the know cite this exact attitude as the reason so many people remain unemployed. I have explored options outside of teaching that don't include waiting tables, but have thus far come up with a big fat goose egg. I know that, in theory, I can continue job searching while waiting tables, but if you've ever waited tables full-time before, you know that the level of exhaustion I would experience, both mental and physical, would drain me of all my energy and leave very little left for job hunting. (Image Source)
While bouncing back and forth with this, I've compiled two lists outlining the pros and cons of me returning to waiting tables.
Why I Wouldn't Mind Waiting Tables Again
- The pay can be good.
- It's immediate money.
- I like interacting with people.
- It was one of my dream jobs when I was seven.
- I like being super busy.
- It's good for the thighs. And the butt.
- It would get me out of the house.
- I'm good at it.
Why I Would Hate Waiting Tables Again
- It's exhausting.
- People can be rude and demanding.
- You're often not treated like a real person.
- Customers judge you.
- The hours suck. And you have to work evenings and weekends. Or else they fire you.
- I hate not having a set schedule.
- I have a Masters degree.
- I'm concerned I wouldn't even get hired, and I'm not sure I can stand any more rejection.
- I have severe pain in my left foot that I've been ignoring for about two or three years now ever since I fell down the stairs that one time but refused to go to the hospital because I didn't have health insurance.
- I'm klutzy.
- I don't like being bossed around.
- I'd have to wear Happy Face all the time.
- I'd smell like food all the time.
- The smell of food would start making me gag.
- My face would break out from all the grease.
Of course, I could always fall back on my other fall-back, substituting. The pay wouldn't be immediate and I wouldn't be guaranteed work, but at least it would always be M-F daytime work. And it would allow me to get my foot in the door of area schools. And even though subbing sucks on a level so unimaginable those of you who have never done it couldn't even begin to imagine, it would keep my teaching skills all shiny and pretty.
Of course, then there's the bills this month. *Sigh* Anyone want to pay my car payment for me?