And, here we go, back on the track of job uncertainty again. I’d be more anxious, but even job anxiety gets boring after a while, and in fact this feeling is entirely familiar. I’ve just worked out that I’ve spent about a third of my time with my current company wondering if I’ll continue to be employed, and if so, in what capacity. No doubt someone will let me know at some point; until then, I continue in limbo.
Meanwhile, because obviously it’s not possible just to sit around waiting, the steps are well worn: update CV – check; remind oneself of the recruitment agencies – check; run some initial searches on The Guardian, LinkedIn, The Bookseller, etc; sign up for Twitter feeds.
I have to say, it’s pretty depressing out there in job world. That’s not to say there aren’t loads of interesting jobs, it’s just that an entire working life spent in publishing seems to render one entirely unfitted for anything else. I’m also at a sort of awkward salary level, reasonably high for publishing (although still of the sort that makes friends in the real professions smile sympathetically and pay for dinner), but because I’ve jumped around a lot from editorial to online product development and somewhere in between, I don’t have the management experience that I probably ought to by this point. (As a side note, I think publishing is in for a nasty shock as the transition to digital publishing continues and the overlap between product development and software development increases: the skills that are needed will not continue to come cheap.)
All of which forces some reassessment, a good exercise even if it does turn out to be theoretical. I’ve said before that I’m not career driven, and that’s true. I like to do new things because doing the same gets dull, and I like to keep learning. A career, whatever that actually means, is entirely meaningless in and of itself. I’m also not driven by money per se; there’s a certain standard of living I would prefer to maintain for myself, but how much that costs is heavily dependent on location. Oxford is bloody expensive. I could move elsewhere in the country (and I’d love to move north), drop a few thousand off my salary, halve my rent and end up in much the same financial position. Mostly at the moment, my concern is to ring fence Open University fees if I get accepted for the MPhil. The constraint then becomes that I’d need to be living within striking distance of a good Classics library.
It all gets thrown into the mix, which means that the options become much broader than they at first appear. That, in turn, means I can go back to those job searches and widen some significant parameters. Who knows what will happen next?