Thursday, August 9, 2012

Designing My Own Job.

It's beginning. That time of crazy thoughts,

the pretty steady "So you're a senior... what will you do next year?" pleasant conversation question

always awkward.

There are three possible scenarios here:
1) the person is cool and would understand what I'm talking about when I explain that I am obsessed with informal economies, latin america, and the dynamics of the drug trade. So I say, straight up, I want  to find a way to be paid to research and model informal economies in Latin America.

2) the person would FREAK OUT if they knew where I did research and what I am interested in, so I said "I study Latin American economies. I'll probably work in some way with businesses" vague. Socially acceptable. They usually dont ask further beyond that, because frequently (at least within the US) this category of people tends to fear Latin America as a blob of countries where the American news show violence and tan people running around in the jungle speaking Spanish. They feel better knowing less about it, and I feel better saying less about what I actually study.

3) the people who are interested but conflicted about what I do, and generally express concern about my interests. This category is tricky, because they ask more questions. They want to know but at the same time cant help but let a look of I'm-concerned-for-your-well-being cross their faces.

So I've been writing for the past two days. Word documents filled with ideas and people I want to work with, ways to reach them, stories I want to learn more about...

and realizing, slowly

through shaping

and some very masochistic episodes of looking through job recruiting offers on various NGOs, Non-profits, Government, and business sites that I am potentially interested in while realizing where some of the holes are in my previous experience. Somehow I-lived-in-India-and-worked-a-research-project-I-designed-in-the-slums doesnt seem to fit in nicely in the black ink resume "previous experience" section they usually mention.

It took my Dad telling me, it's ok to be out of the box, several years ago for me to come to terms with it. The fear crept back in AM I DOING THIS ALL WRONG? during the evil period of consulting/banking interviews on campus this fall. When everyone and their mother was going to these interviews all the time... and it wasnt for me. But you cant sit there and not wonder at the time.

So here I am. I'm writing out my dream job and then going to find the closest thing I can to it over the course of the next year.

Watch me. :)

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