Twofish's Blog

August 17, 2006

A career divorce

Filed under: academia, Career — twofish @ 11:02 pm

I suppose the easiest way of describing my career situation is that I’m in the middle of an amicable divorce. No one is going is screaming and storming out of the house, but we are discussing financial arrangements, and I have permission to go on dates.

So now that I’m dating again, the question is how do I make myself look. That’s one of the problems with career handbooks. I’ve been in enough job interviews both on the hiring end, and the interviewing end to know the “right answers.” I don’t have any problems with following rules of politeness and etiquette (i.e. wear the nice suit, smile, do the handshake). The trouble is that when someone asks me “what do you want in a job” the answer that I’m inclined to give is not the one that the career handbooks suggest (the real answer is I want something that will help me to be remembered well once I am dead and that will give me the time and financial resources to participate in the Great Jihad against Osama bin-Laden).

I can shut up and give the right answer “I’m looking for a challenging opportunity,” but that’s not the answer that is in my heart. The other problem is that when I give the answer that is in my heart, people make incorrect assumptions about me. One would tend to mark someone who talks about restructuring the Chinese economy as impractical and flighty, but one thing that I try very hard to do is to just get the job done.

The nice thing about an amicable career divorce is that my employer and I realize that it would do neither of us any good for there to be a nasty fight scene. This gives both of us some time to think about what life will be like without each other. So I’m going to see in the next month what I can do to make myself presentable for dating.

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