Job leads continue to pour in at a rate that only an Olympian could maintain. I, unfortunately, have not reached that athletic caliber yet. But hey, don’t misunderstand me, this is not a bad thing, it is a wonderful thing. It means there are jobs out there just waiting to be filled. It could be so much worse, right? My inbox and my “to be completed” job lead folder could be empty.
This, however, is not the case.
Now, one of the biggest challenges is sifting through this mighty stack of job leads and predicting how much time each one will require. I adore the applications that ask a few basic questions, then request the typical attachments, and boom, you’re at the submit button. I feel like dancing! But then that feeling quickly diminishes as I move on to the next one that starts with the question, “Would you like to upload your resume?” Um, well, I don’t know. You see, this works great on some sites, but not so great on others. The upload will fill in most of the fields and leave you with only pieces of information to insert, so that’s great. On others, however, this is not the case. After the upload, you realize most of your information was inserted incorrectly to the wrong data fields, so you spend a lot of time removing information and inserting the correct information to the correct fields. Two days, a migraine, and several pots of coffee later, the application finally gets submitted. Oh my, how frustrating some of these submissions can be!
Then of course there’s the calamity of all applications. These are the ones you pour your heart and soul into for hours and you finally reach that final destination. You see it. All you have to do now is hit that submit button and another application has been completed. Hallelujah! You hit it and wait. There appears to be nothing happening. Okay, slow your breathing. Maybe you just got too excited and didn’t actually hit it. Let’s try again. You press the enter key slowly, but nothing happens. Yes, you are stuck in the spiral loop of nothingness. If you refresh your screen, you will lose everything. If you sit here, your information goes nowhere. So what are your options? Well, you could cry, scream, or toss the computer. Personally, I have found none of these options generally workout too well in the end. However, in a few cases, I was able to receive technical support from the university. Nevertheless, these are by far, the most frustrating of all submissions and a true test of an individual’s patience…and sanity.
After issues like this, I’m thinking, okay, please let me find one in this stack that does not feel like a 3,100-mile ultra-marathon. The one that’s going to be the golden egg. The one that will be a right fit for me and the institution. It’s like playing the lottery. Come on lucky application! I know you’re in there. I’m truly feeling like the compulsive gambler, except my addiction is my desire to obtain an online teaching position and help others reach their educational goals. I want to be that lucky winner who can one day wake up knowing that I have finally reached that transcendence stage in my life, being capable of helping others each day.
The true extent of this addiction really struck me when I decided to take a break from the application process and surf social media for a while. Six to eight months ago, this would have involved looking at pictures of friends, reading funny memes, and catching up on what others were doing. Now, this has changed. After about an hour or so, I realized I was jumping amongst three different social media sites, reading professional articles and online teaching information, and networking with professors. It wasn’t the relaxation in which I had previously been accustomed to at all, yet it was so rewarding and yes, very addictive!
With this addiction, it’s very easy to understand the need for balance in the madness. The application process can easily become a full time job. Now, add this to your actual full time job, your family, and other activities in life and it’s easy to see why time management and organization are such critical components to one’s sanity. The passion needed to drive you forward in this process quickly becomes entrenched in your daily life making it difficult to turn off. That’s why it’s important to spend time with your family and friends, enjoy hobbies, and do those things that brings energy back to the soul. These things will help restore balance to our lives and rekindle the passion that each of us need in order to do the things we love. The hardest thing of all, of course, is to not think about work when you’re not working. Oh, I’m not quite there yet. I’m trying, but the mind is such a powerful instrument! It still tends to multi-task even when I’m not trying.