In February 2016, I was in the Denver Airport enjoying a complimentary glass of sparkling wine at the United Club bar (yay for credit cards that give you free passes). I had just finished a three day interview with a university for a tenure-track position in Anthropology. It was the type of position I had been working for during my entire PhD, the type of position that advisors envision their proteges getting, the type of position that departments brag about.
But I wasn’t sure I wanted it even if I ended up being offered the job. As I sat their sipping my wine, staring at the flight updates screen, I realized that this was the job I was supposed to get, but it wasn’t what I wanted for my life anymore.
When I got back to Michigan, I felt lost. I hadn’t been prepared to apply for non-academic jobs, and graduation was quickly approaching. The next weekend, as I was teaching a day-long boot camp in digital engagement, I realized something important: this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to do digital engagement, to use digital tools in creative ways. I also realized I wanted to move back to New York to be closer to family.
So I started looking for jobs in my hometown around digital engagement, online marketing, and social media. One month later, I was interviewing for the job at the Eastman Museum, and one week after that I started working there.
Learn more about what I’m doing now, how my PhD helped me land this job, and why I’m loving my new non-academic direction on Beyond the Prof: