Career decisions, or longing for certainty where none is to be found

I'm in the 5th year of my doctorate now, just finished my dissertation proposal last week. That's when you propose the shape of your final doctoral deliverable to your committee. For me, its also when I pivot in my fieldwork from mostly data collection and a little analysis to mostly analyses and a little data collection. 

I now need to start thinking about what comes next.  

Over this summer, I'm going to go "on the market" as it were, attending conferences, presenting my ongoing research papers, helping organize things, and generally be seen by people who make hiring decisions. I will probably apply to many universities, wherever the jobs are, in Canada, the US, and Europe and India. 

I am torn, in a sense, about where to focus my efforts. On the one hand, put together a good application packet, apply everywhere. I think I may have a shot at a "good" good school in the UK and the US. I had thought I might apply to the Indian Institute of Management in Bengaluru, but I am told they are not looking for someone in my demographic category at the moment. Which is tough, but I understand why such things must happen. I have other options in a way that the beneficiaries of the quota system in India do not. In any case there are other schools in India where I can apply. 

On the other, apply locally, in Montreal. I have work that I'd like to continue with here, and the research community here is really lovely. On top of that, Aditi has just begun her PhD, and she deserves the time to explore her options and to let her research unfold in an unhurried pace. I'd like to keep the family together if I can. 

So both remaining in Montreal, and heading out into the world seem like they could be fruitful.

Adding complication to the process is the fact that I have been living without permanent residence for almost 20 years. I moved out of India when I was 20, and ever since then I've been on student permits, post graduate training permits, temporary work permits, constantly having to defend my right to stay in my home to people who's only claim to authority over my future is the location of their birth. I'm tired of it, frankly. I want to not have to constantly worry about immigration. And now Quebec has decided to make life harder for graduates of anglophone universities with respect to the QC permanent residency process. Again, I understand why such things must happen, and I know the law doesn't target me specifically. 

I am however somewhat annoyed that I will soon have two PhDs (one from Quebec), I speak French, I test well in written and spoken French, I study francophone organizations, I work towards the betterment of a francophone healthcare system, I've begun to teach in French.... and yet here I am being told to jump through hoops once again for the priviledge of staying in a place that I thought would be happy to have me. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm acting entitled, but at other times I am just frustrated that I have spent what seems like a whole life held to standards that other by virtue of their birth are not subject to.

Anyhow, I think I might write more about my job market experiences here. Maybe someone somewhere will get something out of it. Maybe its just a place for me to vent, and that's OK too.



Comments