Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Job developments and other thoughts

Before I get to the subject of today's post, I wanted to link an article from the Guardian that clears up one great mystery: Why do the French hate the British?

Apparently, it's because the French asked to join the Kingdom in the 1950's and were rebuffed. Damn I love the Brits.


Anyway, my pursuit of employment continues. All signs indicate that the job I have been offered is never going to be mine. Not only does it appear that they are not going to file the paperwork necessary to secure my visa status, but I'm not so inclined to wait 8 months or longer without a firm salary offer and start date. It looks like they're not going to offer that, which I find totally unreasonable and has definitely turned me off to this company.

Now, there is a possibility that I could work for them on a consultant basis for a short period of time. They are reluctant to use me in this capacity as consultants can only work for a maximum of 120 days and they need someone to permanently fill this position. However, as they will have difficulty finding someone who fits their criteria, perhaps I have a chance to get some experience and earn some money along the way. I should know more sometime between now and the next millenium.

That being said, it looks like I will be teaching Introduction to International Relations and one section of an English class at Universidad Javeriana, starting next week. I'll receive final confirmation this afternoon. I think this is a good development. Assuming things go well, the University wants me to design a second course to teach in English and wants me to actually work in the Political Science department as well (I would initially be a part of the language department). So, if nothing else, I should be able to continue developing my academic profile and get some experience teaching at the university level, which will be great as it will influence my PhD decisionmaking process.

At the same time, I'm approaching various NGO's for other opportunities. I have a meeting with an HR person at an international NGO this Thursday and I hope to find other opportunities. Whether these organizations can hire me or not is an open question. But I'm sure I'll have the opportunity to volunteer for a while, absent actual employment.

As to our long term plans, we still expect to be here for another year. We'll get confirmation in June or July, but it looks like Diana's company is going to send her abroad for a 2-year "training" or development experience. We don't know where that will be or if it's even certain. But we should know for sure by July and then we can make some decisions.

I would prefer that we move with the company as they would pay for it and it would give us the opportunity to stay here in Colombia for a longer period of time. Assuming my job situation improves, that is. If I continue with basically no job, then it's just not workable for us to stay here. I have to continue to develop my professional profile.

I'm still considering PhD options. I feel that I'm really missing the academic environment that I crafted for myself in London. I really miss talking to smart, informed people about the important and relevant international issues of the day and I feel that my writing and analytical abilities are suffering in my non-academic environment. I guess I'm just the type that needs to toss ideas around a room with other like minded people to sort out the various arguments in my head.

Tangential to this is the sudden realization that I graduated with honors from my MA program. I had never been told about that and just assumed that I was outside the range (I was 0.005 points below what the documentation stated was required). So I'm pleasantly pleased to find that I'm smarter today than I was yesterday.

At any rate, as things continue to develop here, I will continue to comment on my career situation. It's been a long time in the coming getting to where I am now and when I get frustrated, I just remember the words of a very good friend, "Sometime the journey is just as important as the destination."


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