Women"s & Gender Studies Job Search!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More about this site...

After yesterday's rather verbose and obscure description of the genesis of this project, I figured today would be a good day to clarify a couple of points about the site and why the heck I'm doing it.

First, it would be awesome to have as many feminists, women's & gender studies students/grads, employed/unemployed women and men help find resources for this site. The overarching goal is to provide a centralized site for WGS Grads (and also anyone who self-identifies as a "feminist") to find a career, internship, job opportunity, and (if that gets going smoothly) to also provide resources for further education in WGS (feel free to use the calendar at the bottom of the page for application/scholarship deadlines too) at every level of the academic ladder.

My description of the post-graduation job anxiety, which was part of yesterday's post, was really the starting point for this idea. After spending months searching for jobs, only to realize that I would teach as long as I could afford to (it pays almost nothing, but I LOVE it!), I figured that I can't be the only person whose job search after Women's Studies was less than ideal.

Primarily, I spent a sizable portion of time attempting to get any of the (many) career search sites to provide relevant results when searching for jobs. Trying to find employers looking for candidates with a MA in Women's (& Gender) Studies typically resulted in one of the following:
1. Jobs, posted by employers looking for women to fill the "diversity" requirement to get added search exposure for their available positions (or for EOE/SEC reasons)
2. Jobs, posted by employers that were advertising jobs related to "women" but not feminism or women's studies
3. A ton of jobs in Massachusetts (so I've adapted the search engine on the side of this site with this issue in mind).
4. Any combination of results 1-3!

Therefore, after realizing some crucial aspects of job searching in this field, I initiated a online networking (what I've been calling my "guerrilla-style networking" :o) on View Jessie Gamble's profile on LinkedIn click and view my profile if you'd like to join). The results that I had were good (but hardly ideal...great salaries at companies that I wouldn't sleep at night if I worked for), but the information I found was so fragmented that the only cohesive body of information on job hunting relevant to my own search was the network I had created myself. Sooo....once I saw google's customized search engine (CSE), and realized it could be integrated with their blogger "tool" (synonym, anyone?), and the calendar could be embedded into a blog...and finally figured out how to obtain rss/xml feeds, the site here was started. I've been playing with a personal blog to get started (just go to to see that one if you'd like) and figure out how to (or at least start learning) use the various features that would be advantageous for a multi-beta-technologically produced WGS job search!

Please, contribute your expertise, knowledge of meetups, career fairs, job search tips, etc. You can simply post to the blog (it's public and unmoderated....at least for now), click on the calendar below, or check out the WGS Job Search Engine on the side and add yourself as a contributor. Anyone and everyone interested in proactively changing the landscape (for the better!) of opportunities for WGS graduates, please email this post to your friends and feel free to add a contribution (or two)! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Got Women's Studies on your transcript?

A long, long, time ago, I began my undergraduate degree...okay well, maybe not that long ago (1998). In 2003 I GRADUATED from Drew with my Women's Studies BA (honors) oh, yeah! Earlier that year, in a move that can only be described as guided procrastination, I was told that an MA would be a good continuation of my education (but to me, it sounded like "go...go..go...to grad school, you won't have to find a job now!" So, on I went, to the most prestigious graduate program in Women's & Gender Studies I could find (within a 50 mile radius) where I studied like a crazy-woman...learning theory...watching my student loans increase...and increase...oh....and increase! Then, I had to find a job...with a couple of degrees in a field/area/subject/interdiscipline (okay, I doubt that last one's a word), I set off to find a job...

A few months later... a conversation I had engaged in, over and over again, with other MA students in WGS replayed too frequently in my memory. We contemplated how we'd never have jobs after graduation, how we'd start organizations together, or how maybe we'd have to be big sell-outs just to pay for our student loans and get a right-wing book deal....thankfully the last one hasn't yet come to fruition to my knowledge! But, the first theme of this conversation was sadly correct, the part about never finding a job.

Now that it's a few (and a half) months later (yeah, interdiscipline is no more a word than a "few and a half" is a phrase...after all of those parenthetical opposite day-ish titles...I'm making up my own lexicon folks!) and I was offered jobs that (minus a publishing contract) I would make a killer income, yet add to my already problematic insomnia. Faced with an ethical dilemma (but eased significantly by my partner with an income), I turned down the six figures to pursue...oh lord...I'm not even saying what I want to do...it'll sound like the feminist equivalent of Talladega Nights!