My recent frustrations were brought to mind last week up in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as I tried to light a fire after an afternoon full of rain, hail and lightning. Even the tinder was damp, and each time I patiently got a small flame going it would gradually smolder away. That’s a bit how I feel about my job hunt right now. I’ve had a few promising leads, but nothing is bursting into flame.

Just as I was weighing compromises and opportunities and lamenting my limited choices, I received a call to interview at a library in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Apparently in a mad batch of applications last month I decided Sioux Falls was a compromise I was willing to make. Anyway, this offer made me really question my limits. The fact that they were not willing to reimburse travel expenses made my choice easier, but I still think it was at least slightly beyond the boundaries of the sacrifices I’m willing to make to get a job in the field. It taught me a lesson about more selective applying, even when I get frantic and want to apply to every job advertised.

As I’ve made pretty clear, patience is not my primary virtue. I am at the point of getting creative with my job search, chipping away and finding what lies beneath the surface. I trolled dozens of individual city government sites this weekend, because often job postings don’t get any further than that. I’m also trying to come up with creative ways to keep living in Santa Fe if I don’t get a job offer by August. I put up signs offering caretaking and petsitting services, and I’ve been checking out living possibilities on Craigslist. This is my way of being proactive during a time when everything feels completely out of my control. I do believe that risk and confidence are rewarded in the end. It’s just a matter of where the end lands.

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