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Looking for a Job in California in Early 2010: An Anecdote

In July 2009, I notified my chair that I would not be returning to my job as a professor of literature. My departure was abrupt and left the department in the lurch. For that I am sorry. I am not sorry, however, about my decision to leave, one that had been years in the making. The short version (and all I’m likely to share unless you number among my friends or family) is that I write slowly and was unwilling to rush writing a book no one needed so that I could live longer in a place I did not love.

On 1 August 2009, Pam and I signed a one-year lease for an apartment in San Francisco’s Fillmore district. I’ve wanted to live in a city like this since going to college in Fall 1985 when I mistakenly thought L.A. would be such a city.

In October 2009, the bit of money I made in the sale of my house started running out, so I sold my Camry. For the first time since purchasing my first car in 1987, I did not own a motor vehicle, a condition to which I had been aspiring since 1993.

My 2009 holiday excursions over, I had depleted my sustaining funds by more than one month. I would run out of money in February as opposed to mid March. Pam had been telling me to expect in this economic climate that my job search would take two to four months.

I did and did not hear her; I was on vacation for the first time since 1990, on a five-month bus driver’s holiday that began in the second half of 2009. I got to work unimpeded on my favorite digital projects, this blog among them.

On 13 January, I started sending resumés to prospective employers and started receiving responses on 18 January. On 21 January, my first choice extended an offer for slightly more than I made at my last job (as a professor). The next day, I accepted.

Today is my first day, and the only thing I feel more than happy is lucky.

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That's fantastic!
I hope I get to see you and Pam when I visit the Bay Area this summer!
I really want to hear more about the book and if you will still be working on it.


You are without connection on public transit, so I am doing my homework. :) I am very excited to hear about this new opportunity!