Unemployment: week seven

It’s been seven weeks since I became unemployed. I’ve watched movies, read, written, and traveled across country to be with family. I’m even turning my master’s thesis into a publishable manuscript. I’ve applied to about 20 positions in the last 7 weeks, and landed one interview so far. Overall, there are fewer positions on the geoscience job market than usual. This time has given me the time to do atypical things, but I need to stay focused on my career. What is my next move?

Academically, I’ve completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, and a Master of Science in Geosciences, so I could go on to do a related doctorate. Professionally, I’ve been a mud logger, an assistant geologist, a teacher, and a draftsman—which qualifies me to compete for consulting, public service, or general technical work. To summarize, I could do a doctorate, find another geoscience position, or completely change fields.

A doctorate is appealing, but would take an about 5 years, I would need to move, may leave me financially destitute, would place an extraordinary level of stress on relationships, and I could fail. Consulting is somewhat volatile, but it is experience in my field—plus income. Public service, although difficult get into, is stable, and experience in my field—plus income. Technical work could be in my field or not, and might net relevant experience, but would at least provide income. Overall, public service and consulting are the clear winners since they would add financial stability to my life.