They’re everywhere.

Just about everyone has one these days. They’re more than a passing fad and while they seem to be getting more rare all the time, they’re more important than ever.

Jobs. Work. Occupation. Vocation. Whatever it is that you do (or would like to do) to get paid.

Whatever you want to call it, you probably either have one, or you want one. I know I do (and I know my wife wants me to).

By the end of June, I will officially be calling it quits here at the University of Portland. My hall directing days will come to an end here, and I will be moving on up…or down, to Southern California.

You see, it’s a strange thing, quitting your job and not knowing where your next one is going to be. I’ve been applying for many, many, MANY jobs over the last six months, with a few hits here and there, but absolutely nothing to show for it.

When you get to a point, like I’m sure many of you have been, where you can see the end of your job coming, whether it’s a few months, weeks or even just a few days out, it’s a bit disconcerting to not have anything lined up afterwards. I know we’ll be in LA–my wife got into grad school there, so we’re making the trek down in July–but I have no idea where I’ll be working, or what I’ll be doing.

It’s a bit scary, to be honest.

I have a BA in English, and an MS in college counseling and student development. With those credentials (and with where my passions lie), I want to stay within student affairs. Whether that’s as a hall/residence director, associate director of student activities, area coordinator, orientation director, whatever–but in college student affairs.

However, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about changing occupations. And I do mean to say “thought”. I’m not sending any applications to Jiffy Lube, or brew schools or anything, but the thought has crossed my mind. While being a barista at a local coffee shop might be a bit easier to attain, I have a feeling the passion and value in my work might take a nosedive.

And of course, many of those little, “What if’s” and “the grass is greener” paranoid cliches have entered my mind from time to time over the last 6 months.

And through all the doubt, fear of failure, fear or rejection, and actual failure and rejection throughout the job application process, the only method I’ve used to successfully countered those thoughts is to simply keep applying. It’s pretty straightforward, and maybe even sounds a bit dumb, but frankly there’s not really much else to it.

When life’s got you down, you’re looking for a job and nothing positive’s really happening: just keep applying.

When you’re passionate about a field and feel truly called to a specific vocation: just keep applying.

When you’ve applied for every single job your wife has sent you and you still haven’t heard anything back from any of those schools: just keep applying.

Point being: Don’t give up.

Like my wife says, “Applying for a job is a full time job.” (sans paycheck)

It seems like it would be pretty easy most days to just throw in the towel, maybe go back to school, or even just take that job at a local coffee shop. But if I’m truly genuine about my love of the field of student affairs, if I really think I can be an asset to a school, if I think I can make even a small difference in the lives of students, then I have no other recourse than to just just keep applying.

And that is what I’ll do…

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