The Unemployed Higher Ed Professional Part 2

Part Two! Time to tell you why I am not afraid of being unemployed in this season of my life.

About five years ago, before I got an RHD, I decided to leave my position as a Complex Coordinator at my alma mater. Why did I choose to go? I knew it was time to listen to Dr. Pink’s wise words and grow up and grow out!

At the time, I was in a full-time grad program to become a guidance counselor. I was also working two jobs 1. At a university part-time in housing. 2. At an after-school agency for a middle school. Oh, and yes, honey, it was a lot of work because I also had other obligations in my life.

As I started to like working in housing more than K-12 work, I decided to commit to working higher ed full-time. My job search began. My supervisors and mentors prepped me like crazy for these interviews. Like Bootcamp style, they were super hard on me! But I was missing one major thing, a Masters in Higher Education Administration. So I decided to make that leap and focus on getting into a program while also finding a higher ed job.

So after five years of living on campus, I moved back home. From being free and doing as I please, I was back in my strict home with strange rules due to my gender. It wasn’t enjoyable, mainly because I was starting a new relationship. The authorities (my parents) kept me from seeing my boyfriend regularly. Still determined to find a job, I also focused on finding a higher ed grad program. But of course, I missed the deadline for Fall 2015.

From August 2015, I would apply to a lot of jobs in higher ed. During this time, I started working at the YMCA after-school at my old elementary school. I got embarrassed when I saw my former teachers. I was super in my head. Since I was back home working a part-time job after a degree and going to grad school, I believed I was a failure. And I thought everyone else was feeling it. It’s crazy how much our thoughts create a perception that is untrue in reality.

I still held my head high. Interview by interview, I got excited about the positions. I would imagine myself at the school setting up my desk. Weeks later, I would wake up from my dream about the new role reading the dreaded email: Unfortunately, we decided to go with another candidate who closely matches this position’s requirements. Reading that 50 times can do a lot to your psyche. Especially when you have such a passion for the field. All I wanted to do was work with college students.

In November, I found out that I got into the Baruch College for the Higher Education Administration Masters Program. I was so excited; it was finally happening; I was one step closer to my destiny.

At the end of November, I also got a second interview for a graduate position at a different school. I was HYPE because the job had a salary and benefits. BENEFITS OWWWWWWWWW! Not only that, I was going to have an apartment, and I CAN LIVE MY LIFEEEEEE ON MY OWN AGAIN! I prepped for the position for daysss; I studied like no tomorrow. I got myself together, chile! I was looking good for that interview too!

After the interview, I knew I nailed it. I was so excited that things were coming together. Then in early December, I got the dreaded call. I was immediately distraught that I did not listen to the woman on the phone when she told me I didn’t get the job. It wasn’t until I processed the call with my boyfriend.

When I talked to him, I told him that she said I did not get the graduate position, but they would like me to apply for another job. I also told him they would need me to bring me back on campus again to interview. Still pissed and a bit butthurt, I didn’t want to open myself up again for disappointment. I also was broke as hell and ain’t have the money to travel to the school for the interview.

But my boyfriend put it in perspective, “They usually don’t call saying all that. Them calling you proves that there is something that they like about you. I say go for it.”

So I went for it and studied my ass off. And went in! I was super proud of myself and happy that I didn’t let past discouragement keep me from applying again.

It was time for grad school to start. I still didn’t hear from the school yet. I still was happy that I was in a master’s program and could possibly get internships that could lead me to a new position.

As I sat in a study lounge waiting for my class to start. I got a call, “Hi Rachel, we are excited to offer you the position of RH..-”

“I accept!” before the woman could even finish the statement.

I was so excited. The happiness came over me, and I felt a sense of triumph! I made it through the storm. I was at the finish line. 100+ applications, over 50 interviews, and it came to this. The best position came to me.

Stay focused. Your time is coming; in the meantime, enjoy the wait.


What I learned at that moment. That we can want something for ourselves, but God has more in store for us. If you have a dream, dream bigger. It will happen! Think about what you want, then multiply it because better is coming to you.

That is why I am not nervous about not having a job now. When you go through something like that, you know that great things are possible. Stay focused. Your time is coming; in the meantime, enjoy the wait.

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