After a decent break to adjust to the new organizational flow of the Office of Graduate Studies (yes, we are still here!!) I came across a forum topic that has inspired this first post of our “new age.” UTA worked and worked and has now declared that the organizational flow of the Office of Graduate Studies is sustainable.  This new work flow was officially implemented on tax day (April 15th – so it has been one day).  Is it sustainable?  I don’t know.  This word, “sustainable,” really stuck with me.

When I think of sustainability, I think of the perplexing question, “How long can this be done?”  This is particularly difficult to answer when one doesn’t actually know what one will be doing.

One reader posted to the wall of Versatile Ph.D (a great site, so definitely become a member, its free) a question much like the one posed above.  She asks whether applying for an entry level position or networking would be a better way of getting a foot in the door.  She does, after all, have various degrees and an entry level position is… ENTRY LEVEL!  How long can she take it? How will her peers view her? Will she get stuck in that position?

Not one response was “No, don’t apply.”  I agree – always apply.

Another response focused on honesty and making an agenda known from the start, which I completely agree with.  Typically, the three-ring-circus that is the professional world consists of networking to get a job, the job then gets you a better job where you already work, then more networking gets you a better job at a better place, and the cycle continues until you are Master of the Universe.  Some people hide this fact – others embrace it.  If you are actively planning on a promotion in order to be happy at the company in which you are applying, you should definitely embrace the cycle and let them know that.  If they understand where you are coming from, then you can both work together to ensure that a symbiotic relationship is created from the start.  If the hiring manager scoffs and you see an eye roll – GOOD.  Then you know that upper management probably doesn’t prioritize upward-bound futures for their employees (i.e. don’t work there).