And so the deed is done! I’ve landed a job as a teaching assistant in a school for children with special needs; quite a boost for the resume, but not for the bank. The salary is embarrassingly low, and I have not worked for such money since my early high school years (granted I’ve been a well-paid lifeguard for 6 years). But it is, nonetheless, a job. The job itself will require me to work with students (anywhere from 1-3 of them) in the classroom, and directly implement the behavioral and education plans each one has outlined for them. The job itself is really an ideal experience for me, as someone pursuing a degree in school psychology. It just requires me to change the vision I had for this time off between undergrad and graduate work. I would have preferred to use my hard-earned degree to make a reasonable amount of money in the time I’ve been provided to do so. Instead, I’ll be pocketing some solid experience in lieu of cash. While a bit of a downer, I know that there are valid and important reasons to pursue such opportunities (I am reminded of this every now and then by Teacher Girl, who remains passionate in her dream job, despite less financial potential).
I still plan on keeping an eye out for some part-time evening work (doing pretty much whatever) to compensate for the pay. Starting next week I have to fill out paperwork and take TB and/or drug tests. The process will take about two weeks, and hopefully I’ll start working in early March (it’s about time)! The sooner the better, seeing as how I plan on leaving work and entering graduate school come Fall (to be expanded on in a future post). This plan in particular has been a great point of stress for me; when do I tell work my education plans? How do I explain the staggered days that I need off for grad school interviews?
For a job I just landed, it has already created an awful lot of anxiety! I’m hoping, however, that I can now just look forward to beginning this job and stop stressing over things that shouldn’t be stressed over quite yet. And perhaps once I have a regular paycheck for the first time since the summer, I’ll feel less guilty about spending money when I’m out with friends. Of course, this spending comes only after the financial resolutions I’ve set for myself this year: a regular contribution to either my IRA or my student loans, and as much as is reasonably possible to put into my savings account!