It's funny how one can have a seemingly insignificant conversation early in the day, only to realize later that all the stars seem to align or the universe is at least trying to send some sort of message. Today was one of those days. My boss came in this afternoon to talk about my contract. I love my job, part time though it may be, but I also know that my contract expires at the end of spring and so my job as I know it may not exist within a few months. My job is funded through grants, so when foundations can't or won't offer to extend the grants (or ask us to write a new proposal), there goes the job-funding.
Part of my work involves managing grants. I love to do this because I love organization and efficiency. And this means that when my job asks that I create a streamlined mini-grant process so that others can apply to our organization for micro-grants, I can do that no problem. And I can do it in such a way that my boss, someone experienced with grants, is impressed. So impressed, in fact, that he suggested I consider creating a for-profit or non-profit business where I help organizations and educational institutions with grants.
It was an intriguing idea. But how to start? And when? I am busy with this dissertation and with some other academia, but if my contract can't be renewed and I don't find another place to work (difficult in this economy -- there are currently ZERO jobs for which I am qualified posted in my field within a two-hour driving radius -- and I am quite qualified for many things), then I need to start creating a job for myself. Imagine my surprise when, at the end of a long meeting this evening, someone walks up to me and says "So, you know grants? I'm part of an organization that [insert description here of a place that I would love because it works with "thugs" and I enjoy doing that], and we are going to meet with a national organization next week about applying for a federal grant. Would you be interested in helping us?"
But I also must be realistic about everything else in my life. And so I've asked this person to e-mail me with details and then I'll think about it and see what happens. I can already tell that there is going to be a lot of conversation around this, pages written during my morning writing time, and lots of walks with Lotus necessary to see where to go from here.
I know that I still want to stay in education. I want to work with young adults and adults. There are so many things that I could do, some more appealing to others.
Maybe this is just a stepping stone to what I really want to do. Or a Detour sign on Life's Highway. Maybe it's practice for something I'll need later in life. Or a connection that I need now. Or maybe it's a lot of hooey. I don't know.
But I do find it funny that these conversations happened on the same day.