Thursday, December 04, 2008


I don't have time for a long post tonight.  I've been trying to post as much as I can, but life has slide through my fingers like water over the last few months.  Or crumbled in my grasp.  Or something like that.  

It's not all bad.  It's a chiropractic readjustment of my psychic spine.  What keeps me vertical, in-line, head up?  Who the hell knows?

I've been reviewing my resume lately--in part trying to figure out how I got here, as though studying the "work history" blocks on this thing would help me.  There's a separate section for education, and there was an awful lot in that (I am severely over-educated--probably in the middle ages I would have been bled to remove excess knowledge).  Then there was a block about the surprisingly wide variety of activities I'd done for Alice James Books: small donor bundling fundraising, book publicity (media), manuscript screening.  And a handful of other arts activities.  There was a more or less self-promotion section--important if I were looking for an academic job, I guess--publications, readings, workshops.  And the dreaded "work history."  This involves two separate blocks for my current job, one on staff, one of much longer duration for consulting, a stint at a private school, a stint as a teaching fellow at the university at which I earned my doctorate, work for a Senate committee, work for an arts trade association.  Several of these positions were quite junior, but at least they were for interesting places.  

And I looked and looked at this stuff.  I even mocked up a section, half in jest, about "PRIMARY CAREGIVER FOR DISABLED CHILD," and listed all the stuff I do for Robert: medical manager, insurance manager, caregiver coordinator.  I added all kinds of solid resume verbs and represented my various tasks.  Actually, it looked kind of impressive:


Medical Manager, Education Coordinator, Summer 1998-present

Supervise all aspects of care for child with basal ganglia disease of unknown etiology.  Work with multiple pediatric specialists to develop care and treatment plans; manage health insurance and prescription drug benefits, including knowledge of extent of benefits, acquisition of appropriate authorizations, and develop understanding of and solutions to billing problems and explanation of benefits forms; work with physical therapists to identify and acquire appropriate durable medical equipment.  Work with school staff to develop appropriate Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in accordance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations; field questions from school staff; meet with school staff when necessary.  Supervise and provide training to  childcare providers and respite workers.

Too bad people would laugh at me if I actually had it on my resume.  Oh, and I forgot to add taking him to therapy appointments and working with physical therapists.  Maybe I should list the names of the medical specialists?  But I've spent ten years of my life doing this--don't I deserve some kind of career credit for it?  It's been both a labor of love and a job.  

I filed it under "significant non-paid experience" along with the Alice James stuff, which was volunteer work.  

And does all of this add up to an honorable column of work?  There are gaps, sudden career shifts--things all over the map!  Arts, education, public-policy related work, entry level jobs.  It's a resume that makes no sense.  Anyone who looked at it would wonder what my objectives were, why I'd moved from this to that, why the gaps were there.  

I'm going to try talking to female friends who work and have careers with or without children, but without the obstacles I've faced and try to figure out what can be salvaged of my professional life.  Let's hope they don't just gasp!


Elizabeth said...

I love this. I think we should start a blog for special needs parents' resumes. It'd be BIG.

jeneva said...

That sounds really interesting--what are the parameters? How do we start?