In the meantime...
I came to Australia under the plan to obtain my masters degree in criminology and then return home right afterwards to begin looking for work and possibly re-applying for the FBI. They had led me on a chase of employment for 5 months of flying back and forth between the branch office in Seattle and in Pullman where I was living and working (5 hours away). After the 4th cancellation of interviews, I advised them I would be withdrawing my name from the interview and pursuing a higher degree and attempting to find out what I really wanted to do with my life and if a government field job was the right move.
While I was set to return home right after my degree finished in January, a little birdy put this idea into my head that I could potentially stay and pursue my PhD and open great opportunities for myself. So I decided to stick around, swap over to a work visa and pursue my options.
In the meantime, I have done nothing but work 35 hours a week and thus eliminating my social life and shunning all friends out as I spend my two days off recovering and getting whatever I need to get done before I hustle out anothe 35 hours. But the more I work, the more I realise I have a masters degree in criminology and I should be able to get far better work than your average person with a high school diploma. Especially since all these security jobs that I work will hire anyone and those whom I have worked with seem to be stuck in the job for years with no possible advancement or promotion. Now this isn't to say that I hate my job, as I have been in the security industry since I walked out of Pizza Hut and started working at Stubblefields in April 2008. Every job that I have held since then has helped me to become a better equipped person with the knowledge and skill set neede to work in any security industry. But there are better jobs out there for someone like me. Jobs such as the FBI, CIA and NSA are lucrative with benefits and travel all over and they are looking for people like me whom have traveled and have the education and experience to back it up. So you'd think I would be able to find similar work outside the US? Sadly, no.
As a foreigner NOT in my host country, I cannot get the work I want as I am not a citizen. I could go through the process of becoming a citizen, but that is equating to more time, money and effort on my part. Especially since I am on a visa, the same would apply anywhere else I go throughout the world. Get on a proper visa, try to get citizenship, then find a decent job. Therefore, my options here in Australia (or anywhere for that matter) are very limited in what I want to pursue in life.
Don't get me wrong, I can find security work just about anywhere here, but they don’t care what degree you have, they’ll hire anyone and there isn’t room for advancement, travel or promotion. I feel if I am to waste 7 years on school to obtain two bachelor degrees and a masters degree as well as put myself in 6 figure debt, I might as well make use of it and come back to proper job that pays well without the need for a visa or being limited due to regulations as a foreigner.
And while the PhD would be nice and padden the resume/experience with the possibility of having full grants pay for it, I feel I can do without it instead of spending another 3-5 years in school. The PhD may or may not add additional pay to my annual income levels, but it would further open up employment for me in regards to teaching, something which I have no desire to do. Overall, I would be getting the PhD because I'd be getting it for free or relatively cheap while I wait for further job opportunies to become available. Which is the reason why I pursued a masters degree in the first place.
Unfortunately though, I dread coming home, because I fear there may be work that I don't want or feel qualified to do and I will be stuck in the same rut a majority of my friends back home are in. However, I would need to come home to find that said work if it exists. At the same time, there are these jobs that suit me but they take 9-14 months before getting hired on as an employee due to background checks, polygraphs and psychological interviews. Therefore, I would be looking at coming home and working a mediocre job for 2 years before I get anything solid that I want. But in order to apply for these said jobs, I must be in the United States to do it.
Having said that, and after contemplating it for a few weeks now and discussing it with numerous friends and family, I have decided it is in my best interest to not pursue my PhD here at Bond University or anywhere outside of the United States for that matter but instead come back to the US to pursue a career position with my degree and get the ball rolling on the hiring process. While I can leave and come home anytime, I still have much traveling that I want to do (China, South Korea, Thailand, India, Europe) and so will wait until the holidays before coming home for good. Potential dates being from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
I still have plans of coming home in August for a few weeks to see family and friends and determine if this is what I really want to do. At this stage, I feel there is no further need to be here and just being here is preventing me from starting the hiring process back home with potential employers. Another option would be to pursue a PhD in the US but most importantly somewhere close to home suggested universities being WSU, USC or ASU (all have heavy focus on criminal justice).
But for now, this is the path that I feel is right for me. It may seem a bit hasty at the moment and as I always believe, anything can happen that changes that path. But I haven't been happy these last few months with what I am doing with myself whether it is because I am in the wrong career or that I just need to come home and get things started. Either case, it is time for me to change that and move on to something better and higher paying.
Until then, Cheers!