I started grad school last August with the intention of taking my time and finishing when I could. Then November rolled around, and we decided to adopt. That's when I also made the decision to take as many courses as I could handle each semester in order to graduate as early as possible. This was so that I would be done or mostly done with school by the time we were matched AND so that I could ensure my next, better paying career as a librarian/information specialist would start sooner rather than later. I even chose - on top of taking three classes in the spring, two in the summer, and working full time - to volunteer at a library in my area for six months, just to have the experience to put on my resume.
My hard work paid off. I took a chance and applied for a librarian position at my current company. I knew it might be a long shot without having finished my degree yet, but I figured that being an internal candidate might at least get me an interview. It did. And I got the job. It's a big step for my career, and a nice little bump in my paycheck, too. Which, you know, never hurts when you're about to spend at least $20,000 adopting a child.
It was the good news and the change I needed.