In January 2016, I made a big decision. I decided that I was never going to advance in my current job, and that it was making more miserable than anyone had a right to be. So I bought a book, which was called, literally, “The Five-Pound Book of GRE Practice Problems.” You generally shouldn’t judge a book by a cover, but this one was accurate. I plowed through it, re-learning all of the math I had forgotten in high school. I took off work on a cold, bitter February day and took the GRE exam, where I managed to do a lot better than I imagined that I would. It was enough for the nice people at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations to approve my application anyway, which is all that matters.
So here I am, a middle-aged lawyer, sitting in graduate school classes, and in most cases I’m the second-oldest person in the room after the professor. And I ask myself, sometimes, what am I doing here?
The short answer is simple enough. I want to advance my career, and the best way to do that is to build up my “career capital.” I have a lot of career capital. I’ve worked in the area of disability services for over twenty years. I’ve represented clients with disabilities in state and federal court. I’ve written law review articles and scholarly articles on disability, transportation, and technology issues. I’ve conducted training sessions on disability issues in regional, national, and international conferences.
But when I started to look for work, I realized that most of the jobs I really wanted to do were in human resources. And that led to the realization that I didn’t know all that much about human resources as a job. I know my area very well, but I came to realize that it was just one piece of the larger puzzle. The best thing I could figure out to do to get the job that I wanted was to go back to grad school, and I was lucky enough to be able to get into Rutgers.
I live in the red-clay strip-mall suburbs of Central New Jersey, a few miles north of Princeton. I try to take care of my wife and twin daughters. I read historical fiction and listen to Texas music and cook brisket and ribs on my smoker whenever I get a chance. In the little spare time that I have, I’ve managed to author and publish three books. RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY and WREATHED are both contemporary romance novels I’ve written. LIES I HAVE TOLD is a collection of my humorous short stories. I’ve also re-published a book called DESIGN FOR HAPPINESS, which was written by my grandfather, Dr. W.V. Myres, in 1962 – I put it in an e-book format and wrote a new foreword. I am also a frequent contributor to McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and write book reviews for Bookreporter.com and Goodreads.
I’m more than happy to discuss my background with employers, and tell my story, and explain how I can help make their companies better by providing accommodations to employees with disabilities.