So…………… We've all been on the market for a few months now. A few people will get jobs, and statistically speaking, most PhDs won't get anything tenure track. But does anyone know when to cross the line from hoping you'll get a job to just giving up on academia and refocusing on some other career track? Is there still a chance that something will open up now, or should I just get done with grad school and move on with my life (even if it means my PhD was essentially a waste)? I don't mean to be a downer, but………………….. thoughts?
Date: 25 Jan 2011 05:56
Number of posts: 7
RSS: New posts
Well there are always post docs, as I'm sure you know. So we could potentially try again in a couple of years. But yeah, I feel like in this market, with this glut of determined PhDs (many of whom have been waiting in post doc positions for years and don't plan to disappear) all of us have to be more open to working in different areas of academia (teaching only vs. teaching/research) or looking into other options. There are plenty of places hiring people to do psychology-relevant research, if that's your dream. Or so I hear. Startups, nonprofits, eHarmony, etc. And those places will hire people with years of applied statistical experience (PhDs) over people with a couple of stats classes (BAs, BSs). PhDs get better starting salaries at those places too. This is mostly hearsay, but it's from smart people, I swear. Keep your chin up. You're still young, at least academically—still in grad school, right? Plenty of time to chase potential dead ends before finding something that works.
I've been struggling a lot with that this week. Had one interview, think I didn't get the offer. Have another one coming up. But what if I don't get that? I've been on the job market in some form for the last four years. My husband is tired of uncertainty and doesn't want me to take a second post-doc. In all fairness, the longer I can't figure out my career, the longer he has to wait to get his going. So what do I do? This week I've been doing a lot of crying. And looking for jobs at companies I think might hire me to do research relevant to my topic. And then crying more because they don't have any openings. I have noticed that people have started filling in the post-doc section of the site with some postings. I think we had better all pull together a bit on the outside of academia links, too.
I don't know if this will be encouraging or disheartening, but I hope the former, so here is my story. My spouse and I were shooting for an area of the country close to our families and so this limited the number of options. As such I applied to a wide variety of places, some were great fits professionally, but worse personally, some the opposite. I applied I've been following these message boards and often finding myself having very similar thoughts over the past 3 years as I've applied for jobs and not had things work out. There were times the thought of looking at options outside of academia did come to mind. I think it all comes down to being honest with yourself, trusting in the advice of your mentors, and waiting for that right "fit" to come along. I felt I was doing everything I could to prepare myself and my mentors agreed. Yet, the results weren't coming.
However, I'm happy to say that just this week I accepted what is basically my dream job, which is ideal professionally and is in a great location, personally. In fact, in hindsight I am actually quite glad the other options didn't work out either this year or in the past so that I could get this job. When I got to this place for an interview it was immediately clear to me that this is what I had been looking for and it was also apparent the feeling was mutual. So while its completely normal to feel discouraged in this horrible process, good things can come to those who are willing to wait and keep applying for a few years.
At the risk of being berated for complaining about possibly (though not yet) getting an offer, I am trying to come to terms w/ the idea that i will likely never work in any of my remotely ideal locations. I was really hoping that a postdoc position would help me be able to get closer to home, but things just don't seem to be going that way. But I guess a job is, in fact, a job and I probably should get while the getting's, well at least to be gotten.
I completly understand I am in sort of the same boat as aannoonnyy and anon-social. I am still in grad school (will graduate in May). I applied for a few positions last year while I was on my pre-doctoral internship (I am counseling psy), didn't get anything. Decided to take the year and finish my dissertation. Moving for a one year position of some type (either teaching or post-doc) was not economicaly feasible because of my husband's job. He has already moved with me twice and we want our next move to be final. This year I have applied to over 30 jobs in 13 different states. I am somewhat limited because he needs to be able to transfer with his job. At this point it is not looking good. I have one site interview (I think). I got an email inviting me on Sat. I accepted and have still not received a response (not sure whats going on, think I'm going to call the search chair). My husband is supportive but understandably tired of the uncertainty. Once I defend I am it looks like I am going to have to start applying for counseling center positions. This has always been my backup, but I know once I do it the chance of ever getting into academia is very slim. So my week has also involved a lot of crying and disappointment.
Yes, a job's a job, but it's okay to have dreams too, or at least that's what I tell myself. My husband is the one now waiting to hear back after an on-campus interview. He already has a job, tenure-track no less… but I hate where we live, it's 2000 miles from all my family and friends, and it's a big huge dead end for my career here. Where he interviewed, the area has career opportunities for me, it's a good job, the faculty are great, it's 2-3 hours from all my loved ones, etc. etc. I don't particularly WANT him to "steal" the job from someone who maybe doesn't have a fallback, but I want to get out of here so badly. Oh and I'm 6 months pregnant, so I'm super hormonal about all this. So yeah. We could just count our blessings and be thankful, but there ARE other considerations beyond actual employment.