My husband's company was generous enough to let him move with me while I completed my PhD. Now that I am finished, they want him to move back, and I will need to find a job in that area. The problem is that the city in which his company is based has only a couple smaller universities. I'm starting to worry that I won't find a job in that area. I plan on contacting the chairs of the departments to let them know I'll be available to teach, but is there anything else I can do? How do you find post-docs/research positions/teaching positions in cities you don't live in if they aren't posted on websites? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Date: 16 Apr 2012 22:28
Number of posts: 9
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Unfortunately you're unlikely to find a TT job is you limit yourself to a specific city. You should be able to adjunct and / or do the community college thing, but really unless the city is LA, NYC, or such large city with loads of options you're going to have trouble. However, you know this. Unfortunately outside of cold calling the chairs as you plan to do there's not really anything you can do. Maybe consider online only schools?
Sorry I couldn't come up with a magic pill, the market is bad enough when you're willing to live anywhere in the country :(
I had the same problem. I basically wrote why the school was my number one choice and asked my letter writers to do the same. If they don't have positions opening up, start by trying to teach as an Adjunct, getting a post-doc there, etc. Or do something besides academia.
Just call or e-mail department chairs at all nearby universities and colleges to try to get a postdoc and/or temporary teaching position. It will be hard to nail a TT job in the area but not impossible, with sufficient persistence. In some sense, being constrained helps you focus on which schools you need to get your name out to. It's hard but not impossible. And it will likely take a number of years to truly work out.
I am in exactly the same boat - geographically restricted due my partner's work. You should check out the psych dept websites of all the schools in the area and have a sense of what people are doing research on - make contact with people whose work dovetails with yours and ask them if they have funding for a postdoc. If not, I currently on a postdoc NRSA which I would suggest you try for, if you can get it - basically, you're getting your own grant to do a study with a mentor that you select, so you don't have to wait for a specific position to open up. It's three years of support.
While working as an adjunct means working for peanuts. If your husband has a job, then this is not such a big deal; but you have to ask yourself are you willing to work for years with uncertainty of getting that next class approved and all the while making next to nothing for your time? I've had friends who have eked it out for 3 or more years now as an adjunct at one of several nearby schools, all in the hopes that a full time position may materialize. The schools all speak to the possibility of starting a tenure track job, but none have done so yet. And why would they, when they have plenty of us PhD's around willing to work for so little and have no job security (and in all likelihood, no benefits either).
The post-doc would be a nicer option, but only if it is available where you are, and only for a few years. I've had a NRSA post-doc myself and it was a good experience in some respects. But it too failed (as of yet) to lead to a tenure track job. So the post-doc is no magic pill either.
Perhaps the best thing to do is try to come to grips with the simple fact (or not so simple fact) that there are way too many PhD's and not enough Tenure track jobs available. Then we can begin to look for greener pastures.
perhaps the best thing to do is try to come to grips with the simple fact (or not so simple fact) that there are way too many PhD's and not enough Tenure track jobs available. Then we can begin to look for greener pastuers.
Well, from what most people tell me, luck has a lot to do with this. Adjuncting is probably a good temporary solution, and it at least gets you networked somewhere and familiar with at least a few people. While it could lead to an inside track for a TT job, it might not necessarily.
It sounds like a reasonable course of action. But as others have mentioned, be wary of your expectations. That stable job might not come around as quickly as you hope it does, and even if/when it does, someone else could get it! All you can do is your best and be proactive, and acknowledge what remains out of your control.
Everyone has already offered good advice, but I just wanted to share my perspective. I am in the same boat, and worked as an adjunct at a nearby institution hoping to eventually land something in the area where my spouse is located. When a VAP surfaced, I had to fight very hard for consideration, despite already showing demonstrated success in teaching in the department and then interviewing for the position. Though I was ultimately successful, I was the second choice candidate - which, for the record, is much tougher on the ego when you already work for the department! Soon after landing the VAP, the department was awarded a TT line and ultimately chose to hire in an area completely different than my area of training. This new position, apart from being unttainable (for me) from the beginning, also meant the automatic termination of my current VAP. Evidently the administration did not feel they could fund both positions.
Point of my pity party: having an "in" doesn't always help. Some departments start to develp a "grass is always greener" mentality and start wondering what ELSE might be out there - and who they MIGHT be able to attract. I'll be returning in the fall as an adjunct while I plan my next step. Hopefully, not for long. Though I don't see any alternative for myself (or for your situation, as you described it), I did want to share my frustrating experience so you might keep your options open.. just in case.
Hope your experience is better than mine :)
I agree with what most people have already said. I'll share an example that I know of. Maybe it will be encouraging. There was an adjunct in our department who had been around for a number of years. This person was also an undergrad alum from our university who completed their PhD elsewhere and then returned to teach. A position finally opened up in this person's area and they ended up hiring a new professor from outside of the university. Bummer! All the grad students felt bad for this person. However, the next year another line opened up and the adjunct person got the tenure-track position.
I guess I would say that maybe the job you want will open up in your area, maybe they will hire someone else, but maybe it will work out.