I've posted on this board several times this season and always appreciated the feedback. My husband and I were (focus on past tense) dual academics both looking for jobs in the urban area where our families reside. I'm happy to say we both landed jobs, abouth 6 months apart in the desired location, neither are academic but both allow us to reain highly involved in research. My husband moved first while I continued to apply for jobs. It felt like an eternity, but I received the nonprofit position I really wanted. I left a tt position at R1 and I'm thrilled. I'm posting this to let others now its ok to leave academia. I know this wiki is intended primarily for the academic market, but if you are a dual academic couple, expanding your horizons might just help. I applied to about 70-80 jobs, had a few interviews, and one offer. I applied to everything possible ( including postdocs) and sent inquiry emails to tons of places that looked like a good fit. That's actually how I got my new job. So, it can happen, you just ave to extremely persistent. Best of luck wiki- ites!
Date: 04 May 2013 10:28
Number of posts: 8
RSS: New posts
That's fabulous! Congratulations to you both. I'm sure it was a tough decision and took some guts; well done!
Congratulations! I am very happy for you both and pleased that you were able to find insight and help from this list serve to help you find work in a place that will make you happy and that works for both you and your spouse! I hope there are many more stories like that to come!!
I finally landed a job too! After living apart from my spouse for 2 years, and not being able to find academic work despite a great publication and teaching record, I was able to find a job at an applied research center in the Midwest. It is close to family and I can finally make a decent living.
It feels like such a relief to finally step out of the academic meat grinder that I was stuck in and not getting anywhere with for 5 years since I graduated!
I just wish to say to others, that you dont have to feel guilty and kill yourself for the academic job; it has lots of draw backs and you can completely exhaust your self and get nowhere for years. Stepping out into something else is like a breath of fresh air after being stuck in a hot, dank room for a very, very long time!
I second what "so happy together" posted. Don't be afraid to reach out of academia. Sometimes I think we stay because that is all we know . But it can be a breath of fresh air to experience "the real world. " when my husband and I told our colleagues that we were both leaving academia, several of the tenured professors said they were envious and wished they could make a similar move.
I was on a job market this year and got several interviews without any offers. People say it's too early to quit but I'm really interested in finding jobs outside of academia.
but I have no idea where to start.. .any advice?
I have found some posts on this listserv to be very helpful. Some general things posted that I used were:
Getting the Book "So, what are you Going to do with that?" by Susan Basalla & Maggie Debelius. Its for PhD's to find post-academic jobs. It has lots of helpful tips for finding work outside of a strict academic mind set. tips such as where to look, how to learn more about outside career options (getting informational interviews), how to make decisions about what type of career options may work, and how to market your academic training based on broader skills you have learned and acquired that would be valuable to people. More of the content examples come from a humanities perspective, but it is still very helpful and specific examples for science and social science people are also available.
Joining the listserv Versatile PhD. It was a huge help for thinking outside the academic box, and for finding social support from others marooned by the Academic Titanic. It also has a lot of helpful discussions on job options inside and outside of academia.
Another book that I found useful for understanding the job hiring process was: "Why good people can't get jobs: The skills gap and what companies can do about it" by Peter Cappelli
General advice about places to look were:
institutional research at universities,
admin. jobs at universities,
Social Science Research Centers (like RAND, Gallup, PEW, Frost Research Center, other local equivalents, etc.),
Healthcare Research (like informatics, epidemiology, etc,), and
Management Consulting Firms (I-O psych skills)
Lots of options and others too. You just have to market yourself and find out more about them. Some have said on the list serv to expect it to take 6 months to find work. Other stuff I have read suggest that the current unemployment period in this economy is 10 months to find a job. 10 months was more consistent with my experience too.
Use the time wisely, research your targets and apply to lot of places and learn from the experience of each!
I found it took me a few months of looking at a mix of jobs (academic and non) where I learned new things and then… I got phone interviews for every non-academic job I applied to, usually several phone interviews, and a few in person interviews! It was great!
Most of the jobs, I didn't get (obviously) but I did learn a lot in the process and got better at marketing my skills each time until I landed something. And I have learned a ton since then as well! So there are a lot of jobs out there and a lot of organizations that need and want the skills that social science PhDs bring, we just have to be open to them and bridge a communication gap from academia to the field.
Best of luck to you and others!