Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't give up, don't ever give up..

Problem: we'll probably have a shrunken job market next year (I'm guessing with fewer jobs canceled) . 

Solution: expand the job market.  See, you're thinking that the 'job market' refers to the job market for academic philosophy jobs.  Once you include administrative positions, there are many more jobs to apply for.  Sure you have to 1/2 turn your back on the field you've been studying for the last 7 years.  But I'm guessing they have job security and it may help you choose where you get to live.  [If you're taking the idea seriously remember that a CV is different than a resume.]

I'm not throwing in the towel or anything.  I'm just tossing it out there.

-- Second Suitor


Anonymous said...

Be careful about thinking this is the way to go. Typically if you want to go into admin, you should be a full professor. Most of the admin positions at my school require that you are a full professor. So, to get that admin job, you have to be tenure track, then get tenure, and then full. Then you can be an admin. We have one associate dean who is an associate professor, but it is bad for him b/c he cannot move up now. And since he doesn't publish anymore, he won't be able to move up a level in rank.

Just be careful. It isn't the solution it appears to be right off the bat. Now of course, schools are different and so my comment should reflect I know this fact.

Anonymous said...

I'd sooner fall on my sword (in my case, a Parker fountain pen).

Anonymous said...

It's certainly not a bad idea to plan ahead for the possibility that you just might not get a job in philosophy. In fact, I would say that, even in the best of times, it's pretty imprudent not to have a back up plan.

Personally, I have plans to complete a two year program after next year's job market if I fail to get a tenure track job once again. It is a degree that takes only two years, and after another 2 years, allows you the kind of flex time you get in academia. So in just four years time I could be doing another thing I like to do on my own time. A little less time than it would take me to get tenure at a University.

I think everyone should have this sort of back up plan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:18 AM,what is this degree?Would you share the idea?

Anonymous said...

I'd sooner fall on my sword (in my case, a Parker fountain pen).You're a fool and haven't figured out how life works, have you?

Anonymous said...

6:18, agreed...back-up plan is essential.

However, going the admin route can produce mixed results. First of all, you need only be a full prof if you want to become a Dean or University Chancellor or some other high-up admin position (qualification: more and more university presidents lack the academic qualifications, and instead have a background in business and a lot of wealthy friends who become donors--look at CU Boulder). Basic entry- or mid-level admin positions are another matter altogether.

I know two people who took admin positions in rough job markets, weathered the storm and 4-10 years later scored a tenure-track position. In desperation I tried to go this route and was only able to secure a lowly admin assistant (read:glorified secretary) position in a law school. After 2 weeks they let me go because they knew that I was not challenged in the position. For several years afterward, I applied for admin positions on the Chronicle of HE with a fine-tuned resume (reviewed by a friend of mine who is a Dean) and had absolutely no luck whatsoever. They will not say it to your face, but they know exactly why they pass you up: you're over-qualified! Also, they worry that you will jump ship and leave them adrift when something better comes along...which of course, you will.

Asstro said...

IMHO, Anon 6:18 has it backwards. You should get your two-year degree first, and then go for your degree in philosophy. Get a professional degree in some area that interests you, put it in the bank, and then apply for PhD programs in philosophy.

For one thing, this may give you a small leg up on other applicants to philosophy programs. For another, if you don't like philosophy, you can bail at any point... and, for a third thing, you can give the job market your all on the far end. There are important benefits to being in grad school and knowing that, at any moment, you can pull the rip cord. That's what I did, and believe me, I didn't suffer the same anxiety attacks that most of the rest of my peers suffered once it came time to get a TT job.

If you go 6:18's suggested route, you run the risk of giving the impression to hiring committees that you've given up on philosophy.

Anonymous said...

If 6:18 shared his/her plans, then that would likely be self-defeating in that s/he loses a competitive edge if many others also follow.

I'd guess it's one of those new-fangled MA programs related to public policy and/or health (i.e., something interdisciplinary, since there's no point getting a phil MA on top of a phil PhD). These would seem to add value to one's philosophy PhD, if you're committed to taking that path.

But most of us in philosophy are working in the usual fields (M&E, Continental, etc.) that aren't "hot" enough to warrant their own MA focus or can link to other programs.

So any reply 6:18 gives would either run contrary to her/his goals or be irrelevant to you. Find your own way.