Monday's Food for Thought

Monday’s Food for Thought: The truth of the academic job hunt – even one with a happy ending

If your other half is working on a PhD…..then you know the dreaded job hunt is in the future. And with that, the dreaded uncertainty of not knowing from year-to-year where you could be living! (Admittedly, that is the hardest part for me).

I know that I naively underestimated this process. Luckily, we’ve seen plenty of friends walk this road, often with happy endings, so we knew it would be a process. It still doesn’t make it easy, though.

I ran across this article, and for me, it was a good hard look at the possibility of this being an extremely long process. Combined with the fact that my husband is in Humanities (where funding is rapidly disappearing), I am preparing myself that we may be in for the long haul.

One question we’ve been rolling around in recent conversations is, “How long do we hold out for an academic post?” When my husband first posed it to me, I wasn’t even willing to discuss it; why in the world would we entertain an idea like that after he just spent nearly 8 years in school? Now, I realize it’s a necessity; we need to hope and plan for the best, but prepare for the possibility that we might have to do something else.

Is this something you discuss with your own graduates?

Something to think about on this Monday!



One thought on “Monday’s Food for Thought: The truth of the academic job hunt – even one with a happy ending

  1. Yup. Differences being, there’s no “jobseeker allowance” in the US, although I suppose you could apply for unemployment, which is nearly impossible to navigate from what I understand. Also, Jason’s pretty sure he’s got one, maybe 2 years of applying for jobs to solidify his place in academia and be “self-funded” as opposed to the “five to ten years” this author mentions (conceding there are different expectations between Sciences and Humanities). All the more reason to appreciate this stage of life for the unique blessings it brings as well as the challenges, and realize that this is real life, too! It’s so easy to think this part of life is kind of a “holding pattern” but at the end of the day, it’s still what our lives are made of, the struggles, lessons, and joys. Maybe I am just blessed with a realist/pessimist husband, but he has certainly never given me any impression this job-hunting process would be easy, and I am appreciating his honesty as we are currently “in the throes” of it. Here’s hoping for something besides PetSmart!

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