Monday, September 23, 2013

From Dissertation to Career - It's All About Strategy and Process

I stumbled on this website - THE PROFESSOR IS IN. It's a good place for concrete tips and strategies toward landing that faculty job you're after.

Here's an excerpt from the author's "Uncensored Bio":

"I created The Professor Is In  to make an intervention for any ABD or Ph.D. who wants to be told the truth about academic work, who wants to get through the veil of silence around money and jobs, who is seeking an advisor who is focused on their professional, career success."

The Professor is Dr. Karen Kelsky.

I think she is a little too militant about accusing graduate programs and professors for not sufficiently advising students. While some of what she says is true - that in many programs, our advisors do not give us any direction or support at all in how to go about building steps toward a career - the landscape of academia is not as bleak as she suggests. But I do understand where she's coming from and that she's out to help graduate students who are not getting the career mentoring they need to enter a very competitive job market.

Here is a column she wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education. I think she might have gone too far on her diatribe against the lack of advising in academia. Read the comments and you will get a good sense of the dilemma some professors find themselves in. If they were to do what Karen does, could they do the rest of their job - research, teaching, service? It's a tough road for professors too.

But the bottom line for dissertators looking ahead - no matter the situation in your department/school, thank goodness for cyberspace where information is sometimes truly free and truly useful.

So, ignore the ire, but take advantage of her useful material and resources. She has a lot of free stuff, although the website is a consulting site and you can hire her as your personal consultant if you want.

You're Not Alone - Here are some of the members of our group!