In the coming months, facing uncertainty head-on and doing what you can to prepare for multiple possible job outcomes is the best thing you can do for your future self, advises Derek Attig in his newest post on Inside Higher Ed.
“I’m going on the faculty job market this fall. But it’s so competitive. What if I don’t get a job?”
“I thought I always wanted to be a professor, but lately I’m not sure. I’ll probably send out some faculty applications this year, but I’m open to other things, too. But how can I do both?”
“Whatever happens, I want to be done with grad school next May. How do I keep my options open, jobwise?”
These are questions I hear every year from Ph.D. students, but I’ve been hearing them more than ever this year. Facing a wildly uncertain, mid-COVID-19 faculty job market this fall, these students are planning for multiple possible futures. It’s something I wish every grad student interested in pursuing faculty jobs would do. And all the more so this year.
As in so many areas, the coming months are likely to be hard. It may be tempting to focus on only one thing. But facing uncertainty head-on and doing everything you can to prepare for multiple possible outcomes is the best thing you can do for your future self. In this post, I provide some guidance for how to prepare this year for different possibilities, including both faculty and nonfaculty positions. Read the full post on Inside Higher Education for tips on how to balance both searched logistically AND emotionally.
Derek Attig is the Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development for the Graduate College. After earning a PhD in History here at Illinois, Derek worked in nonprofit communications and instructional development before joining the Career Development team. A devotee of libraries and all things peculiar, Derek is currently writing a book about bookmobiles.