Saturday, December 29, 2012

Links: Careers for Post-Academics (including publishing, teaching, film and more)

Here's a smattering of resources out there in the internet that focus on career options for post-academics. This is probably the aspect of post-ac life that has the most resources available; thus, we aren't aiming to be exhaustive here, but highlight some common themes that come up and maybe direct you to some of the better resources.

As always, we can't recommend Versatile PhD highly enough. #Alt-Academy can also be valuable if you're thinking about working in academia in a non-faculty capacity (e.g. administration, librarianship, etc).


Quizzes, Assessments, and Career Courses

If you're still exploring lots of options, taking career assessments and courses can be useful. Myers-Briggs is a standard and you can take it here. Also check out our book recommendations for excellent manuals full of quizzes, surveys, and exercises.

Jo Van Every and Julie Clarenbach, post-academic career coaches, offer two career courses. One, called Myths & Mismatches, will help you suss out the misconceptions you may be carrying around about academic work versus "real world" work, and it's free! (See a review here.) They also offer a 6-week Conscious Career Choice course for a fee of $179 (US) that aims to help you figure out what you want to do before you start obsessing over resumes and cover letters.  Christine Hassler, a life coach, offers a more general career change course for $97 (US) called Navigating Your Career Path.



Blog Posts About Different Career Options

This is by no means exhaustive, but these are helpful commentaries on different career options for post-academics.

WoPro encourages you to ask yourself how far you want to go when looking for a new career:
When I decided I wanted out, I meant OUT. I meant that I no longer wanted anything to do with the nefarious schemes of institutionalized education. So I thought I’d talk here about the less obvious places to get away to. Of course, a leap further afield is scarier than a well-worn path. But we all know what that one poem said — you know, two roads something something traveled path something something. (Lesson one: if you want to “cross over” it’s important to understand the difference between normal-person conversation and snooty intellectual conversation. Unless you’re in an approved snooty environment, casually verbatim poetry  just makes you look like a jackass. Ditto for spouting equations.)

WoPro has a lot of great links for career-seekers on this post.

(Post)Gradland did a series of recaps from a conference at her graduate institution that focused on alternative academic careers. Here's one on publishing. This speaker had a lot of practical suggestions for skills you could work on developing while you wind down a semester in grad school (graphic design, institutes). This speaker focused on careers in the film industry, which is probably something that feels as pie-in-the-sky as tenure to most of us, but this speaker has great tips! Another speaker at this panel discussed teaching in private schools, which may be an attractive option if you love the classroom (we'll try to cover teaching at the high school level in more depth later).

Finally, here's an article from Library Journal that discusses academic and public librarianship. Although be advised that librarianship is an industry that also struggles with a flooded labor market. In The Library With a Lead Pipe is a great blog that focuses on many aspects of librarianship that might be a good resource if you're considering this career.


Should Your Child Become a Librarian? jessamyn west via Compfight

Stay tuned for more links and resources. In the meantime, check out other articles in this section!


  1. I wouldn't recommend librarianship. It has undergone serious contraction in the last decade, and the prospects don't look good for the next one. Even the people already in the field are scarcely finding employment.

  2. Tom,
    Thanks for the comment and insight. Do you mean academic librarianship, or across the board (public, etc)? I've heard the same thing but I think it's often floated as a legit alt-ac career when you're still in the ivory tower. If you have any links about this that would be helpful for readers, please share.


  3. I have heard great things about the strong interest inventory, too! I know my university has some things like that available for alumni, too. Thanks for the info and tip!


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