After; and before?

[Cross-posted at Cliopatria.]

Since graduating I've become what they call an 'independent scholar', meaning I currently have no academic job but still have the irrational desire to do research. I'd certainly like to be a dependent scholar, but it turns out they don't hand out jobs with your testamur. 1 Who knew?

So there are things I need to do. One is to keep an eye out for jobs. In Australia, we don't have anything like the AHA interview-fests, which sounds like a slightly terrifying (if hopefully worthwhile) experience for recent/almost graduates. Nor does Britain, as far as I know. So job-hunting is presumably less seasonal. We do have the usual job search sites, such as UniJobs.com.au and jobs.ac.uk.

Once into the job application and interview process, one useful site to keep an eye on is the Academic Jobs Wiki, especially the history section. There are also places to share good and bad interview experiences, or simply to vent. The entries are mostly about North American universities, but it being a wiki there's no reason why that can't change.

The other thing to keep doing is writing and publishing. Part of that is knowing which journal to submit to, and part of that is knowing how long it takes for them to get your article through the review process. It's not something journals advertise on their websites (and understandably so), so the only data seems to be anecdotal. Which is why I was glad to stumble across the History Journal Response Times wiki. It might have saved me some grief had I known of it earlier!

Finally, an inspiring blog I recently discovered is Nicholas Evan Sarantakes' In the Service of Clio, which is aimed at providing advice to history graduate students on the subject of career management. It's all there, from choosing a university, to conference strategies, to having a life. For me, the best posts are the numerous guest blogs from people who got their PhDs and then got jobs, mostly outside traditional academia. So it can happen.

I'd be glad to know of any similar resources I might have missed.

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  1. Australian for 'diploma'.[]

6 thoughts on “After; and before?

  1. "I currently have no academic job but still have the irrational desire to do research." Sounds like half the definition of being a writer to me. Heh.

    You know the sharing the fruits of your education with the masses thing? There's always [shock-horror]non-academic[/shock-horror] publications. Cough, cough. Some of them even pay. I wonder who you'd talk to about that?

    Excuse my (treasured) ignorance, but why might it be 'excusable' for journals to be evasive about turnaround time?

    Sounds like a statement of 'good luck' wishes wouldn't go amiss, and a reminder that 'the future is unwritten' seems particularly apposite, perhaps. I don't see a link to 'contract negotiation tips for celebrity TV historians' in your list. Is that one you'll be sharing with us shortly?

  2. we don’t have anything like the AHA interview-fests, which sounds like a slightly terrifying (if hopefully worthwhile) experience for recent/almost graduates

    Just terrifying, I'm afraid.

  3. JDK: Academic journals are run almost entirely by volunteer labour. Turnaround times depend on the unpaid referees, and so can vary wildly; presumably the journals don't want to get people's hopes up...

  4. Who knew indeed. I agree with all of this. I think you just need to keep at it. Was there no advice given while you were studying?

    I have been encouraged to write as much as possible as that is, as you say, very important. I too have found Nick Sarantakes' blog interesting. So many different avenues to consider.

    Hopefully the new year will bring something along.

  5. Post author

    JDK:

    I wonder who you’d talk to about that?

    If you can think of anyone, let me know! :)

    And what Jakob said.

    Ross:

    Oh yes, there was plenty of advice given and my surprise about the job market was just mock-surprise!

    David:

    I was afraid of that.

  6. Too subtle for me then! Well hopefully something will come along and until then then it is write, write and more writing.

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