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Working to get a job

October 24, 2008

PHDMAMAS has provided a nice summation of the travails of getting a job post-PhD for the English grad. I have stated many times on this blog that given the current vetting system, I am not convinced that the effort will be, ultimately, worth it.

PhDMamas post has also raised some side issues with the whole effort to get an English teaching university gig:

  • how to succeed in academia as a single parent (more so a single mom)
  • how a choice in partner is just as important to an academic career (again, more for women) as is college, dissertation choice, etc.
  • how to front the costs of being hired at a job whose wage will barely (if at all) address ones student loan debt (see choice of mate above)

I am interested to explore these in more depth.

  1. phdmamas permalink
    October 28, 2008 5:35 pm

    You raise an interesting topic here regarding the importance of choosing one’s partner relative to graduate study and subsequent academic career. Given Academe’s awful track record for breaking-ups (I need to look up Chronicle’s sort of recent article series on this and do a proper post, etc.), a long-term relationship is considered pretty miraculous. One of the pathetic realities about a choice in partner: it helps (a whole lot) if they are gainfully employed! I just thought of a new profile: graduate student gold diggers (the new financial aid). -Jen at phdmamas

  2. Anna permalink
    November 10, 2008 1:03 pm

    Oh, so true! I was tenured, but had a slacker husband who literally did not want to work (perpetual ABD with angst and depression that became impossible to live with). So, I was stuck paying both our student loans and our expenses for 12 years, until I wised up and divorced. Took a job in another country to get away from the small town I was in, which offered no social life if you weren’t married. Met my second husband who works as an engineer, is well-off, and what a difference it made to my life. No more student debt, no more angst and worry about losing my job. I have free time for the first time in my life. So, yes, choice of partner is important for anyone, but for an academic, you can’t go wrong choosing an engineer. They are in demand in the market, steady workers, don’t have a lot of student loan debt because they only need a bachelor’s degree, and behind the geeky exteriors are often truly wonderful guys. We’ve been married three years, and I couldn’t be happier. He’s happy too to have a wife who writes books, cooks, and loves the fact he’s a geek.

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