Let The Games Begin!

“I don’t need to see the Hunger Games.  I’m on the tenure track job market.”   (remark on the Professor Is In Facebook page).

Hello readers!  I’m back.   Italy has been visited (and loved) and Oregon’s delightfully temperate summer thoroughly enjoyed, and now it’s time to get back to work for Fall.

I know it’s a tad early for those of you still in denial.  But jobs are posted and blood pressure is rising.  Dr. Karen is at the helm!


One announcement and two changes for the 2013 job season.  First, the announcement.  The waiting list to start work with me extends into the first week of October.  That is still time to make some of the deadlines of the typical fall market…but not a lot of time.  If you’re thinking of working with me, please don’t delay getting in touch.

Second, due to the intensity of the work already underway, I’ll be posting on the blog only once a week for the interim.  I hope to return to twice a week blogging after the Fall rush.  I haven’t quite decided on the posting day yet, but this week, it’s Tuesday!

Third, as promised, I’m inaugurating a regular series of webinars.  As you know we did the first trial webinar back in June, and it was terrific!  People seemed to like it, and it got great feedback.   I like the technology most of all because it allows for real-time interaction with the participants.  I present things, you ask questions, and I answer them.  We can get very specific and targeted, very quickly.

I’m planning to do two webinars a month on different topics, including:

What You Need To Know Now on the Tenure Track Job Market

Surviving Your First Year on the Tenure Track

How to Write a Winning Grant

Making a 5-Year Plan

There will be others, and if you have a special request for a topic, please by all means put it in a comment here on this post.

The first webinar is actually the day after tomorrow (Thursday August 9) so I’m using today’s blog post to announce it, as there is little time to get the word out.   From next week I will begin blogging on my regular job market and life-in-academia topics.  One blog post coming up is on the value of rage.  Another is on how job seekers damn themselves with faint praise.  Stay tuned.

I am putting live links to checkout in this blog post, so you can sign up for the webinars directly from here.  Both webinars that are currently scheduled are $100.

The perennial question is, how different are the webinars from the blog posts?  Are they redundant?  And a related question—if I’ve worked with Dr. Karen on my job materials, is there anything new for me in the webinar?

Answer: I’m committed to making these webinars valuable for anyone, including those who have read my blog posts or worked with me.  I use the time to go into the principles and the subtleties of powerful writing and verbal self-expression that I don’t get into in a short blog post, or in work on a specific job document.  I make a point to share bad examples from actual client work (anonymous of course) so that the pitfalls are clear.  And then I demonstrate how to fix them.  And the Q and A time allows for answers to individual questions and concerns.   Strategy webinars like “Surviving Your First Year on the Tenure Track,” meanwhile, focus intensively on issues of planning and self-protection that are much better suited to a conversation than a written post.  If you have any specific concerns or questions about whether a webinar is suitable for you, please do email me to ask at gettenure@gmail.com.

Here’s the info:

1)  “What You Need to Know Now About the Tenure Track Job Market”—$100

In this 90-minute webinar I walk you through the conditions of the current American job market, the most common mistakes made by job-seekers, and the ways you can maximize your chances of success while looking for a tenure-track job.

We’ll cover:

*The big-picture conditions of the U.S. tenure track job market
*How to think like a search committee
*The four core qualities of a successful tenure track job candidate
*The Cover Letter: why yours probably sucks, and how to fix it
*The CV and Teaching Statement: common mistakes
*The three keys to academic interviewing

***To make this webinar useful even to those who have worked with me on their job documents, I focus also on the most common intangible pitfalls of the job market that I have identified after a year of working with clients. These include:

*the narcissism trap

*showing, not telling


*the perils of obstinacy

Includes 30 minutes of Q and A with Dr. Karen.

This 90-minute Webinar will be offered at: Thursday August 9 at 4 PM Pacific/7  PM EST/23:00 GMT

Cost:  $100

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2) Surviving Your First Year on the Tenure Track—$100

In this 90-minute webinar I walk you through the biggest challenges of the first year on the tenure track.  Topics we cover include

  • Dealing with new colleagues
  • Handling department politics
  • Finding mentors
  • Establishing a classroom persona
  • Learning to say no to service
  • Establishing a conference schedule
  • Protecting your writing time (and mental health!)

Most importantly, I walk you through the planning that you need to do, from year one, to situate yourself for your eventual tenure case.

This webinar is based on the advising meetings I used to have as Department Head with my first year assistant professors. They all got tenure.  It’s fun, but hard core!

This webinar complements the blog post, Advice For Your First Year on the Tenure Track, but focuses directly on hands-on recommendations for dealing with treacherous departmental politics and laying the groundwork for your tenure case.

Includes abundant time for Q and A with Dr. Karen!

This webinar will be offered Tuesday August 14, at 4 PM Pacific/7 PM EST/23:00 GMT

Cost: $100
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About Karen Kelsky

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.


Let The Games Begin! — 5 Comments

  1. Hi Dr. Karen!

    Will these Webinars be accessible to watch after the original date/time? I would love to participate in the first one, but I will be at a conference doing job interviews (eeeek!!).

    • The way I’m dealing with this now is rather to reschedule a separate webinar time for those who cannot make it. I’ll keep note of your name on the list. If you have a request for a particular week, let me know.

      • This was my question too – I’m an hour ahead of GMT and would love to attend the TT one coming, but midnight is too late for me to function properly. Next time!

        • OK, noted. I can offer a US morning webinar for gmt-related folks. If more people comment here to that effect, I’ll schedule it.

  2. Karen,

    If you could do a webinar on book proposals and its associated documents, that would be great. I know you’ve already done some posts on the book proposal and how to approach an editor at a conference, but I’d love to know things such as what should go in a cover letter vs. book proposal.


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