A follower on Twitter DM-ed me this question today.
“As we know the academic job market is a shit show. I would love to see a series of twitter posts or blog posts about what PhDs can do to be ready fro when it picks up. Obviously, people in grad school will get feedback/instruction from committees and advisors. But what about PhDs who’ve been hanging around for a bit, waiting for the job market to “recover” (insert laughter?)?”
The question reminded me that although I now frame all of my live and recorded events around the message: “leave now; the market will not recover; there is no ‘waiting it out,'” I have not written it clearly in a blog post.
So here is the post.
The market is not going to recover.
There is no “waiting it out.”
Here is what I share at the start of all of my events.
- The academic job market has collapsed due to COVID:
2. Don’t believe me, believe this Chancellor:
3. Now read this:
4. Institutions are cancelling insurance and retirement contributions and are TAKING BACK previously committed research support from their current faculty.
5. If you’re comforting yourself by thinking, “well we recovered from 2008″…. No. That’s denial. We never recovered.
6. WE DID NOT RECOVER.
7. Also, this downturn is exponentially worse…. (and please don’t see the upward trajectory post-2009 on this graph as evidence the tenure track job market “recovered.” This represents total higher ed workforce, and the growth is in adjuncts, other contingent workers, staff, and above all, petty administrators.
8. So… you who are planning to “wait it out”?
No. Just no. Say no to denial. Move on.
[If you don’t know how, and would like some information and support, you can come to my Going Postac in a Pandemic: Moving On with a PhD In a Time of Stress live webinar today or watch it in its prerecorded version. I’ve reduced its price because of our current crisis. If you are feeling I should offer this for free please know that our small business, which supports several households, is struggling in this covid downturn as well.]
Please. Just say no to the gaslighting by your advisors and peers, academic exceptionalism, and self-sabotaging denial.