I’m happy to share another digest. Stories of leaving academia have migrated over to the Professor Is Out FB group so I don’t get them in my inbox much anymore… But suffice to say, there are PLENTY of those too!
Negotiating Client: Karen– thank you so much for your help. It’s almost exactly two years to the day that I first wrote asking for help with a cover letter. When I first approached you, I was a frazzled anxious grad student prone to self-minimizing and self-sabotage. Through our work together, I’ve learned to confidently articulate the value of my research and teaching. I only regret that I didn’t get my hands on your book sooner! It would have saved me so much grief and wasted time.
Negotiating Client: Assistant professor, R1, STEM: “I worked with Karen on a tenure-track offer negotiation (after reading several of the great blog posts on this topic on the website). Karen was incredibly responsive, direct, and helpful in understanding how much was OK to ask for at this particular institution as well as how to phrase the request professionally and effectively. I asked for additional funds to support a small pilot project and a 10% increase in salary above their original offer, and they said yes to both requests.”
Negotiating Client: Thank you for being a rational voice throughout this process. I was also advised by a retired senior colleague in my field, but having your perspective outside of my field is very valuable.
Negotiating client: Many thanks–I think working with you made the job market experience a bit easier. It is, as I am sure you know, a very stressful time for many of us. Thank you for your work and for hanging in with us. Best wishes, and I might reach out in the future as I need.
Negotiation client: Thanks for all your help! It not only gave me the confidence to ask for what I deserve, but to understand what was possible.”
TT job offer, client: I am writing to thank you for being honest and open about things academic! I have talked to you and your partner two years ago as I was getting ready for a campus visit at XXX. I didn’t get that job but I used your pointers from our talks and your book and finally this year got a tenured track offer from a less fancy but very welcoming university. … Either way I want to thank you for fighting the good fight and letting grad students know about the very bumpy and unkind road ahead. Our advisors are clueless.
TT job offer, client: I want to let you know that I have been following all of your work since I started my job search last year. I have your book and have watched many of your webinars. From the cover letter, to the campus visit, to what to wear, to negotiations, and so much more I have been guided by you. The way you demystify the process encouraged me (an immigrant who came here in 2009 without speaking a word of English) to put myself out there and apply. And it worked!
Leaving Academia Workshop participant: Dr. Karen Kelsky has a wealth of knowledge about life inside of academia and how to strategically pivot out of it. She offered lots of helpful tips on how to begin to envision and make a life outside of academia while acknowledging the emotional trauma and burnout many of us shoulder in this process. The chat and Q&A during the workshop made it feel like a really supportive community and I would love to continue to connect with everyone here via Zoom (maybe doing peer support with feedback in small breakout rooms?), LinkedIn, or other opportunities.
Leaving Academia Workshop participant: Thank you for the amazing workshop, which had greatly helped me look at my own situation in academic using a wider angle. I am glad that I, as well as other scholars joining this workshop, am not alone. I look forward to more workshops like this. Thanks again!
Grant client: Hi Karen, I want to express my deepest gratitude for all your help in my postdoc project and CV! It has been super helpful. Thank you very much! It is really what I was looking for. I should have known about you and contacted you much earlier in my career! You do a great job. Please keep on doing that. I hope to let you know the good news when they come 🙂
Grant client: I want to thank you again for the Grant template in your book and webinar. I have applied to 4 grants for different research questions in the past year and a half, and all 4 got funded. The last one was for 1.1 million dollars. This is no coincidence. I’m speechless.
TT offer, reader, Ph.D., regional state institution, STEM. I read again and again the part in the book about initial screening interviews as I crafted my short but impactful responses, and nearly all schools that I interviewed for invited me for the second round. From start to finish, the book (and the blog) contained information that fundamentally changed the way I approached my job search. More importantly, it was also “therapeutic” to read the book/blog entries during the long and arduous job search and I very much appreciated the sense of community it created.
TT job offer, reader: I’m writing to thank you for your book. I had read through the blog and decided to buy it. Even while coming from an institution with a fully staffed professional development department for Ph.D. students on the market, I appreciated the tidbits and used the text from your negotiation chapters and plan on using the grant writing formula. I was able to negotiate a 5k increase in my salary as well as course deferments and a summer research stipend.
TT job offer, reader: I just signed my contract and will begin in the Fall. I’ll recommend this to my friends still in grad school and those who are planning to go.
TT offer, reader, PhD, Epidemiology, R1. I read the book and the blog while drafting application documents and preparing for interviews. At the time, I didn’t know many people who had gone through this whole process themselves, so Karen’s honest and clear directions were especially helpful for getting started and better understanding what search committees are looking for. I am incredibly grateful and highly recommend these resources!