Pearls of Wisdom–The Blog

~~ You tell the truth, you tell it well. In the crowded and fetid swamp that is the job market, that is oxygen.” – a reader

The_Professor_Is_In.inddLove the blog? Now get it in handy book form!

Buy it at all these places!

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It also makes a great gift for all those struggling grad students in your life!

For bulk orders for use in classes, seminars, and workshops, please call Crown Publishing  (Random House) Customer Service at 1-800-733-3000.

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MORE ABOUT THE BOOK

The definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D.  into their ideal job.

Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.’s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers.

Now, for the first time ever, Karen has poured all her best advice into a single handy guide that addresses the most important issues facing any Ph.D., including:

-When, where, and what to publish
-Writing a foolproof grant application
-Cultivating references and crafting the perfect CV
-Acing the job talk and campus interview
-Avoiding the adjunct trap
-Making the leap to nonacademic work, when the time is right

The Professor Is In addresses all of these issues, and many more.

If you would like your academic career to begin in delusion and end in disillusionment, then by all means, ignore Karen Kelsky. If, however, you want unvarnished straight talk about the academic job market—and how to navigate it—then heed her, and heed her now.” —Rebecca Schuman, education columnist for Slate.

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ABOUT THE BLOG

I post once a week, usually on Friday, on topics related to the academic job market, academic life and politics, general professionalization skills related to writing, publishing, conferencing, networking, and scholarly comportment, and the tenure process.

I also put up posts on the Post-Ac/Non-Ac job search by my Panel of Post-Ac Experts, on Monday or Tuesday.

Let me know if there’s a topic you want to see me post on!  I am always happy to put Special Requests into the queue. Comment here, or email me at: gettenure@gmail.com.

You can  always get to a particular Category by clicking it in the Categories column to the right.———>

Please note that as of January 2013  the rate of comments to this blog has exceeded my ability to respond individually to each one. I’m sorry that not all comments will get a personal response by Dr. Karen.  If you have a really pressing question, do consider getting in touch to get on my calendar to work together.  I strive to make services affordable to all.

Here’s a short glossary to help you follow the discussions in the blog:

  • TT– tenure track
  • VAP–visiting assistant professor (position)
  • ABD–all but dissertation (status)
  • SLAC–small liberal arts college
  • R1–top ranked research-intensive institution with Ph.D.-granting departments, such as University of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan, etc.
  • R2–research institution with primarily MA-granting departments

Why Your Tenure Statement Sucks

The Professor Is In has been going for 7+ years now (!!) and lots of our job market clients from years back are now coming up on tenure!  I’m thrilled that so many are getting back in touch for help writing their tenure statements. But I’m horrified — simply horrified — at the tenure statement drafts I’m seeing.

They are so bad.

They are bad the way teaching statements are bad:  weepy, desperate and oscillating painfully between obsequious and grandiose.

I have to confess that I fondly believed that once folks got their jobs and worked as professionals for a number of years, they would leave behind the anxious, pandering, self-sabotaging habits of the new Ph.D.

Sadly, that is clearly not the case.  And actually, I should have known that.  Because when I work with tenured job market clients seeking Associate and Full Prof (and Dean) positions, their job docs are just as weepy, over-emotionalized, and insecure as any new Ph.D.

So clearly, Imposter Syndrome and the “never good enough” ethos of the academy is more stubborn than I realized.

So from today I’m going to do a series of posts on tenure documents.  And please remember: I do edit tenure documents.   The work I do on tenure documents is intensive and highly targeted to the type and rank of institution and conventions of your field.   At present this work is done entirely by me (ie, not the TPII editing team) as I am the one with experience as a) tenure and promotion committee chair, b) department head in charge of tenure cases, and c) external tenure reviewer. If you wish to learn more about working with me on your tenure file, please email at gettenure@gmail.com.

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If you are writing your statements for your tenure case, you are probably doing it wrong. I say this based on the 25+ client tenure statements I’ve worked on in the last few years.  This is a growing part of the business, as more and more former clients get to the tenure review stage and come back seeking help. I’m very glad they do, because I believe I’ve helped prevent some potentially calamitous missteps in their tenure processes. I’ve read statements invoking childhood dreams, grandmothers’ admonitions, family histories, and personal philosophies … statements filled with sloppy errors of spelling, grammar, and capitalization… statements that are nothing but an endless series of cherry-picked student praise from narrative evaluations… statements that are stream of consciousness word-salad of current pedagogical jargon…

Indeed, the tenure statements I’ve reviewed have actually shocked me in their badness. And I did not think I could still be shocked by anything in the academic world.

Of course I cannot know what the clients’ outcome would have been without my help.  But what I can say is that many of the tenure statement drafts I’ve seen would have been entirely unacceptable at my former institutions. They made the same mistakes that I rail against in job documents: they substitute sentimentality for evidence.  They pander.  And they show no awareness whatsoever of the actual agendas of their readers.

While perhaps the facts of the record may have overcome these dreadful statements, in my experience in tenure cases (especially now in a drastically contracting academy where institutions are trying to jettison full-time faculty members) any red flag at all can have dire consequences. Poorly conceived and executed statements can cast a pall on the candidate that in a close case may prove decisive. And do be aware that tenure committees are always hoping the case will be a “slam dunk.”

Tenure committees require the same thing as search committees:  they need concrete evidence of your achievements in research, teaching, and service (and outreach and/or administration, if those are formal parts of your job).  The fact that you are “passionate” and “enthusiastic” and “caring” are not pertinent to these achievements. Yes, at small teaching colleges–especially those with a religious identity – your claims of emotional investment will matter more than at an R1, where they matter not at all.  But, even at small religious colleges, incessant, tedious, repetitive invocations of passion and care do not a tenure statement make. Even there, they need to know the facts: what you teach, how you teach, and the outcomes of your teaching.  That you are passionate about the teaching comes through far more in the substance that you SHOW, than in the feelings you CLAIM.

The reasons that you need to emphasize evidence over feelings is that the statements will be read by a range of people who know and care about you less and less, the higher they are in the college or university hierarchy.  So, your immediate departmental colleagues may overlook a substance-lite, sentimentality-filled tenure statement because they know you, know your work ethic, know your grant and publication record, and know your successful students. So they are filling in for evidence that may be lacking.  But when your packet moves up to the college level, and from there to the campus level, those reviewers who are in fields ranging from Physics to French, from Chemistry to Classics, from Engineering to English… will not be swayed by your earnest bleatings about care and commitment. They will need to know the outcomes of your work: the number of rank of publications, the amount of grant money raised, the number of students and credit hours, the specific named courses you taught and how you taught them, your quantitative evaluations, and the number of committees on which you served.

While the framing of this evidence will vary based on the rank and type of institution in ways I’ll be explaining in future posts (tl;dr: a little bit touchy-feely at small religious teaching colleges, dry and factual at R1s) the core content a tenure statement demands does not vary, because people who do not know you or care about you at the highest campus levels of review must evaluate you, and they have no particular investment in your staying if they don’t believe you yield concrete benefit to the institution.

In future posts I will be digging into all of this in more detail. Topics I’ll be blogging on include (order may vary):

  • The path and timeline of your tenure application
  • External tenure reviewers: what do they do and how are they chosen?
  • The role of your tenure committee and department head
  • Tenure documents at R1s vs. teaching colleges
  • What goes in a tenure research statement
  • What goes in a tenure teaching statement/portfolio
  • What goes in a tenure service statement
  • What goes in a tenure administrative and/or outreach statement
  • Tenure pitfalls for women
  • Tenure pitfalls for faculty of color
  • Why people get turned down for tenure
  • Appealing a negative tenure case

Stay tuned.   And I’ll gladly post on any other topics related to tenure in this series.  So, please feel free to put your questions below.

And remember: Nobody wants to hear about your grandmother.

 

 

#MakeupMonday: Tightlining is the Bomb

First, two funny makeup things.

Me:

And: “I Don’t Wear Makeup For Men, I Wear It Because I Love Supporting Corporations” from Reductress:

Thanks to the free market, there is an ever-growing number of corporations that produce and sell makeup products, and I feel a personal drive to support them in any way I can. For example: When Revlon first announced their new line of lipliner, I was less interested in feeling a sense of feminine power, and more interested in the opportunity to directly support Revlon, which is a subsidiary of MacAndrews & Forbes. Yes, the MacAndrews & Forbes!!! If you’re not a corporo-ho like me, this might not ring a bell, but MacAndrews & Forbes is owned wholly by corporate billionaire bae Ronald Perelman. I’m a huge fan!

Thus capturing the various ambivalences of being a feminist makeup user in 2018.

Anyway, as promised two weeks ago: the upper waterline lining technique I’m now addicted to, called tighlining.  This is where you dot or line beneath and between your upper lashes, for an amazing effect! 

This might sound esoteric, but it’s actually really easy and kind of obvious once you try it the first time.  It’s a “why didn’t we think of this before?” kind of technique.  Read about it here and just google “Tightlining” for many other useful tutorials.

The piece I linked to above uses a brush and pigment pot, which I’m sure is great, but I actually used a product I had sitting around my stash, which I got in one of my many sample hauls:  Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner.

Now, I am actually not a huge Stila fan.  I know people swear by this brand, but I never find that it’s “stay all day” products actually stay even part of the day, or like even an hour or two.  I just don’t get it.  But this particular eyeliner, used for tightlining, has been extraordinary.  Effortless, quick, and exactly the look I’m seeking.  And very lasting!  Also because it’s EXTREMELY dark and very “wet” it applies like a dream.  This is in contrast to two other liquid eyeliners I had around, a Steve Laurant from some old Ipsy bag, and a MAC, that I got at Nordstrom Rack super cheap a year or so ago. Neither of these worked for tightlining, because the product is more dry, and so doesn’t adhere to the waterline without a lot of strife and struggle.

Also, the Stila Eyeliner also comes in a variety of colors – ie a lighter brown for those with ligher lashes, or blues and greens and purples for those who are daring, AND it comes in a micro-tip option, which might be even better for tightlining.  I use basic black, and I’m very pleased with it for this technique.

Unlike lining the lower waterline, which can shrink the eye and be harsh on older faces, tightlining has a lifting and opening effect. Particularly for anyone with sparse lashes, it would be transformative!  And it’s subtle–so very doable for campus wear.  It just basically makes you look like you have 2x the lashes.

I’m really bad at precise makeup-selfies (I need a millenial to teach me!) but here are some efforts to demonstrate how it looks.

Notice I’m also now doing a nude(r) lip for summer!  And… can you see the contouring?  I’m enjoying experimenting with that these days and promise a post soon. Miyako is home for the summer so we’re doing lots of research on products and, particularly, brushes.

Stay tuned!

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Professor Katy Pearce won this week’s random drawing for a package of unused or barely used samples and full size items from my stash!  Remember: just comment on FB and I’ll use random.org to pick one commenter at random for a box of makeup/skincare samples and items.  This week’s package includes Blinc Lash Primer (a cult item that unfortunately I am allergic to), Smashbox UnderEye Primer  – I use Becca so this is almost full – and things by Laura Mercier and Peter Thomas Roth.

Let’s keep this up – it’s fun hearing your thoughts about makeup and I still have more stuff to give away!  But this time, please comment on Facebook with a photo or video related in some direct or indirect way to makeup.  Don’t let me be the only one posting makeup selfies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Being a Grad School Quitter, Part 1 – Guest Post

Adrienne Posner quit grad school cold turkey in 2015 mid-dissertation and now works at Google as a Program Manager for various educational initiatives.  She received her BA in Art History from UCSC and an MA in Art History from UCLA, and then an MA and a CPhil in Comparative Literature from UCLA. She lives in Oakland.

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When I was 5, I told my mom that I wanted to be an English professor. I imagined that being a professor meant that I would read and write constantly, that I would wear brightly colored, perhaps asymmetrical glasses (it was the 80s), and that people would really listen when I spoke. Since I was an extremely shy kid who already read and wrote constantly, I thought the latter two fantasy elements would transform me into someone glamorous and authoritative. When my mom told me matter of factly that being a professor meant that, after high school, I would spend more than a decade in yet more school, I was thrilled: I could do something that I was good at doing and that I enjoyed doing, and at the end of that would be a job where I could simply continue doing more of that. Perfect.

I went straight to a good four year college, and I graduated with highest honors in Art History, right on schedule. Immediately after graduating, I became a research assistant for my undergrad advisor, TAed in my department, even published some things. At 22, I moved to New York for a fellowship in Critical Theory at the Whitney Museum, co-founded a non-profit, and continued to write and publish. In short, I did all the things you are supposed to do to make yourself a great candidate for grad school; I never really considered any other path, even when there were red flags all around me.

When it came time to apply, I applied to all the “best” schools. At the time, I would not have put the word “best” in quotes because I was a true believer: I listened only half heartedly when people talked about the importance of “fit, and though I absolutely should have known better, I thought a big name school and a big name advisor was the most important thing. When I got an offer to get a PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art from UCLA with no funding guarantee, I didn’t hesitate. I moved straight to LA believing that this was the exact thing for which I had been preparing.

More or less as soon as I got there though, all hell broke loose: though I was academically and intellectually prepared, I was not culturally or emotionally prepared. I was intimidated by the other students, my advisor terrified me, and the general environment felt competitive and unwelcoming. It didn’t help that I was absolutely flat broke, taking out loan after loan while I frantically cobbled together part time jobs to pay the rent and feed myself. About one month in, I started experiencing symptoms from what I would only much later find out was an autoimmune disease. I was sick and beyond stressed, panicking my way from research paper to research paper.

I will say now what I’ve never said publicly before: though I ended up making some wonderful friends there, I hated my program top to bottom, and, though my primary advisor proved in the end to be a decent enough human being, the other one was such a nightmare to me that, when I think of it now, it is both hard to believe and almost funny. But not quite.

Despite everything, I made progress toward my degree and finished my MA on schedule. In my third year, once the fog started to clear a little from my illness and I started to get my financial feet under me a bit, I began to explore and eventually to accept the feeling that had been nagging at me since day one: this program just wasn’t going to work, for so many reasons. I still thought I wanted to be a professor, but I knew that Art History – the department, the discipline, the very framework it purports to provide for thinking about “culture” – was not actually for me.

I considered, very briefly, quitting altogether. I even applied for a couple of jobs. But in the end I just really couldn’t fathom a decision that would involve walking away from everything that structured my daily life: the reading, the papers, the classes, the people, the whole system that largely defined, I believed, who I was. After talking to some trusted mentors, I decided to formally apply to the Comparative Literature department at UCLA and to start over – another MA, another PhD program, but this time with a little more support and with full funding.

It was a great decision. My new advisor was a gem. Most people are being tongue-in-cheek when they say “he’s a scholar and a gentleman,” but in the case of my advisor, it was really true. As a mentor, his feedback was always warm and constructive, and he actively looked for ways to support me and give me more opportunities. The other faculty were on the whole also generally supportive, taking in someone with an unconventional background and even letting me incorporate my interest in visual art into my literary work. It was wonderful, a grad school experience diametrically opposed to the first one. I loved teaching, I loved writing, I loved my committee, and I advanced to candidacy in record time. I felt back on track and I was settled, if not happy, in my work for several years.

But during my first 6 months of dissertation writing, something strange started to happen. Despite having the best possible grad school situation – adequate funding, a great advisor, opportunities to publish and present – I was losing focus and motivation. Mostly, I couldn’t stop thinking about the job market. I had a list of unanswerable questions running constantly through my head: What kind of jobs could I even apply to? As someone with an unconventional background for Comp Lit, was I competitive? Was I willing to move anywhere? What about 1 year post docs? Would I do that? Wasn’t that risky? For every word I wrote, I felt like I was performing a double labor, first having to lift the weight of my own anxiety, and then having to lift each word itself to put it down on the page. It was exhausting.

One day, tired and frustrated by the whole thing, by my own looping, anxious inner monologue, I closed the massive document that was my halfway finished dissertation. I never opened it again. Seriously.

The same day that I closed my dissertation file for good, I started applying for jobs in the tech industry. Despite not at all having an abiding interest in tech at the time, I had a vague sense that “they” might welcome someone with an unconventional resume. I could lie and say that it was very difficult and I had to apply to a million jobs, but instead I’ll risk sounding immodest and tell a truth which I hope will be encouraging: I got traction pretty much right away. Though in the end I did apply to a a couple dozen jobs and it did take a couple months start to finish, it was nothing compared to the academic job search for which I had been steeling myself for years. I’ve now been at Google for 3.5 years. I’m a Program Manager and I work in internal education, and I love my job.

Continues next week….

#MakeupMonday: Makeup As Motivator

I’m late with Makeup Monday this week, and didn’t post my usual academic career related post last Friday at all, because Kellee and I were travelling, first to a conference we spoke at in Victoria BC, and then to see our son Seiji, 17, who is confronting some mental health challenges and not currently living at home. The latter part was a challenging visit, and we came home anxious and drained.

We got into town at about noon (having  been up since 3:30 AM), and I proceeded to crash on the sofa, eating chips and chocolate and binge watching weird television (ie, a badly made Smithsonian Channel “documentary” about the lifestyle of 1960s flight attendants). In short, my usual mode of dealing with emotional stress.

I determined there was NO WAY I was going to my dance class (hip hop) this evening.

The day passed, and I felt mostly worse and worse. Not only from emotional upset and eating terrible food, but also from knowing I’d missed all my dance for the previous week while also gorging on large quantities of junk food (inc repeated visits to the spectacularly over-the-top Chocolats Favoris in Victoria —>), and was about to miss it again.

But then, I remembered the two samples of NARS PowerMatte Lip Pigment that had arrived while I was gone.

How exciting! I needed to test those out!  And testing while lying on the couch watching TV and eating chips is meaningless. The only worthwhile testing is at dance.

Ergo, I needed to get off the sofa and go to dance.

Not because I wanted to dance. Not because I wanted to see my fellow dancers.  Not because I wanted to see my marvelous teacher.  No.  Because I wanted to test my new lipcolor.

And, off I went.  Wearing NARS PowerMatte Lip Pigment in Le Freak.

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We danced to this 🙂 :

So, how did my NARS do?

Amazingly well.

Here’s after class.

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Le Freak clearly lasts WAAAY longer than American Woman, which is the other shade that came, and which I far prefer.  But as I discovered in last week’s post, it doesn’t have anywhere near this staying power. Too bad.

If you’re wondering why I am interested in other long-wear liquid lipcolors besides my beloved Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip…. well, that’s because Lip Whip can be a little bit heavy and cakey for regular wear. I do love it, and wear it for talks and webinars all the time. But for running around town in a place like Eugene, it can be a bit much.  So when I learned about the flexible, lightweight “stain” effect of the NARS, I wanted to try it out.  It’s a good product–i just have to figure out the shades that work.

But, the larger outcome?  I went to dance!  I danced!  I saw friends, and I felt substantially better.  Better enough to write this post, in fact, and tell this story.

And that, reader, is how makeup ends up a motivator for me. It’s a strange thing, and I imagine it won’t work for everybody. But right now, it’s working for me. And in the strain and struggle of this season of life, I’ll take it.

In other news, last week I invited all you readers to comment substantively on the Facebook thread to this post, and you did!  You really did! I enjoyed it immensely. 17 of you commented.  And as promised, I chose one reader randomly (#14) to receive a box of barely used samples/full sized items that I am prepared to part with!  Here is the box!

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As you can see, it includes items from Smashbox, It Cosmetics, UrbanDecay, Peter Thomas Roth, and MAC.  It’s headed out tomorrow to lucky reader #14!

This week, let’s do it again!  Comment substantively on this post on FB, and I’ll send out another box of samples or full-size items that I bought and only used slightly.  It’s a win-win—I get to de-stash, and you get some items you might never have tried, and we all get to converse about makeup on FB!

 

 

 

#MakeupMonday: Janelle Monae!

Who’s going to see Janelle Monae on her Dirty Computer Tour in Portland in June, you ask?  At an open air concert?  With a group of 20 fierce and feminist dance friends? Who dance to Janelle Monae weekly?*

Oh, just me. And Kellee!

It’s not like I’m excited or anything. I mean, just because I spent an hour on Saturday playing around with a makeup look for the concert ….

(Silver and iridescent Peacock-colored Lorac shadows, black Mac Penultimate liquid liner, my new Bare Minerals blush in Golden Gate, a nude Stila lip in Perla, Bliss contour palette)

I’m sure this is just the first of many such experimentations leading up to the concert, thanks to the ridiculous yet beautiful Lorac Pirates of the Caribbean eyeshadow palette I ended up with, after trading it with Miyako for a Smashbox palette last year, that has 20 vivid pirate-y shades in blues, greens, reds, silver, black, and more (there’s an old Makeup Monday post about that!)

Anyway, as always happens on a cyclical basis, I’ve gotten bored with the wonderful products I’ve been happily using for months, and I’m back deep in experiment phase.

For one thing, I’ve jumped on the CONTOUR bandwagon finally, and I’ll have a post on that soon, once my new products arrive from Sephora!

And, I learned a new upper-waterline eyeliner technique which is totally cool!

And, I’ve started on some new skincare products that I’ll report back about soon.

All this to say, makeup continues to be my delight and my solace in times that seem ever more despairing.  I mean, when did the smoky eye become a political issue, fer cryin’ out loud, when the wearer of that smoky eye spends her days lying, deceiving, and defending those who would destroy the Constitution? Looks like our political correspondents care more about making the powerful comfortable than holding them accountable.  George Orwell said it: “the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”

Before I go:  a little secret promotion for everyone who read this far:  comment substantively ON FACEBOOK on this post or on MakeupMonday – related themes in general, and I’ll enter your name in a drawing for a set of unused/barely tried products from my makeup and skin care drawer!  These are the products I’ve gotten in sets or Ipsy bags and never used, or used once and set aside. Brands include: Tarte, Urban Decay, It Cosmetics, Sabbatical Beauty, and more!   Fine print: it must be a substantial comment (ie, not just a “nice!” or “I love it!”) related to makeup  – mine, yours, somebody else’s – on Facebook. In a week I’ll collect the names, and do a random draw, and send a little box of goodies to the winner!

*Here we are in all our glory!

 

*My regular intro:

Welcome to #MakeupMonday, my weekly series on makeup; academic and postacademic job market and productivity posts will continue on Tuesday and Friday as usual.

Here is my weekly reminder:  I will not engage with makeup-shaming here or on any Facebook or Twitter comment threads. I support your right to not wear makeup, and anyone who dislikes makeup, disapproves of makeup, or wants to argue that no academic woman should be judged on the basis of makeup (which nobody is claiming anyway), I suggest you come back for my other posts on other topics.

For previous posts, see the following:

 

How I Transitioned From the Ph.D. To Secondary Education – by Dr. Rebecca Simon

Dr. Rebecca Simon got in touch to share her story of transitioning from the Ph.D. and academic job search to secondary education teaching.  I’m delighted to share a long excerpt from her own blog post here, and encourage you to click through and read the whole thing. It’s filled with great advice and links to amazing resources.

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EXCERPT:

In 2 blogs I wrote last spring, I described how I interviewed for an academic job in the US Southeast. Once I returned home, I knew that the academic route was not for me. I decided to turn my attention to secondary education teaching.

The first thing I did was read lots of blogs and articles from academics who turned to teaching, which proved to be valuable resources. I’d also really recommend reading this article from Carney Sandoe (written by a now-colleague of mine!) that advises Humanities PhDs how to go about getting a secondary teaching job. Not only did they validate my choice, but they also offered great advice in terms of the application process.

The second step I took was updating my general cover letter and resume. The cover letter is not too different from an academic cover letter but there are still changes that have to be made (again, read the Carney Sandoe article!). For one, you have to highlight your teaching philosophy: What is your philosophy about student-centered learning? What is your philosophy about project-based learning? How do you approach teaching? How do you differentiate learning? How do you value diversity? How does your expertise/pedagogy shape your methodology? You also need to describe your teaching experience. Yes, you can use your university teaching experience, but focus on your teaching methods and pedagogy – NOT your expertise. Did you use Socratic seminars? Did you lecture? How did you accommodate students with disabilities, learning difficulties, or other special needs? Your resume must be tailored for a teaching job. This is not a CV so don’t treat it like one.

Third, I applied to two teaching recruiter agencies: Carney Sandoe & Associates (who are nation-wide recruiters) and Cal-West Educators (who are California and West Coast recruiters). These programs focus on the independent school sector. You can also go to the National Association of Independent Schools job boards, but for a first-time secondary teacher I’d really recommend you to work with a recruiting agency. Schools turn to those companies first because recruiters interview and vet you thoroughly.

Why did I go this route and not public school? For one, although I earned a California teaching credential, I never cleared it and it expired in June 2017. Another reason is that in California a doctorate would make me too expensive to get hired in the public sector. Education funds are dire and districts are strapped. This is an unfortunate reality. Another reason is more personal rather than logistical. I don’t believe in the standardized state testing that public schools are subjected to. I feel they are culturally, socially, and economically biased and that they do not measure teaching. I also feel they put too much pressure on schools, teachers, and subsequent funding to cater to high scores, which takes away educational creativity and a love of learning. I trained in that area and I had no desire to be a part of it.

Carney Sandoe rejected my application due to a lack of full-time teaching experience, but Cal-West agreed to represent me. The process was simple. I filled out the online application followed by an interview. (This will be either in person or over the phone.) One of the big questions you have to be prepared to answer is why are you interested in secondary education? They want to make sure that a teaching job isn’t just a holding place before you take off back into the academic world. They want to make sure that their candidates are committed. It looks badly on the recruiting agencies if new-hires put in their notice 6 months into their new job because the new teacher took on something academic. Schools pay the recruiting agencies so they lose out. Plus, that hurts prospective PhDs who are genuinely interested and passionate about secondary education because recruiters and schools can be a bit more cautious about those applicants.

Once Cal-West agreed to represent me, I had to complete my online profile. This consisted of several uploaded documents that included: all university transcripts, teaching philosophy, cover letter, resume, and three letters of recommendation. The last part was tricky because I no longer had contacts from my credential experience 5 years ago, so I received references from professors who observed me teach.

The most important thing is to focus on your teaching experience and area of teaching expertise. You have to be flexible. (Research expertise can and will come later on the job, especially if you take part in curriculum development.) In my case I had to stress that not only could I teach British and US History, but also World History, AP-level history, any area of social studies, humanities, political science, economics, and English literature. How did I know I could teach those subjects? Several reasons.

  1. 1) I did my student-teaching in 7th grade social studies (Medieval World in California), 9th grade World Geography and Cultures (multidisciplinary), 10th grade World History, and 11th grade US History.
  2. 2) I was a Teaching Assistant for Western Civilization 1500 – Present, Early America and the Atlantic World, and Problems in US History to 1865 (all of which I wrote and delivered lectures).
  3. 3) At King’s College London I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for The Worlds of the British Empire 1700 – 1960 for 2 years and Power, Culture, and Belief in Early Modern Europe 1500 – 1800.

So as you can see, I had experience teaching in many different and varied areas of history. Each class encompassed a different part of the world at a different time so it was not hard to make any world connections.

This is an opportunity where I was also able to draw upon my research and you can too. All research is multidisciplinary. If you study history, you’ve also studied literature. Therefore, you can teach literature. Humanities encompasses all areas of history, literature, and social studies. If you’ve studied history, you’ve studied literature and therefore you’re familiar with social studies and thus you can teach Humanities. (Plus, PhD in the Humanities? There you go!). Did you have to look at rulers/leaders, governments, trade, or any kind of cultural exchange? BOOM! You can teach political science, government, and economics. Did you write a thesis? I sure hope so because then you can teach writing. Was your area of expertise and teaching experience limited to something specific, such as early modern Europe? Brush up on how early modern innovations spread throughout the world and affected the 19th and 20th centuries. Not sure how that happened? You’re a seasoned researcher and an expert, so you can learn this easily. I believe in you. Your interviewer wants to make sure you can teach all aspects and time periods in World History? You can. I promise. If you’re not sure, pretend you can and read up over the summer.

END OF EXCERPT.  Be sure and click through to the full post to read the rest!

 

#MakeupMonday: A Great Lipcolor Sample from Ulta

Becca! Eyeko! More!

[May 3, 2018: This post and title have been updated. I originally thought this story was about a Sephora purchase, but later remembered it all came from Ulta!  Mea culpa!]

PSA:  If you like Ulta, make sure you order online. All orders get free samples, first of all, but you can also use one of the loads of Offers they always have going —————> and ALSO google for promo codes to get additional money off. The trick is deciding which one promo code you want to use, because each one brings a different free item or set!

Make sure you de-spamify (and de-Promo, if you use Gmail) their emails because those have great same-day deals sometimes too. (And don’t forget Ebates for any Ulta or Sephora purchase, for an additional 3-6% off. PLUS when you get your Ebates rebate, you can choose an Ulta Gift Card and get the amount boosted by 12%!!!  Free Ulta money!).

<——Look at this haul!  It’s an 18 piece sample set; added to the 3 free samples, I got 21 things!  All just for replacing my usual mascara (Eyeko Sport) and lipcolor! (Covergirl Outlast). Sadly, I just checked and this promo is no longer available.

Most of this is going to Miyako, since she and her dorm buddies can undoubtedly make better use of it all than I can (especially the perfume samples-perfume gives me a headache).  In truth, I ordered it just as a fun thing to be able to send to them, although I am keeping a few great finds:  an Estee Lauder primer, Perricone Cold Plasma Plus, and the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. I’ll report back about those.

But one thing I was super excited about was a sample of NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment.  I’m always excited to try a new matte long-wear lipcolor. And amazingly, the sample was in a FANTASTIC natural rose color that I’d actually wear (that never happens) called American Woman, because for whatever reason all of the colors are named after 70s/80s rock songs. —>

Anyway, it goes on beautifully, very smooth and weightless  — much less dense than my other matte lipcolors — yet perfectly opaque, instant full coverage, and a gorgeous shade.

It’s a small sample, so I had to be careful about how to test it out. I wore it one day, and it stayed on nicely. Not like the wear of  Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip or my current beloved Cover Girl Outlast, but also a much more wearable and less “intense” look to begin with. And it wore off in a very natural way that left a light pigment on the entire lip, rather than just a gap around the water line.

But as you know, all makeup must be tested at dance. So today, a hot 75 degree day in Eugene, I wore it to my dance class. Here it is before class, and after:

Unfortunately, I spaced out and wiped my lips right a the end of class, so this isn’t entirely a fair test (also the reason it’s more faded on my left side than my right), but basically, it didn’t maintain through class the way my heavy matte lipcolors do, but it did keep a really great light pigment across the whole lip that looked incredibly natural. I’m going to test it again tonight at my new Hip Hop class, which is even more of a sweat-fest.

So upshot: I really like NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment. It performed WAY better than Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain, which I think it probably a direct competitor that I tried before and didn’t find all that impressive.  And NARS is $10 cheaper than Tatouage!  I’m in love with the color, and I want to try it out in some more contexts. NARS makes a matching lip pencil for all Powermatte colors so that may be in the cards at some point.

But the larger point is: there are all kinds of free samples you can get from Ulta (and Sephora) if you choose your promo codes wisely. And of course if you get a membership, you collect credit to use over time for yet more free stuff. Of course this is how they hook you in. But if it’s a thing that gives you joy, well, it’s a good thing.

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*My regular intro:

Welcome to #MakeupMonday, my weekly series on makeup; academic and postacademic job market and productivity posts will continue on Tuesday and Friday as usual.

Here is my weekly reminder:  I will not engage with makeup-shaming here or on any Facebook or Twitter comment threads. I support your right to not wear makeup, and anyone who dislikes makeup, disapproves of makeup, or wants to argue that no academic woman should be judged on the basis of makeup (which nobody is claiming anyway), I suggest you come back for my other posts on other topics.

For previous posts, see the following:

 

Job X Is Not Job Y (And Wishing Won’t Make It So)

This year I’ve encountered a handful of Negotiating clients who fall into the category of unreasonably entitled.

These negotiators are indignant about the terms of their offers, and feel they should be entitled to more and better.

In particular, these clients view the NTT job with a 4:4 load to which they, in full knowledge, applied, and decide that it doesn’t suit their needs, and that they wish to insist that it be made into a TT job with a 3:3 load.  Ie, to dictate to the department that the job it advertised is unacceptable, and should be altered to become an entirely different job, which better meets the desires of the person hired.

New hires: You are not so special that you get to make job X into job Y.

Of course nearly all jobs can be negotiated. Some a lot. Some a little.  Things like salary, startup funds, moving support, teaching releases, and so on are all possible points of negotiation. You can read about this in my many posts on negotiating (start here or go to the How to Negotiate category on the right). ———————–>

But, what CANNOT be negotiated are the fundamental terms of the job.  An NTT job cannot be made into a TT job because you wish it so.  A teaching-centric job cannot be made into an R1 job because you wish it so.  A 4:4 load cannot be made into a permanent 3:3 load because you wish it so.  Yes, you can ask for a course release in year one, and maybe another in year four.  But that’s it. You cannot, without other formal extenuating circumstances related to the position that arise over your conversation (ie, that you will also be editing the department’s academic journal, or will be directing a campus or departmental program, or will immediately take on an unexpected administrative role on campus) attempt to dictate that one teaching load is replaced permanently with another, easier teaching load, just because you’d “prefer” that.

Who wouldn’t prefer that?

Who wouldn’t prefer to get a TT job rather than an NTT job?

What department wouldn’t prefer to be hiring TT rather than something else?

Do you think they wouldn’t be doing that if they could?

This is just how it is.

And whatever you think about what makes you so special and your record so extraordinary…  you nevertheless applied for an advertised job that clearly stated, in the ad: NTT, 4:4 load.  So, it is operating in bad faith to apply for the job, interview for it, get it… and then try to dictate an entirely different job.

What will happen if you try this?  In the worst case, the job will be rescinded. In the best case, the department will patiently (or impatiently) remind you of the terms of the position, and sketch what they can and cannot move on. But even in this best case, the department will be annoyed, maybe alienated.  It’s no way to enter a new job.

#MakeupMonday: Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist, Sir John

What can I say about #Beychella that hasn’t been said?   As the New York Times review proclaimed, Beyoncé is Bigger Than Coachella:

Let’s just cut to the chase: There’s not likely to be a more meaningful, absorbing, forceful and radical performance by an American musician this year, or any year soon, than Beyoncé’s headlining set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Saturday night.

It was rich with history, potently political and visually grand. By turns uproarious, rowdy, and lush. A gobsmacking marvel of choreography and musical direction.

And not unimportantly, it obliterated the ideology of the relaxed festival, the idea that musicians exist to perform in service of a greater vibe. That is one of the more tragic side effects of the spread of festival culture over the last two decades. Beyoncé was having none of it. The Coachella main stage, on the grounds of the Empire Polo Club here, was her platform, yes, but her show was in countless ways a rebuke.

And concluded: “History is her stage.”

Kellee and I watched the re-play straight through on Sunday morning, utterly transfixed. We couldn’t take our eyes of the screen, and the day’s obligations just went by the wayside. It was a revelation.

Those (unlike me) who are experts in the grand, historic scope of her exaltation of black history and culture and music can truly grasp the accomplishment.  Myles Johnson writes in another NYT review:

But she didn’t just kill the performance; she also rewrote the book on black respectability politics. She could have decided to play to the majority-white audience with a show that made it easier to forget cultural differences. Or she could be herself. Beyoncé chose the latter.

In putting on a show that celebrated the diversity of black people, she conveyed that no matter how much fame or money she has, she will refuse to divorce herself from black culture, even the parts that are underappreciated, disrespected or misunderstood by white people. Beyoncé was performing her music, but she was also saying that the performance of respectability — the policing of black people’s behavior and appearance to better appeal to white people — is an oppression we don’t need in our lives.

Black musicians in particular have long been told how they should look and perform to sustain their success and be marketable to a larger audience. That often meant that black artists distanced themselves from the things associated with black culture, especially the things that might be coded as not-respectable.

Craig Jenkins of The Vulture writes, “We’ll Revisit Beyonce’s Coachella Performance For the Rest of Our Lives,”

It was apparent that Beyoncé was playing for keeps in her Saturday Coachella set just seconds in, when she arrived, bejeweled in an Egyptian queen’s garb, to lead a New Orleans–style second line down the walkway to the festival’s main stage, which was outfitted with a seating rig shaped like university stadium bleachers and a lighting rig shaped like a pyramid, while a marching band gave Parliament’s “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)” a maudlin, ragtime twist. Had she simply continued marching past the stage to a jet and flown home, we would still have been left with a powerful statement about black unity.

Before a single note was sung, Beyoncé’s entrance threaded the majesty of ancient African royalty through bittersweet bayou jazz funerals, ’70s funk’s Afrofuturism, modern-day trap insouciance, and a dab of gospel by way of her band’s tease of the new Knowles-Carter classic “Family Feud,” whose sample was lifted from the Clark Sisters’ devotional warm-up “Ha Ya (Eternal Life).” “Beychella” illustrated through dance, dress, and brash musicology that pride and perseverance are the through line adjoining the last few thousands of years of black history.

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, do what you must to see it now.

<–Side note: As my Sunday homage to Queen Bey, I wore a highly uncharacteristic nude lip like the one she wore for most of the show.  It’s Honey Matte Lip Whip, by Black Woman-owened makeup brand (which I mention repeatedly on here!) BeautyBakerie.  Buy this product!  It stays on for 24 hours without BUDGING!

Anyway, for #MakeupMonday, I want to share some insights from Beyoncé’s makeup artist, Sir John. Note that Sir John was fired from his first big job, at Mac.  And now, a decade later—he does makeup for Beyoncé. And Serena Williams.

Which for our purposes here at TPII shows that the job you think you MUST have, isn’t necessarily your best job.

Anyway, this interview is from Beauty Editor, and it’s really great!  And, for a few insights about Beyonce’s makeup look in the performance (very few! Clearly the makeup specifics were not about to be shared!) read this piece.

What are the products in your kit that you can’t do a job without?

Sir John:  For me, concealers are life or death, because sometimes, in a pinch, you can use concealer instead of foundation. If I don’t have any time, or if my kit is farther away from me than I have time to run and grab, I’ll moisturize the skin and use my fingers and concealer to give coverage where I need it and blend out where I don’t.

Beautyblenders are these sponges we have. Any of the sponges nowadays are like the Holy Grail. They’re like an extra hand, or your magic eraser. I like to go over [the skin] with the sponge to make sure there are no fingerprints, so that things are blended smoothly. So this is like your airbrusher.

Beautyblender Makeup Sponge

Pointed cotton buds are my jam, too. They’ll clean up a winged eye. You can put your line on really quickly, and then just take a couple seconds with a cotton bud and even out your wings and fix everything.

Who makes the best makeup brushes?

MAC has great brushes; they’ve always had great brushes. I also love Artis. I use them for the face; I love those babies. And Sigma has really nice brushes. Brushes are key—they’re very, very important.

Artis Fluenta Oval 7 Brush
 Which brush do you apply foundation with?

I’ll apply foundation with my fingers. My body heat is going to change the texture. I’m dabbling, I’m stippling, I’m layering. Doing that, it gets this organic quality that makes everything a second skin.

What kind of look do you do if you only have five minutes?

If I have only five minutes, which is so often… I hate to say this, but sometimes hair gets so long and styling gets five or 10 fittings. And then they look at makeup, “You only have 10 minutes.” It’s like, do you know how long this guy had colour in her hair? [laughs]

If I had only a small amount of time, what I would do is a statement lip. You can’t look at a statement lip and say, “Oh, it’s just because she didn’t have time.” No, this could be intentionally the statement she wanted to make for the day. Eyes take a little bit longer, because you want symmetry and there’s a layering that happens. So I’d do a statement lip, and a lip liner to make the lip last longer.

What are some of your favourite L’Oréal products? (Sir John is a spokesman for L’Oreal)

The Infallible Silkissime Eyeliners. They’re eye kohls. I love these babies because they’re completely waterproof and they do not move. They go on so easily into the waterlines and once they dry, it’s like cement. I use them all the time; they are one of my desert island products. There’s a forest green—I love green—and I love this greige colour we have, it’s really new and fresh. Also, I like to use half and half. I’ll put a darker colour eyeliner on the top and a lighter colour on the bottom.

 

Pro-Glow Foundation is my jam because it gives a very luminous glow to the skin. It’s sheer but light-reflective.

I love the concealer palette we have. Every makeup artist loves a palette because they can pack lighter, and no one is ever one colour. I mix them every single day. You can cover a tattoo, you can cover a pimple, you can cover dark circles. Also, throughout the week, you’re probably picking up more sun and getting more colour every day so your skin is going to change. Every person should always have foundation and concealer in multiple colours.

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealing and Contour Kit

 

 And a few useful final pointers from Sir John:

How do you cover up imperfections?

First of all, I want to say that there’s no such thing as an imperfect face. I love differences in people. I love a birthmark, or a gap in your tooth. That kind of thing adds swag to your look. When you’re such a cookie-cutter, when you look like everyone else, where’s that individuality?

Okay, so no one loves a pimple. But it’s temporary. Or sometimes, I’ve seen like, hair growth. Not on any of the girls you know! [laughs] It could be hormone things or maybe a pregnancy mark.

So I’m going to give you more coverage where you need it, but I’ll do sheer everywhere else. Women think, “If I need coverage, I need coverage everywhere.” But I want them to get in the habit of doing spot coverage. Minimize your coverage to where you need it. You probably only need maximum coverage on about five percent of your face. Everywhere else, I’ll blend it away so it looks believable, sheer and breathable. I want to see pores and freckles. That’s what you want; freckles are important. If your skin is natural, you can go heavier with the eyes and lips.

How do you deal with darkness around the eyes?

Use a hydrating concealer on top of your eye cream. Look for concealers that are creamy, not dry. You don’t want anything too oily, either. So I’ll use an eye cream that has maybe some kind of de-puffing effect. While it’s slightly damp, I’ll take [the concealer on] my ring finger and I’ll start to tap it in, tap it in, tap it in. It adheres beautifully once it’s dry.

And a final point:

What would people find the most surprising about your job?  

Can I be honest with you? If you don’t listen to anything else I say today, listen to this. So many people work in makeup and beauty and hair. Everyone can do makeup really well. Everyone can do hair really well. But I’m not in the business of makeup, I’m in the business of people. It’s less about how amazing I am with a brush, and more about how I have interpersonal relationships with people and how I make them feel. If you make people feel great, they’ll want to keep you around. They’ll fight for you, you know?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~“

 

*My regular intro:

Welcome to #MakeupMonday, my weekly series on makeup; academic and postacademic job market and productivity posts will continue on Tuesday and Friday as usual.

Here is my weekly reminder:  I will not engage with makeup-shaming here or on any Facebook or Twitter comment threads. I support your right to not wear makeup, and anyone who dislikes makeup, disapproves of makeup, or wants to argue that no academic woman should be judged on the basis of makeup (which nobody is claiming anyway), I suggest you come back for my other posts on other topics.

For previous posts, see the following:

 

 

Hustle to Get Paid – #Postac Guest Post

Part II in a Three Part Series on the Post-ac Transition in Creative Fields, by TPII Post-ac coach, Dr. Ricky Graham

I am a guitarist, music producer and former academic from Northern Ireland. I received my PhD from Ulster University in 2012 and I am now the CEO of audio technology company, Delta Sound Labs, in the United States. My work in the music industry spans guitar and computer music performance, production, composing for TV, film and video games and education. My company focuses on the development of hardware and software for creatives, with a specific interest in modular synthesis and audio effects plugins and has recently engaged in projects at the Technicolor Experience Center in Los Angeles and Stax Music Academy in Memphis. I maintain a personal website for personal music projects and research at http://rickygraham.com and my company website is located at http://deltasoundlabs.com.

Twitter: @rickygraham

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In my last post, I discussed part of my rationale for leaving the academy and how I dealt with the initial anxiety surrounding that decision. In posts two and three, I will discuss what I am doing now in the form of independent engagements and the challenges in starting my own music technology company. This post will focus on independent engagements, specifically on what forms of creative work are out there, how I have acquired this work, and the measures I have taken to ensure that I get paid.

On arriving in Memphis from Hoboken, I searched for local artists, musicians, and venues active in music technology and related fields. My initial search did not yield a great deal so I established a meetup group (via Meetup.com) under the general moniker of Music, Art + Technology in an attempt to connect with like-minded creatives in the area. To start, I kept the scope of the group fairly broad to draw people from all kinds of artistic backgrounds. After a few meetings, I was able to identify key areas of interest for people and get a sense of how often folks were willing to get together. We now have over 300 members and meet once a month to hangout and play music with a focus on electronics and related music tech products. My startup, Delta Sound Labs, sponsors the monthly meetup. Yes, that’s a tax deduction right there. I’ll talk more about starting a business in my third and final blog post of this series.

So, why is this community thing so important? It’s an incredibly valuable platform to let people know who you are and what you do on a local level. The meetup platform is a good way to do this quickly. It builds social capital and this yields opportunities for creative collaboration and independent contracts. It places you firmly on the local horizon. It’s also a great way to establish working relationships with venues. Simply by needing a place to host a meetup, you put yourself in a position where you have to find local businesses that are willing to host you, ideally for free, and in return your host receives the custom of your members. I tried out a series of venues before settling with our current host. While some venues weren’t exactly a good fit due to their location, size, or general environment (meeting in a cafe or music venue was simply too noisy and distracting), the positive outcome of this teething phase was that this was a great way to meet local business owners and see how they run their operations day-to-day, and how they engage with (and whether or not they value) creative communities. While we may not use those venues for this particular purpose, the contacts are now in place for future engagements.

If I have one mantra that I have carried over from academe and from working within a fairly large department, it is that you need people to take you where you want to go. You can’t do it all by yourself. Find a place that allows community to flourish, in a comfortable environment where you can talk, present your ideas, and collaborate with one another. Give the community time to grow, too. It took about three to four meetups to get the scope and attendance where I wanted it to be. You can do it anywhere. So, do it. Be resourceful and build your network.

 

Instructional Courses

Memphis Slim House, the venue for our meetup (and the original house of legendary American blues pianist, singer, and composer, Memphis Slim), eventually became the venue for a series of other job opportunities. My years of curriculum development in the academy prepared me to design and propose courses to music schools and art institutions. Recently, I designed a series of public courses to help musicians get to grips with their music production software (from more of a utility standpoint) but also to help artists and producers (mainly rap and hip-hop in this part of the world) get their ideas out of their head and into production. This has also led to studio session work with Memphis Slim members as an audio engineer, simply by running the course in the same physical space as Slim House’s recording studio. Again, this is a good example of why it is so important to find out where people do the things that you’re offering as a service and to make yourself available to them. The success of your self-employment will ultimately be determined by the types of communities in which you invest your time and expertise, as well as being visible within the community. I think it’s also important to note that I am personally fortunate to find the Stax and Slim House communities to be so welcoming and I am incredibly grateful for their hospitality and willingness to help me relaunch.

 

Expanding Opportunities Through Industry Certifications

Probably one of the most worthwhile software certifications that I’ve obtained in my time as a music technologist is from Ableton, a German company that specializes in music production software. This certification has led to work as an engineer and consultant for studio recording sessions and as an educator within the music community in Memphis, namely at Stax Music Academy (constituent of Stax Records and Museum consortium). This grew into the aforementioned music production course and other studio sessions with local musicians. More recently, I was contacted to run Live tracks for an artist’s international music tour for three weeks for excellent pay. It is also unsurprising that the skill sets necessary for studio and instructional opportunities have been honed through years of teaching music technology at various colleges. Your teaching skills are transferable without too much retailoring or further education. With that said, I didn’t just start making money as soon as I obtained the certification. Depending on the company, you can acquire immediate visibility with these kinds of software certifications (for example, through their company web presence) but it did take time to build a consultant profile and a client base. You definitely have to be willing to put in the time. I started with cheaper, discounted rates for my first round of clients and then built towards an hourly rate that I believe my time is worth.

Additionally, Live extends into the world of software development through its recent acquisition of visual programming language, Max, developed by David Zicarelli and Co. at Cycling ’74. This part of my skill set has led to music software development work for composers and artists, whether it be for use in the studio or for an art installation. I’m currently working on a series of devices for a composer based in Mexico. In short, there are a ton of certifications out there related to your practice that can help put you on the map and help you get work, whether it be Apple, Pro Tools, or Live. Ask people that hold a certification if it helps get them more work. You just need to look and reach out to folk.

 

Make a General Service Agreement

Aside from paid work generated through my business, Delta Sound Labs, independent contract work is fast becoming a stable source of income. To do this effectively, it is super important to work out a Service Agreement with your client(s) that outline the agreed work, start date and payment plan. You can grab a basic boilerplate template from the web but always have a lawyer look over the syntax when you’re done to make sure all parties are protected and you’re not digging a colossal hole for yourself. Having this service agreement template on hand is a huge time saver. It immediately weeds out the clients who are willing to pay versus those who are looking for a freebie. Sending this agreement immediately puts an end to time wasters and it will help you get paid. Make sure you get paid a percentage up front. I charge 50% of each project price tag upfront and I don’t do a lick of work until that money is in my bank account. Your time is incredibly valuable when you work for yourself. Don’t let people waste it. I will discuss contracts as they relate to my business in the next blog post.

Bottom Line

You have to be prepared to hustle. You can’t expect for freelance work to just fall on your plate. You’ve got to really go out and look for it and create a presence in the community so that people know who you are and importantly what you can do for them.