Gender Gap Persists – No surprises here

On the heels of yesterday’s post about the burden of household work, I came across this New York Times article, “Americans Value Equality at Work More than Equality at Home.”  It’s parsing apart this study from the Pew Research Center on “Americans see different expectations for men and women.” 

So on the good news (and common-sense): the vast majority of folks say that men and women should be equal in both “the public sphere of work and the private sphere of home.” But…

“Most say that while women should have the same opportunities as men to work…they should do more homemaking and child-rearing.” 

Claire Cain Miller, “Americans Value Equality at Work More than Equality at Home,” New York Times, 3 December 2018

When you read the Pew analysis of the study, “men face a lot of pressure to support their family and to be successful at work.” Hmmm. Let’s see. You know who *also* faces increased pressure to support their family? Who else might need and or want to be successful in their careers?

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In which I (continue to) fangirl all over Michelle Obama

This morning I came across the NPR story, “Michelle Obama’s Take on ‘Lean In’? ‘That &#%! Doesn’t Work’.” Ahh, let’s take a moment and remind ourselves what it was like to have a first lady of such wisdom and poise, shall we?

Those were some good days. I miss the Obamas!

After her comments, though, now I am an even bigger fan of Michelle Obama. Not only does she curse (first ladies! they’re just like us!), but she reminds me of the very valid criticisms of Lean In, the ones that I too often forget.

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A template for a tailored cover letter

Having a great cover letter isn’t nearly enough. As in “a” singular cover letter. In this job market you must tailor each and every cover letter and resume to the job you are applying for. 

When I was on the job market after grad school, there was an opening in my field, in an organization where I had volunteered for a semester. When I applied, I didn’t even get a first-round interview. Why? When I asked my intern supervisor for feedback, she said that in order to make it past the intial screening, I needed to “be sure to clearly and unequivocally address every single minimum and desired qualification.”

What she meant was that the hiring committee needed an apples-to-apples comparison. A way to use your application as a checklist against their job ad. That makes it easy for them to easily and quickly calculate how you stack up against each and every qualification they are screening for.

You Need Your Cover Letter to Cover your Bases

So here’s my step-by-step for you for a template today to help you avoid my mistake. 

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On Grad School & Mental Health

In the not-at-all-news for anyone in grad school category, here’s a fresh take: “Graduate School Can Have Terrible Effects on People’s Mental Health.” 

Intense work expectations? Check.

Lack of sleep and social life? Sure. But isn’t that the charm? 

Little pay? Yup. When I was making $10k a year as a graduate assistant (in 2003), my dad once said: “I know you aren’t making much money. When I was getting my Ph.D., I was only getting paid $9,000 a year!” Reality check, Dad: that was 1971. When strawberries were 29 cents a pound. (Yes, I looked it up).  

And when Ph.D. students weren’t saddled with the student loans of today.

Why wouldn’t grad students be plagued with anxiety and depression? 

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Who to turn to for Career Advice

Even though I don’t work directly in teaching or with students anymore, and my husband has left adjuncting for greener alt-ac pastures, I don’t think I’ll ever stop thinking of my life in terms of semesters. So as this fall semester comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my time in grad school at Northern Arizona University. I was pursuing a Ph.D. in history there until 2006, when I made a deliberate decision to leave academia behind.

Actually, that’s not exactly true. Even while I was in the Ph.D. program, I had already made a decision not to pursue academia. I wanted to go into either academic publishing or museums – something *other* than academia. I was all about the alt-ac before that was even a thing!

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