Posts about the jobs that you’ll find in higher ed, the job search, job applications, cover letters, resumes, interviews, and anything else related to landing a great job.

Avoid Remote Only Job Sites

When it comes to job searches, a lot of alt-ac clients want to find a job that allows them to at least in part work remotely. I know how important this is for academics in particular. 

So today I’m tackling one of the most common questions in my inbox: “Where do I find remote jobs?”

Why Academics Want Remote Jobs

Academics WANT control over their work. Autonomy and independence are some of the biggest reasons for pursuing academia and grad/professional degrees in the first place! We wanted to become experts so that we could exercise greater control over the kinds of work we do. The ability to make choices about what kinds of tasks we take on. The ability to schedule our own workday as we please. That is part of the expected deal. That what comes with deep expertise and authority over one’s subject matter is a more professional level of job. 

And these days, most of us are smart enough to realize that there’s often no compelling NEED for us to physically be in the office 5 days a week. (Or at all?!) Between Zoom, Skype, Slack, and I don’t even know what else, can’t we be connected no matter where we are? If dumb #influencers (yeah, I said it!) can work from anywhere, why can’t those of us with highly specialized knowledge and skills be afforded the same courtesy?

Why Academics Need Remote Jobs

And then there’s also very real needs. Many of us alt-acs NEED remote work – for all kinds of reasons. Many academics are members of dual-career households. Many are partners with someone who is faculty and/or otherwise geographically bound. My alt-ac PhD spouse, for instance, specializes in the archaeology of the Colorado Plateau. Even if I find a great job in Minneapolis, that’s not going to work for his career.  So should my career suffer when I’ve maxed out my opportunities locally?

Of course I’m all for finding the style and type of work that you need AND want, but I’m afraid I’m here to warn you that there is no great answer to this question.

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A Brutally Honest Cover Letter

The job hunt seems to take forever, doesn’t it? When you’ve been job hunting for a while, you may find yourself trying to think of new ways to say the same thing over and over again in your cover letter. It made me think: imagine if you could be brutally honest – how much easier and faster it would be to churn out a cover letter! So in honor of it being Friday (and me being braindead as a result!), here is my sample of a brutally honest stream of consciousness cover letter.

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Bite Size Your Job Hunting Strategy

When you are job hunting, you are bombarded with so many decisions. Where to search, what job titles to search for, what geographical area to target, what you’re qualified for, what you want to do. It’s overwhelming.

And we all know that decision fatigue results in analysis paralysis. It’s real, folks. Analysis paralysis is an affliction that most academics suffer from, seeing as we’re smart and trained to follow every research lede, and analyze (ahem, overanalyze) everything.

So step back from job hunting. Have you broken this down into bite-sized chunks yet?

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The Top 5 Types of Jobs in My Job Alerts

One of the gripes I hear most frequently from clients and colleagues is that there just aren’t any jobs right now. And, of course, what you mean when you say that is: I see jobs, but they just aren’t right. Or they’re perfect, but I’m not ready for that level yet.

Know that you are not alone. It takes patience. I just sorted through my own job alerts (yes, even career coaches are ever-looking!), and thought I’d share with you the 5 types of jobs in my alerts.

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Sometimes Going Backwards is the Fastest Way to Move Forward

Often academics looking for work in a new field get immediately frustrated by one big factor: the salary. Why? Because since working in a new field often entails just getting a foot in the door, you may feel like you’re starting over, sometimes even at ground level. And you may be right.

But that can also be a short-term problem, so before you just cross something off your list solely on pay, there are 2 major things to consider.

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