Post Academic

Ask Post Academic!

Posted in Ask an Academic,Housekeeping by Arnold Pan on December 19, 2010
Tags: ,

"Henderson Family Day Arm 2007" by Teo Sze Lee (Creative Commons license)

With all the interest in Caroline’s last post and all the great tips she offers day in, day out, I figured it might not be a bad idea to start up our own Ask Post Academic advice column, provided you have questions and you trust our answers.  Plus, it could be useful to hear what you want us to cover, instead just blogging about what we *think* you want us to cover.  I don’t know if you want to rely on me with life-changing tips or anything big (though I can vouch for Caroline on this front), but we might be able to help you with protocol questions and Miss Manners-type deals for post/marginal/fully committed academics.   And if we can’t quite come up with a good response, we’ll do our best to find someone who can.  Issues that I’ve thought about at this point of the job season dealt with whether it’s a good idea to send a quick email as a “thank you” note after an interview or how to react to inadvertently inappropriate questions from search committees.

If you have a question and want a response, write a comment below or Tweet us or you could post on our Facebook page if you don’t mind non-anonymity.  I guess you could email us too, but we don’t check the Post Academic account all that often.

3 Responses to 'Ask Post Academic!'

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  1. employedspouse said,

    I’m the (newlywed) wife of a lovely man who is finishing his PhD. He’s in the last semester of the process and progress is moving, but slow. His job search is focusing on private secondary schools, but is frustrating due to his lack of teaching experience at that level.

    I understand this is a really difficult time for him, but I’m not sure how to be the right kind of supportive. Nagging won’t help anything. But telling him it’s all going to be OK doesn’t inspire (what I feel is) the necessary level of single-minded determination. How can a spouse best help her partner get to the finish line, without damaging the relationship? What’s been the best things that spouses/partners have done for you post-academics?

    • Arnold Pan said,

      Dear employedspouse,

      Thanks for your comment and sorry we haven’t offered a response yet! We are happy to see someone take up our offer to “Ask Post Academic”. I personally have been in your situation, though in your husband’s position. I’m a bit overwhelmed by my day job at the moment, but I’m thinking about your question and will reply with a post in the next few days.

  2. ProfL said,

    Dear employedspouse,
    Your situation is a common one, and familiar to me because I was fortunate enough to have a wonderfully supportive partner while I was finishing my PhD and looking for jobs. You mention that your husband is in his last semester, which implies to me that you have an agreed-upon time for him to finish the dissertation? That is itself a very important step. And the fact that he has a very definite career trajectory in mind is a second way in which he’s already way ahead of most PhD candidates. Since you have deadlines, why not offer to read his chapters of his work, or to have some small way to celebrate each milestone of the dissertation as he completes it? For me, breaking the task down in that way, and making myself responsible for sharing my progress with my wife from time to time, made the dissertation-writing process feel both more manageable and less lonely. It sounds like you’re already being very supportive. Good luck!

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