Post Academic

Resources: WRK4US listserv

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Arnold Pan on March 15, 2010
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Many of you who’ve clicked your way here are probably familiar with the WRK4US listserv maintained by Paula Foster Chambers and hosted by Duke U.  But if you’re not and you’re interested in making a transition outside of academia or just even thinking about it, it’s definitely worth signing up for and checking out.  Billing itself as “the premier email discussion list on nonacademic careers for people with graduate degrees in Humanities, Education and Social science disciplines,” WRK4US functions as something of a clearinghouse for job announcements, an advice column on the nuts-and-bolts of applying for jobs, and a support group for academics who want to–or hafta–look into a new line of work.

Registration is required to join the listserv and the discussions that occur therein are confidential and closed to its members.  Since you need to log into the Duke Mailing List Manager to access the archives, the email interface is not exactly the most efficient way to make use of all the resources available at WRK4US.  But the listserv format does have a distinct advantage of creating a open forum for those participating in the discussion and for producing a close-knit camaraderie with people you might not otherwise have any contact with, across disciplines and across the country.  It’s easy to start up threads, whether it’s about the post/academic experience or practical, focused questions about applying for jobs.

To join, go to the WRK4US page at the Duke Mailing List Manager site below and follow the directions to become a new user.  After signing up, the archive info for WRK4US will appear in the left-hand column below your log-in, which you can browse in addition to the emails you will receive covering the current topics of discussion.

WRK4US Home Page and Archives, at the Duke Mailing List Manager site (registration req’d)

Last week on Post Academic (3/7-3/13)

Posted in Housekeeping by Arnold Pan on March 14, 2010
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Here’s a little recap of the week that just ended at Post Academic.  Every Saturday or Sunday, we’ll try to tout some posts that might have been overlooked or that have cycled off the front page from the early part of the week.  Thanks for making it another good week!

* We pass along some great resources for media jobs, freelance work, and academic jobs you might not be getting this year.

* We think about what prospective grad students thinking about their decisions should be thinking about.  Caroline covers mentors and department culture, while Arnold addresses money matters and good/bad first impressions.

And, remember, don’t forget to spring forward on Sunday and change your clocks accordingly!

More Resources:

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on March 13, 2010
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Arnold offered a hot tip for the job search by mentioning Media Bistro as a good resource. I just applied for a few Media Bistro jobs, and the site also gives you an idea of the major media players in your area.

If you are just starting to shift gears from the academic world to the hamster world, and you want to find out if freelance writing is right for you, also check out, which was founded by Deb Ng.

This site releases a list of freelance jobs each weekday, and they are categorized by the type of job so you can find one that suits your skills, whether it be proofreading or tech writing. Deb & Co. sift through the major job boards to find legit freelance opportunities so you don’t get scammed into writing content for free—which is a major hazard of the freelance profession. She even adds little comments if a post seems too good to be true or if it has a big time commitment.

The jobs can be hit-or-miss depending on the day, but can save you time so you don’t have to surf through dozens of sites trying to find that one perfect gig.

**This post isn’t intended to be an ad, but if we come across a site that will save you time or get you a new job, then we’re plenty happy to spread the word.


Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Arnold Pan on March 12, 2010
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Those of you who are more tech-savvy and web-browsy might be on to this already, but has some really great resources for any one interested in a media-oriented job.  Even if you don’t have much experience in the field, it’s worth a quick browse of the job listings, which can be conveniently be broken down by industry and/or geography, among other filters; registration is required, but all you have to provide is an email account and some basic info.  For anyone trying to figure out what jobs are out there and what your options might look like, it’s a great place to brainstorm.

For more experienced freelancers, there’s also a “Freelance Marketplace” where you can upload your information into a clearinghouse for writers looking for (more) work.  I haven’t tried this function yet, but it seems like a wonderful idea, if not a practical resource.  I’ll follow up on it once I submit a profile.

Media Bistro Job Listings (registration req’d)

Resources: The Academic Jobs Wiki

Posted in Process Stories,Surviving Grad School by Arnold Pan on March 10, 2010
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Any (hypothetical) reader of this blog is likely familiar with the Wikia-hosted Academic Job Wiki site, but I might as well link it on Post Academic and give it a tout.  If, somehow, you are not, commit what’s below to memory or bookmark:

From September to the end of the annual job market around now (at least for literature types), the job wiki is pretty much indispensable, whether you’re looking for info on a job you just applied for, finding job postings you missed, getting ready to be bummed when someone else gets a convention interview/a campus visit/an offer, or if you’re just a voyeuristic lurker.  Though I can really only vouch for the literature and postdoc offerings, the list seems pretty comprehensive, covering disciplines ranging from the sciences to the humanities, including archives going back a few years.

Aside the raw data, what also makes people like me go back and back and back to the job wiki day after day after day is the virtual community it produces.  So maybe there is some mischief making and some folks who get so many interviews/visits/offers that you can’t help but be enviously annoyed by them, but there’s a spirit of sharing on the wiki that actually goes beyond the camaraderie of real, live friends.  Friends, don’t take this the wrong way, cause you’re great and all, but comparing notes about the job market–for all parties, including myself–is the most awkward, teeth-pulling thing there is among people who know each other well and fondly in every other way.  With a few exceptions, applying for jobs has just led to a lot of weirdness between me and many of my closest friends and colleagues.  Perhaps it’s the anonymity or the strength in numbers that the wiki format offers, but there’s just some things–like gallows humor, the anticipation of bad news, virtual congrats–that are better shared among IP addresses and cryptic user IDs.

So if the coming end of this year’s job market is making you feel bored or lonely, check it out before it goes into hibernation for the spring and summer.

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