As I’ve said before, I genuinely believe that a lot of humanities and social science research and scholarship is interesting and important, even if it has no direct instrumental application. I think our society is a better place for having such interesting literary, historical, philosophical, cultural studies, sociology, etc. scholars in our midst.
One of the things that motivates me to do the work I do is my sadness, frustration, and anger when I meet academics whose jobs are bringing them to tears or people who think that because the academic labour market is so tough right now they have no realistic career prospects.
I believe you have a lot to contribute. I think an academic job can (and should) be rewarding even if every single task is not something you love. And if you can’t or don’t want an academic career there are lots of other ways you can make a living doing rewarding work, none of which are selling out or accepting second best.
Recently, Julie Clarenbach and I have been working together on a class, Conscious Career Choices for the Academically Inclined, to help people with career planning in these difficult economic times.
It seemed to us that there are a few myths — like the Life of the Mind — that are getting in the way of those conscious choices. There are also mismatches, like the mismatch of opportunity when there just aren’t any jobs in your field this year. Both can make your life miserable, especially if you see the problems as personal failures rather than the myths and mismatches they really are.
We decided to do a short e-course about it.
Myths and Mismatches is a series of e-mail messages about academic myths and mismatches. Read. Ponder. You can journal about them if you like.
No matter where you are in your career, if you are (sometimes) unhappy with your career or your prospects this series might help you think about it differently. And thinking differently is often the first step to approaching it differently.
It’s free. You sign up. E-mail arrives. 1 per day for 10 days.
If that sounds interesting go here to learn more and sign up.