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11/27/2015

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recent grad

I have reached the point of no longer working hard. I worked hard enough to put myself in a decent position for a job--Ph.D., publications, presentations, strong teaching portfolio for someone at my stage, etc. But it's November of my final year on the market, I don't feel that hard work will have much more effect at this point. So my work ethic has disappeared. I'll pick it back up if I get something, but I'm done rolling the rock up the hill.

Henry Lara

Having come to philosophy late, after years of industry experience, I find it hard to fathom why there is this expectation that all you need to get a job (ANY job, academia or otherwise) and succeed at it is to be good at it. Yes, of course, academic pedigree, publishing record, etc., all matter. But if there is one position and a hundred or more or less equally qualified candidates, then surely who gets the position is decided by extra-academic factors, like who did better at their interviews, references and networking, and of course, luck. I think that most people won't dispute that. But equally important is that all these non-academic factors come into play with who gets to keep those jobs; i.e., who will pass tenure-track reviews and so forth. Yet sometimes when discussing this here and in other blogs, many people seem shocked and even angry about it. I suspect that part of it comes from the fact that many of the faculty advising and training future philosophers have been academics all their life, so they are partly or completely blind (or even in denial) as to how much their success is due to how they handled the non-academic factors in their careers. I have a long way to go in my philosophical career, and it may well be, for many reasons, that I'll never make it beyond the Master's program I am currently in. But it seems to me that a vital part of a future academic's training is lacking. More job market prep, and other career advice (including non-academic options) always helps, but no graduate student should leave a program without fully understanding how an academic department is run, from new assistant professor appointments, graduate student admissions, to tenure reviews.

anon

Same sentiment as 'recent grad' here. One can only work hard for so many years without tangible results before giving up.

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