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My sense is that it's extremely hard in philosophy. Search committees are looking for reasons to knock people out of the running, and I've been on several search committees where other members have seen those with non-standard histories as people you'd have to take chances on. Since they are also looking at hundreds of other candidates with standard histories who they don't take to count as risks in the same way, the non-standard folks don't generally make the first cut. (It's also, I think, much harder to keep publishing when outside of academia and without an academic affiliation. And not having been consistently and recently published in good venues will make it virtually impossible to get a job.)


It depends on the committee. I have a friend who got a tenure-track job last year after working as a civil servant for 8 years. Some committees will see the non-traditional experience as a plus. I think it helps if you adjunct on occasion.

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