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05/07/2021

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Not an alt-ac

I'm neither a senior person nor a successful alt-ac story, so IDK how much this advice is worth. But if maintaining some kind of connection to research is an important priority, it might be worth it to look into things like working for the ACLS, or the Templeton Foundation, or the NEH, or other such places. I've heard reliable testimony that such places (the Law School Admissions Council being another one) that they value letting their academically-trained employees keep close connections with academia. Another way to do this might be to look for administrative positions within higher ed which aren't faculty positions, i.e., assistant deans and so on (but I haven't heard as much about that).

Slightly miserable but didn’t do it

I’m not happy with my job (TT but really nasty colleagues, etc.) I thought about making the leap and even applied for a few jobs and got an interview. It was a long, involved interview and it made me question whether I really wanted to leave academia for good. Since I wasn’t sure, I declined the interview. It was irritating and a bit arduous constructing a resume and all of that, and getting into an entirely different mode of describing my “skills” and what I do.

Sign up for the 80,000 hours job board. There are lots of jobs out there that are maybe a bit entry level, and all you need is one, and then you’ve got experience. One thing I realized was that I was way too selective in applying to jobs. This is not a “forever” job, unlike a professorship—it’s a foot into the door of an industry where you can expect to move around.

I may still leap out. But I might try to move universities first, since I do like being a professor, I just don’t like being around these people.

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