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William Vanderburgh

My intuition tells me that committees look more favorably on candidates who are currently in an academic position of some sort.

But if 4 publications and 4 years of teaching aren't going to land you a job, then it seems unlikely that 5 publications and 5 years of teaching will. This is the insane reality of the job market, unfortunately.

The fact that OP got a postdoc does bode well (you are competitive).

Perhaps it depends on how many jobs are available in your specialty? If there are a lot, take a gamble on a year of adjuncting if that seems likely to even marginally increase the chance of success. If there are not, start living as if you are exiting the discipline even if you will keep trying for another year.

Think about building secondary areas that departments are looking for--everyone is looking to diversify their curriculums, it seems to me. Fins aomething that would make you stand out from another candidate who is otherwise similar in AOS and achievements.

Nick Z

Would it be possible to take the non-academic job and adjunct teach one course per semester? That way you would secure the upside of a decent job with benefits, maintain some academic affiliation, and leave more time for research. You've already demonstrated you can research and teach, so there's really nothing additional that teaching 6+ courses per semester would show a search committee.


This is a hard case. You might ask the question of 'which of these two options makes me more competitive for the job market?' But it seems to me the benefit of each are quite close. The job market is so chaotic, it is hard to say that one of them would offer clear and decisive benefits over the other. So I think this could be a situation where quality of life issues become more important.


I'm a little late to the party, but I think the non-academic position is a better bet. Like William said above, I don't think that the extra pub or an extra few courses from adjuncting makes enough of a difference to really justify delaying the non-academic job with better pay and long-term prospects. (If it's a multi-year VAP instead of adjuncting, then I think it's a different story.)

Although I share William's intuition that committee members are probably generally biased towards applicants who are currently academically employed, I myself don't feel that way--especially not for a gap of a few years, given the state of the market (many years might make a difference, though).

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