What DO I want to be when I grow up?
April 26, 2012 6:59 AM Subscribe
If you left academia, especially in the humanities, how did you figure out what you wanted to do?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a recent PhD in an MLA field. I'm currently teaching part-time, but the writing's pretty much on the wall for me. Not enough publications to be competitive; not enough jobs, anyway. To compound matters, I don't think I'm all that passionate about teaching, though I love research and writing.
Anyway, I'm trying to position myself as best I can for the non-academic job market, but I'm having a very hard time simply because I don't know what I want to do outside of the university. I've spent the last ten years of my life fixated on the tenure-track job, and now I feel as though I don't even know what else is out there.
If you left academia, by choice or otherwise, how did you figure out where to focus your job search? There are some things that I am interested in, but they either don't seem conducive to a stable job and income (watching sports) or else they require what appear to be highly developed skill-sets that I don't know have or feel too far behind everyone else to develop (web site development, though I do know HTML and a bit of CSS; professional editing; marketing). I feel like if I could figure out what I really want to do, I could concentrate some energy on developing my skills and building a portfolio or something like that, but so far all's I've accomplished is starting my own damn blog.
A unpaid internship isn't an option; I can't afford to be without income for very long. I'm also lucky enough that my partner has a stable income, and we'd like to stay put where we are. Even if it were, I'd have no idea what field to target. Nor can I afford more schooling at this point. I really just want to get my career going so my partner and I can move forward with our lives.
Anyway, thanks, from one very anxious, over-educated Ph.D.