What would I do if I left academia?
April 19, 2014 7:58 PM Subscribe
I am considering leaving a tenure track position in the humanities to follow my partner to the Bay Area. In order to compare the options, I need some idea of what I'd do there.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I went straight from college to grad school, and got a TT position at an unranked but respected R1 research university in the US right out of grad school. I haven't been here long. Now, I know I am extremely lucky in my current position. I have a 2-2 teaching load, friendly and supportive colleagues, and live in a college town known for music, arts, and nightlife. The cost of living is low. But: I'm fairly sure I don't love the research side of my work. I like teaching okay, and when I get into my research, I really enjoy it. But I don't like thinking about my research when I'm not at my computer. Even then, when I'm in the early stages of paper writing (my main job), I find it tiresome.
What I need specific help on is brainstorming what I'd do if we moved to the Bay Area. For the first couple of years, I'd have part-time work teaching at the university where he'll be employed. I could use this time to either (re-?)find my love of my discipline and publish, or explore other options. For those unfamiliar with the atrocious academic job market, my chances of finding a permanent academic job in the same area are about zero; we'd have to relocate if I wanted to stay in academia. But I know the non-academic job market is bad as well.
The problem is that I don't have any other passions that make it obvious what I should pursue. I like the flexibility of my schedule as an academic, but don't love how I always have to be 'on'. It would be nice to be able to take weekends off, at least occasionally. I have a PhD, and good reasoning skills, but no specific area of expertise that would be attractive to industry. Can you give me ideas of jobs to look into?