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Preview: Comments on A Philosophy Job Market Blog: Guest Post: Bored

Comments on A Philosophy Job Market Blog: Guest Post: Bored





Updated: 2018-04-25T15:37:14.894-07:00

 



6:12 here - Thanks for your comments, guys, all of...

2008-10-03T10:31:00.000-07:00

6:12 here -

Thanks for your comments, guys, all of which make a good deal of sense.

Perhaps the best I can hope for this year is a slightly improved lateral move (4/3 or 3/3 instead of 4/4). If that happens, I could theoretically concentrate on more research (publish my way out) or, more likely, better teaching (teach my way out). If I end up having to stick around here for another year, god forbid, there's no way I could publish my way into a vertical move with a 4/4 course load. I'm not that talented. Teaching my way out is a possibility, I suppose, since this is a supposed to be a 'public liberal arts university' and all.



6:12,That makes sense. I hate to have to tell you ...

2008-10-02T16:10:00.000-07:00

6:12,

That makes sense. I hate to have to tell you this, but you'll never get one of those research-based post-docs--at least, it's pretty unlikely. Those things go to people from top programs who already have a proven record in research, not people from unranked programs who need to beef up. Best of luck.



Okay, I'm hoping this doesn't come across as harsh...

2008-10-02T15:48:00.000-07:00

Okay, I'm hoping this doesn't come across as harsh, but why do you think you have a decent chance at a research post-doc? I suppose the bar is a bit lower, in terms of having pubs, but I would think that in a certain sense that makes such a post-doc even harder to get - namely, all they have to go on is your grad school's name, your letters, and any awards you may have won. I'm just spitballing here, but I'd think you'd have a better chance getting out of your current situation by either publishing one or two awesome things in awesome journals over the next year, or else really focusing on building a teaching portfolio (like seeing if your current school has any sort of teaching awards, or pedagogical programs) and trying for a position with a lighter courseload at a LAC or some such.



Anon 6:12 here - Yes, I went on the job market ABD...

2008-10-02T11:36:00.000-07:00

Anon 6:12 here -

Yes, I went on the job market ABD last year and landed a TT job at a crappy school just before getting my Ph.D. in May. This job sucks and I want out. Why? Well, there's no philosophy department, I have a 4/4 load and that will probably never change, etc., etc. So, although my chances on the TT job market this year are ceteris paribus better than they were when I was ABD, I was just wondering whether the same holds true for postdocs. And the reason I was wondering THAT is because I probably don't have the necessary credentials (I graduated from an unranked program, not too many pubs to my name yet obviously, etc) to get a job at a research school or anywhere where I'll have a relatively low course load. So I figure my best bet is to try for a 1 or 2 year research-based postdoc so I can get some substantial work done without worrying about teaching... Does that make sense?



I tend to think of those teaching postdocs as exte...

2008-10-02T09:27:00.000-07:00

I tend to think of those teaching postdocs as extending the sell-by date of your PhD by a few years. The idea being that they don't help you all that much in themselves (beyond extending the variety of courses you can teach), but it means that your PhD doesn't go stale as quickly as it might otherwise.

Since most jobs out there are teaching jobs, a teaching postdoc really might not be such a bad thing, but it is true that one's research might really take a back seat during the time of a 3/2 or 3/3 postdoc. That could be a concern for SCs -- even maybe for those same teaching schools. Still, that may be a better scenario for the job market than being a freeway flier (something I am learning all about this semester).



I think anon 8:43 is right to point out that the v...

2008-10-02T06:22:00.000-07:00

I think anon 8:43 is right to point out that the value of a postdoc (both for one's own happiness and as a career booster) varies *widely*. Some postdocs are awesome opportunities to focus on one's own research and add a CV line (here I'm thinking of things like Princeton or U-Mich's general humanities postdocs, or the Greenwall in bioethics), and others are just shitty VAPs with a fancy name (can't think of any of those of the top of my head, but presumably they'd be obvious from the ads). My general impression was that hiring depts tended to assume most postdocs fell into the second class rather than the first (perhaps because postdocs are still a relatively rare beast in philosophy) and so in most cases a postdoc wouldn't help one all that much on the market. But I'm curious whether others have gotten similar impressions.



just a little sob story: a friend got a "postdoc" ...

2008-10-01T20:43:00.000-07:00

just a little sob story: a friend got a "postdoc" at a halfway decent state school - and the scare quotes are because it is scary: they call it a postdoc, but it's a crappy 2-year VAP, with a 3/2 teaching load. brrrrrr.



And even better, you can buy a "Begging the Questi...

2008-10-01T09:08:00.000-07:00

And even better, you can buy a "Begging the Question" thong.



Can't.... focus....http://i177.photobucket.com/alb...

2008-09-30T15:53:00.000-07:00

Can't.... focus....

http://i177.photobucket.com/albums/w232/cogitocogito/distractions.gif



Even more off-topic, but totally enjoyable, an ent...

2008-09-30T10:05:00.000-07:00

Even more off-topic, but totally enjoyable, an entire website devoted to correcting people about the proper use of "begging the question":

http://begthequestion.info/



Off topic alert:Here's to hoping that the early pu...

2008-09-30T06:00:00.000-07:00

Off topic alert:

Here's to hoping that the early publish ads in JFP, Chronicle, HigherEd.Com are not indicative of this years market. Unless you had the foresight to have an AOS in Ancient or Applied Ethics



I'm not quite sure what you're asking, 6:12. I thi...

2008-09-29T19:02:00.000-07:00

I'm not quite sure what you're asking, 6:12. I think it's this: you're wondering whether a postdoc is a big enough step above a VAP that it would make sense to give up a tenure track position for a good postdoc, at least if the TT job is on the low end.

I guess that's true. Postdocs are both more prestigious and better working conditions (sometimes by far) than VAP jobs. I'd still be a little wary, though. If the tenure track job is one you actually hate, then fine. But if it isn't, I'd advise trying hard to be allowed to take the postdoc while keeping the TT job. Some places will let you do that, since the postdoc is cool and reflects well on your 'home institution'. But some won't let you take long leave (even unpaid) as a junior faculty member. I'd try, though.



Here's a question: It's generally the case that on...

2008-09-29T18:12:00.000-07:00

Here's a question:

It's generally the case that one's chances on the job market improve considerably when one is applying as a TT asst. prof as opposed to an ABD or even a VAP (depending, obviously, on where one is ABD or VAP'ing and all that sort of thing). Do you suppose that the same general rule applies to postdocs, or not so much? I imagine that going from (TT Asst. Prof at Crappy School in year 1) to (Postdoctoral Fellow at Decent to Awesome School in years 2 and 3) would be a huge boon on the job market in year 4, especially if one actually completes some kick-ass work as a postdoc! Thoughts?