Over the past few months various friends, professional contacts, and random people have asked me for advice about succeeding – or surviving – in today’s academic job market in the United States.
These folks (and their friends) are well-educated, passionate, and skilled people, committed to the life of knowledge. They love their respective fields. But they face a market committed to part-time, at-will gigs, and fear not being able to make it: to support a family, or even themselves.
Some are adjuncts now. Others are grad students, post-docs, unemployed PhDs. Some are exploring complementary gigs outside of academia.
How would you advise such untenured academics to proceed? In 2016, what practice recommendations can one offer?
I’m not asking for policy solutions in this post, but rather help with giving career advice to professionals in a job market that’s a sustained humanitarian disaster.