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Discussion Starter #1
<p>I am needing to go back to work sometime soon.  I have been out of work for six years, four of which I was finishing up my PhD in Education Policy, after that I was exclusively focused on my kids.  I did not get the academic experience that I should have while in my PhD program because, for family reasons, I had to leave my university and complete my dissertation remotely.  So, oddly, I am a PhD who has never taught a class nor published anything substantial, and my CV is pathetic.  I worked for six years prior to my doctoral program but in a different field that I would rather avoid. </p>
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<p>Does any one have any ideas on how I might work my way back into academia and backtrack to get the experience I need?  I'm feeling like eight years of doctoral work is all for nothing because I didn't do the right things due to my family circumstances.  </p>
 

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could you apply to a post-doc program? what about teaching at a community college just to get the teaching experience?
 

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<p>What do you want to do in academia? (Research vs. teaching, R1 school or less pressure, etc.) Those will help to define your best on-ramp. I agree with pp that a postdoc (if you want to focus on research) or some adjunct or community college teaching (if you want to focus on teaching.)</p>
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<p>Are you still on good terms with your advisor? Would s/he have useful advice? What about your diss -- can you get some pubs out now? A new policy piece?</p>
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<p>I know a couple of academics who had a life hiccup during the PhD and ended up taking longer than planned or getting off track, but they wanted to get back on, so they did. I don't think it was easy, but it is possible. Most people understand that life happens.</p>
 

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<p>Thanks for the responses.  I used to think I wanted to go the R1 school route, now I'd prefer something that is less pressure, some research, but more teaching.  I do keep in touch with my advisor but he isn't much help with the job leads.  I should pin him down and make him help me, I guess.  </p>
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<p>Should I try to publish something now?  Although my diss is quickly becoming outdated, my advisors loved it two years ago and maybe I could scrounge something relevant out if it if I really tried.  Do you think that would make a difference - one article on my cv?  I look at adjunct and cc stuff all the time but they too ask for teaching experience.  I would even volunteer to get the darn experience at this point!  I have browsed postdoc stuff but haven't seen much, I'll keep pursuing that.  </p>
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<p>I truly appreciate the input!</p>
 

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hmm i don't know enough about the academic job market myself to say. i have a professional degree and have a number of friends on the phd track, hence my suggestions. does your university offer seminars and guidance for the academic job market? i know mine did, but it's a major research institution, so perhaps unique in that regard. what about other professors you could contact? i was hired as a research assistant after graduation, perhaps you could do something like that, if you aren't competitive enough for a post-doc. good luck! the job market for phds seems to be tough right now! i'm watching friends of mine go through the whole looooong process. very demanding!
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>herenow2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284353/getting-back-into-academia#post_16104437"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Do you think that would make a difference - one article on my cv?</p>
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<br><br><p>Yes, absolutely.</p>
 

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<p>I am a professor at a "teaching" 4-year institution, so not an R1 school.  I have been on many search committees here.</p>
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<p>Yes, try very hard to scrounge.  One article on your cv will make a big difference compared to zero.  Even in a "teaching" institution, there is some expectation of scholarship, so nothing for six years will stand out and be a problem. (Maybe not so much a problem with community colleges?  I'm not certain.)</p>
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<p>As for adjuncting.  Lack of teaching experience should not be a problem.  Experience is of course a plus, but no experience doesn't necessarily mean you won't get a teaching assignment.  Email your CV to the department chair every year (better yet every semester), because chairs lose CVs, and departments sometimes switch chairs without passing along CVs to the sucessor.  Yes, by all means send your CV to the dean, but definitely send the CV to the department chair.  At least in my institution, the hiring of adjuncts is done on the department level. I know this because I have personally hired many adjuncts. Make an appointment with the department chair to go over to the campus and have an on-campus departmental tour to view the department's classroom/lab facilities and meet a few of the full-time faculty.  No obligation on the department's part to hire you, but it will establish a face-to-face relationship that will give you an edge. And maybe you can get some leads about some other schools. If you are flexible to teach in either evening or daytime, then make sure you tell the chair every semester.  Ask the chair for a desk copy of the textbook and a master syllabus, and go home and plan out a semester's worth of the course (assignments, lecture notes, etc.).  Sometimes a department will have someone get sick and want someone to jump in at very short notice.  If you can do so, then you will stand out as a very good candidate for getting your foot in the door as an adjunct, either at that institution or another institution.</p>
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<p>If you do get a postdoc, then figure out a way to get some teaching responsibilities at the same time.  In the hard sciences, postdoc is strictly research, and a person who does just research for postdoc without teaching a class or two at the same time is not going to be viewed very well at a teaching institution, especially if there is another postdoc whose actions demonstrates a true interest in teaching by going out of her way to teach one lecture course every semester on top of regular research responsibilities.<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>herenow2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284353/getting-back-into-academia#post_16104437"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thanks for the responses.  I used to think I wanted to go the R1 school route, now I'd prefer something that is less pressure, some research, but more teaching.  I do keep in touch with my advisor but he isn't much help with the job leads.  I should pin him down and make him help me, I guess.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Should I try to publish something now?  Although my diss is quickly becoming outdated, my advisors loved it two years ago and maybe I could scrounge something relevant out if it if I really tried.  Do you think that would make a difference - one article on my cv?  I look at adjunct and cc stuff all the time but they too ask for teaching experience.  I would even volunteer to get the darn experience at this point!  I have browsed postdoc stuff but haven't seen much, I'll keep pursuing that.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I truly appreciate the input!</p>
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Discussion Starter #8
<p>Great advice.  This gives me some clear direction, and more importantly, optimism.  Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!  </p>
 
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