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Author Topic: ABD on the market-support group  (Read 331405 times)
prairiedawn
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« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2009, 2:28:45 AM »

(And enough of the ellipses, sentence fragments and irregular capitalization. Present yourselves professionally!)

You are right. The more professional we behave the sooner we are taken seriously. (However, I have to apologize for my commas in advance.)

Incidentally, my professor tells me stories from the 60's and how much easier it was to find a TT gig, too.
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thehighking
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« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2009, 8:45:16 AM »

Awesome quote :) I also know that a few of my profs were ABD when they landed their first job,

...On the one hand, I wish that kind of thing still happened but on the other I'm glad we have more of a blind application process in which we're judged on our work and not because we're a member of the old boy's club etc.


I hate to disappoint, but if you think that we have a "blind" process and that we're mostly judged on our work, I have a nice bridge to sell you. :)

(Not trying to be rude to you, but this needed to be said.)
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artsy_122
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« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2009, 10:09:19 AM »


I am happy to see this thread!  Last spring I was stressed out trying to decide if I should apply for jobs or apply for dissertation fellowships for one more year of funding.  I didn't feel like I could do both - since for one I would be claiming to finish by spring and for the other I would be arguing that I REALLY needed one more funded year.  And since grant applications take so much time - I decided to just focus on getting the dissertation done and finding a job.  I might apply for some post docs...  but those applications are much longer than the job applications - so they might not happen.  If I strike out this year - I will apply for jobs and post docs next year.

I am glad to be applying for jobs.  Unlike most disciplines - it has been a bumper crop of postings for my area.  And especially for me speciality!  There are several job ads that seems to be written with me in mind!  So I am hopeful...  and then sometimes I freak out that no one is even going to consider me for those because I am ABD. 

Argh - our program has a good track record placing people ABD, but it is still stressful.  I do not have funding available for next year so the pressure is on.  I hate it.  I do have a few lesser pubs and a better one about ready to be sent out.  I've done a lot of conferences, have a few years of teaching experience other than my GTAship, and a really good grant for my dissertation research.  But it is still really scary!  My dad keeps asking me if I have a job yet - and a lot of deadlines haven't even passed!

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berkeleygirl
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« Reply #33 on: November 04, 2009, 12:18:15 PM »

I landed my first job ABD at a regional college in flyover country. It happens, particularly if you have an odd set of qualifications that meet an odd set of needs. However finishing the diss with a 4/4 load was hellish. Good luck all, but don't let this thread become the self-delusion support group. You are at a huge disadvantage in a brutal market. Finish the diss.

(And enough of the ellipses, sentence fragments and irregular capitalization. Present yourselves professionally!)

Fair enough.    I don't want this to become a self-delusion support group either. I started this because in other threads I received an overwhelming amount of discouragement.  I know ABDs are bottom feeders, but I also know the diversity in ABD status.  I am filing my dissertation in April.  I will have a PhD in May.  I will not start a job while finishing my dissertation.  I truly believe that being fresh out of your orals and getting ready to file are two different situations.  I cannot speak for others on here, but I don't want to be unemployed next year (PhD in hand) wishing I would have gone on the market. 

I want this thread to be supportive, a place where we can give each other the bad news (which will be piling in soon) and not hear "I told you so."

As for the formality of this page....are you serious?

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berkeleygirl
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« Reply #34 on: November 04, 2009, 12:37:20 PM »


I am happy to see this thread!  Last spring I was stressed out trying to decide if I should apply for jobs or apply for dissertation fellowships for one more year of funding.  I didn't feel like I could do both - since for one I would be claiming to finish by spring and for the other I would be arguing that I REALLY needed one more funded year.  And since grant applications take so much time - I decided to just focus on getting the dissertation done and finding a job.  I might apply for some post docs...  but those applications are much longer than the job applications - so they might not happen.  If I strike out this year - I will apply for jobs and post docs next year.

I am glad to be applying for jobs.  Unlike most disciplines - it has been a bumper crop of postings for my area.  And especially for me speciality!  There are several job ads that seems to be written with me in mind!  So I am hopeful...  and then sometimes I freak out that no one is even going to consider me for those because I am ABD. 

Argh - our program has a good track record placing people ABD, but it is still stressful.  I do not have funding available for next year so the pressure is on.  I hate it.  I do have a few lesser pubs and a better one about ready to be sent out.  I've done a lot of conferences, have a few years of teaching experience other than my GTAship, and a really good grant for my dissertation research.  But it is still really scary!  My dad keeps asking me if I have a job yet - and a lot of deadlines haven't even passed!



I was in your position last year and applied for 11 fellowships and 2 jobs, and thankfully, I got a fellowship.  Follow your gut and only apply for positions that fit you perfectly. The good side is that you will test the market and season your nerves.   The bad side is (as everyone has said), you are placed at the bottom of the pile, especially if your LOC don't discuss your chapters in detail.  But you'll never know if you don't apply. 

Go heavy on the dissertation fellowship applications!  Something will come through.

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berkeleygirl
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« Reply #35 on: November 04, 2009, 12:39:33 PM »

ARGGGGhhhh...my computer freaked out and posted the last one before I could fix my errors...LOR....sorry
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grasshopper
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« Reply #36 on: November 04, 2009, 2:48:30 PM »

You never know, and I like to think that us ABD look good because we're cheaper than a highly published PhD. That's what some tenured profs have told me...but maybe they were trying to make me feel better. 

The problem is that, generally speaking, departments decide who they're going to hire. Most often, admin just signs off on the department's decision. And departments don't really care whether the university has to shell out a measley $5000 or $10,000 more to cover an ass't prof salary rather than a lecturer's salary. It's peanuts. Especially when compared with the alternative - losing the tt line altogether, whether the hire finishes the diss or not.

That's the problem (heh - one of many problems) I face as an ABD right now: departments are scared to hire someone as a lecturer (which is not tenure track) in the hopes that they'll finish the diss and begin the tenure track the following year. The fear is that that the tt line may be revoked the following year because of budget cuts. Departments lucky enough to secure a tt line don't want to risk the chance that it might be taken away, so they want to fill it as securely as possible.

It's great to be upbeat and all, and God knows, there's the danger of utter hopelessness casting such a pall on the whole process that this leaks out into the search. But as Larry C so wisely pointed out, it doesn't help anyone to feed false hope with the delusion that you're actually at some kind of advantage because of your ABD status.
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systeme_d_
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No T, no shade. Usually.


« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2009, 2:53:23 PM »


(And enough of the ellipses, sentence fragments and irregular capitalization. Present yourselves professionally!)

 
As for the formality of this page....are you serious?


Yes.
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grasshopper
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« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2009, 2:57:23 PM »


(And enough of the ellipses, sentence fragments and irregular capitalization. Present yourselves professionally!)

 
As for the formality of this page....are you serious?


Yes.


We are not anonymous here. I have received substantial help in my job search and in my scholarship from four different forumites on these boards.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 2:59:00 PM by grasshopper » Logged

berkeleygirl
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« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2009, 3:13:31 PM »

Thank for the clarification. I got the idea about being a cheap hire from a SC/Dean, but as you stated, it's far from reality.   Trust me, I know I am not at an advantage and I really appreciate all the senior voices.  I am at heart, a very optimistic person, so that said, I apologize for being overly positive.  I like to think that I will stay upbeat while all the rejections come in.  Starting this process, expecting the worst might work for a lot of folks, but I like to keep my chin up, ignorant or not, it's just how I am.  Is it delusional, I don't think so.  But it works for me and I hope my enthusiasm doesn't infect anyone that doesn't want it.
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larryc
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« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2009, 4:09:23 PM »

I am filing my dissertation in April.  I will have a PhD in May.  I will not start a job while finishing my dissertation.  I truly believe that being fresh out of your orals and getting ready to file are two different situations.  I cannot speak for others on here, but I don't want to be unemployed next year (PhD in hand) wishing I would have gone on the market. 

Oh you absolutely should be going on the market! Make certain that your cover letter states (in the first paragraph!) that you expect to have the degree in May. More importantly, make sure that the LOR from your advisor says the same thing.

Going on the market early is good in most cases, especially given the short freshness date of a terminal degree.
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berkeleygirl
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« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2009, 4:15:59 PM »

Thanks larryc.  I did state that I am in the final stages of completing my PhD by May 2010, and my committee discusses my progress and chapters in their letters.  I am nervous as hell, but who isn't :)

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prairiedawn
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« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2009, 7:31:39 PM »

I know this site has been mentioned before, although not on this thread. It might provide additional feedback for some.

http://phinished.org/index.php

With that said, I wish everyone a good job hunting season. I am going back to working on not being ABD anymore.

Good luck.
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berkeleygirl
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« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2009, 11:11:37 PM »

Awesome link! Thanks
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dr_prephd
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« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2009, 11:41:55 PM »

I wanted to take a moment to encourage all the ABDs on the market to peruse the Survey of Earned Doctorates. It has information about how many people earn PhDs in each field each year (and where they go on to earn jobs).

From it, I learned that most people in my field go into private industry or government and not academia. I have yet to discover whether that bodes well or poorly for my search.
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