Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Exciting News in Postacademia!!

Hey everybody!! (Really, really) long time no talk!!

Everything with me is going well ... I'm still at the same job, still living in the same place ... still hanging out with my partner and friends and family and dogs. Life is good!

I haven't written in a while for various reasons ... to some extent, I just haven't had much to add to the interesting and varied conversations that have been happening in the postacademic world in recent months. On another level, I simply haven't been quite as "tuned in" to academic and postacademic news as I used to be. I do still pay attention, but as I've moved further away from my grad school life I have found that my emotions aren't as raw, my anger not so acute, and my desire to blog about each article and event to be less strong.

(So take heart, new academic leavers - the raw emotions do fade over time!!)

However, I'm back today to tell you about a few really exciting developments in the postacademic world, and with our How to Leave Academia website in particular.

More after the jump...

Coming soon - The How to Leave Academia E-book!

That's right ... the long-promised e-book that the four of us announced long ago is nearing publication! The draft is now in my possession, undergoing final editing and formatting before we go to (e-)press. As of right now, we are planning to have the book available on both Amazon and Smashwords by the end of 2013 - though it's certainly possible that the publication date could come sooner than expected. It will also be bargain-priced, so that it's accessible to everyone (while allowing us to recoup the costs we incur for running the HTLA site). Watch this space and the HTLA site for the official publication announcement!

The book will feature essays from the four of us, as well as from ten other postacademic leavers - some of whom are bloggers and some who are not ... but all who have brand new essays to share with you in the book. The essays offer personal stories, advice, humor, snarkiness, and (more than anything) reassurance that there is, in fact, life after academia. We are incredibly proud of it, and we hope that you will find it helpful and reassuring as well.

HTLA Featured in the New York Times!

For those of you who aren't aware, How to Leave Academia hit the bigtime this week - we got a mention in the New York Times, featuring quotes from our very own Lauren and Kathleen!

Needless to say, we are thrilled that our website is getting some mainstream attention, and we hope that this (along with an earlier mention in the Chronicle of Higher Education) will help more postacs (and current academics) find their way to our site and the resources we are continuing to compile over there.

Along those lines, then...

HTLA Now has a Discussion Forum!

Just today (thanks to some hard work by Lauren), we launched the How To Leave Academia Forum at our site. Please pardon our dust: it is still a very new work in progress and will be modified and expanded a bit in the coming weeks/months.

But in the meantime, we want to spread the word about this free, accessible space where current and future postacs can and will be able to go to tell their stories, commiserate, seek advice, network, or just let off some steam.

To post, you will need to create an account and be given a username and password. However, registration is free, and we have absolutely no interest in spamming you. :) We also will not be able to see any personal information about you that you do not choose to share with us, and you can choose what type of information (email address, location, etc) that you want to share publicly.

To quote from our welcome post:
This forum is designed to support anyone leaving academia, from grad students to tenure-track professors. The key word is SUPPORT: this is not a place to denigrate or embarrass one another, but to help each other out. We expect our members to be current or future post-academics, or anyone questioning academia as their path. We welcome current academics, as long as your role is to participate and support, not undermine.
We are primarily a POST-ACADEMIC website, interested in critiquing the academy along the lines of the Post-Academic Manifesto. There is space for alt-ac and post-PhD here, but we know there are other fora and websites that offer plenty of support for these folks. We are primarily post-ac.
We've started by posting a basic skeleton of how we see the forums developing - one section for introducing yourself or posting your stories of leaving (or simply of frustration with academia). Other subforums will provide space for posting postac news or links, sharing career advice, and discussing other topics. We have a few other ideas in mind for subfolders, but we would also love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Post them here or in the new thread I just started over there. Or as always, feel free to drop any of us a line over email or to leave comments on any of our blogs.

And finally ...

HTLA on Facebook!

How to Leave Academia now has a Facebook page!

As you can see, there isn't much (okay, anything) there at the moment. But since I'm making other announcements today, I thought I'd provide the link for anyone who wants to "like" it now and watch it grow and develop over the next few weeks/months.

Now that the e-book is nearing completion, the forum is created, and various things in our own (non-postacademic) lives have calmed down, we are dedicating ourselves to getting the page up and running with actual content. Our plan for the page is to not only link back to our own site ... but also to share links from other sites and to host discussions about other issues related to academia and postacademia.


That's it for now ... I hope this post finds you all happy and healthy and well! Say hi in the comments if you want, and stay tuned for more exciting news to come!


  1. Yay! I hope you continue to build your Post-Ac resources and information. I think what you're doing is far more important than you realize. Perhaps your Post-Ac experience was meant to help others. I know you've helped me so thanks for that. And P.S. - I left my 2 year college position and am trying to move into the corporate world. So far, it's been good! Thanks for the support over the last 2 years.

    1. Is this my old commenter "The 2 Year Life of the Mind?" If so, I was just looking back at some old posts the other day and was wondering how you were doing!

      (And if it's not, then thanks for reading and commenting!! :) )

  2. Yep! That's me! And I've decided to leverage my education experience because before I worked in a CC, I was a high school teacher. Plus, I really do like education but not what's being done in our schools.

    So, quick update on me. I moved to my chosen city ('cause I can do that now!) and I've been networking my way around. I've also had to redesign my resume to be more "business friendly". It will be hard to break in but once I get that first job, things will pick up on their own. In the meantime, I will substitute teach and probably work retail or even good 'ol Starbucks if they'll have me. I'm also studying up on T&D and working on sending out solid cover letters and resumes. I had a lot of hard lessons come at me really quickly. I've been here a little over 2 months and I think I've finally shaken off the trauma of the teaching experience and am ready to move forward.

    I can honestly say that I do NOT miss grading. And I would entertain the possibility of doing some kind of learning development for either a K-12 school or higher ed, but NOT teaching in the classroom. Or, I could work for a textbook company. There are lots in this town. So who knows? I could very well become Alt-Ac instead of Post-Ac. It all remains to be seen. Regardless, I can now say that I am MUCH MUCH happier than I was before and I'm glad I took the leap. I hear from my old colleagues and they say things have gotten worse and they are waiting for the ax to fall (which it will) as budgets get smaller and students are seen as widgets and "money makers".

    The most important key in all of this is that I find a place where I fit. This means that I maintain my "nerd" status as someone who loves books and had lots of degrees but is NOT a doctor (someone saw my degrees and asked me that because who else has so much education?). A garden variety business job is not for me but something specific to developing others....well that is right on the money. So if anyone here has left academia and is looking for their place, don't give up. The world really does need you.

    I will send you a message when I finally land "the job". But until then, I think I'm doing alright. :)

  3. Dear JC,

    Your forum seems to have a spam problem, you may have noticed this already.