Editors Note: We’re pleased and delighted to announce that EarlyWord Kids Correspondent Lisa Von Drasek will be serving on the 2017 Caldecott Award Selection Committee.
Unfortunately, this means that she will be on hiatus as our Kids Correspondent until her Caldecott duties are wrapped up.
She will still report on the occasional “grown-up” title she falls in love with, as she does below:
Flying under the radar is The Professor is In: The Essential Guide To Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job (RH/Crown, original trade pbk.) by academic employment consultant and former tenured professor, Karen Kelsky, who gives a no-holds-barred look at the academic market. It should be required reading for PhD candidates, recent graduates, prospective PhDs, and recent-hires on the tenure track.
Although the majority of the books I review are children’s and Young Adult titles, I have a side interest in business particularly professional development and management, so when I spotted a DRC of this book, I downloaded it.
As one of the lucky few who landed a full time academic appointment in an R1 university, I had read Kelsky’s blog also titled The Professor is In as well as her columns in the Chronicle of Higher Education for her practical, snark-tinged advice.
Kelsky has no patience for readers who ignore the obvious. Tenure-track positions are few and far between. Bottom line: there is a glut of qualified graduates for the rare full-time positions. She dispenses tough-love advice laying out the cost (economic and emotional) of trying to land one. “Achieving financial, emotional AND intellectual well being in academia is somewhat akin to climbing Everest blind.” For those who insist on getting on the tenure track, she provides best-case scenarios and information on how to achieve academic and employment goals. For those who do not achieve their goal, she also provides suggestions for repositioning job skills.
A cross between Carolyn Hax, Ask Amy and Miss Manners, Kelsky is the faculty mentor we all wish was in the office next door.
I can attest that her ideas work. Kelsky makes the case for sucking it up, jumping through the hoops and not making excuses. No one has time to write. Write anyway. Are academic leaves available? Apply for them. This was exactly my problem. My teaching and the daily tasks of my department left no time. There was a leave that I could apply for but I hadn’t been in position very long. I thought that my projects weren’t “good enough,” “research oriented enough” or “what these leaves were for.” I went back to the call for proposals only to discover that I had just a 24-hour window before the deadline, so I sucked it up, jumped through the hoops, made no excuses and got my application in.
A month ago, I received a letter from our director that I am approved for a 6 week writing leave. Seriously, this book is life-changing.