Friday, June 13, 2014

Weekend Reading: Another Bunch of Unrelated Links Edition

I am *this* close to being able to send a draft of my job search ebook to my beta readers. I spent more time on that today than I expected I would, and so I don't have a coherent set of links... but I do have some good links!

Also, if you missed it on Twitter, I am crowdsourcing a title for the job search ebook. My working title of "Escaping the Ivory Tower" seems a bit to pejorative about academia. So- submit ideas here or on Twitter. If I pick your idea, I'll give you a copy of the new book and a copy of Taming the Work Week. Help me out, please, because all of the ideas I've come up with so far frankly suck.

Anyway, on to the links. Let's start with the serious/depressing ones:

This post from Shakesville about rape threats is hard to read, but important. I don't think ignoring the online misogynists is really working, so let's try talking about them and getting angry.

In my perfect world, there would be laws against what they do and we would enforce them.

But then I think about how Congress couldn't even pass a law to strengthen background checks after the Sandy Hook shooting, and I get depressed about the chances we'd ever get a law against internet harassment, or get anyone to take the fact that these guys are making actual threats of harm seriously.

Speaking of guns, here is a really good meditation on the sobering reality of what can happen when "a good guy with a gun" tries to intervene in a shooting event.

Speaking of problems Congress is ignoring, xkcd does an excellent job of illustrating what is at stake with global warming.

So all of that was rather depressing. On a slightly more upbeat note, I really liked this post from Julie Pagano about how to fight to make things better for marginalized people in tech, and think there are ideas in there that translate out to a lot of other problems, too.

Miles O'Brien wrote a moving and fascinating piece about life after losing an arm.

Did you know the Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Waterson made a brief reappearance in comics? Stephan Pastis tells the story, which is awesome.

Speaking of comments, Xykacademiqz wrote about a new comic she found and it looks really good.

I like my Tungsten Hippo quote so much this week I'm going to share it here, too:

And finally, if you haven't seen the Tumblr that turns academic papers into clickbait, you must check it out right now.


  1. Anonymous4:13 AM

    Alternatives to the ivory tower? Not as catchy...
    Outside the ivory tower...
    Beyond the ivory tower...
    And then, because it's for PhDs, a colon and what the book is really about. (Strategies for non academic job searched for PhDs, or something)

  2. "Career Options Your Professor Neglected to Mention"

    Maybe that's a subtitle.

    I don't have a Ph.D., but I do have an M.A. Both that and my B.A. are in a field that universally led to the comment, "What are you going to do with that? Do you want to teach?"

    For a while, I thought I did. But then I realized that I was done with the classroom for at least a while, and found a career that had never occurred to me--but used both my skills and content knowledge. From there I've moved into a new career, and had a third apparently foisted upon me. This is the one I'm least sure about, but it's meeting my most urgent needs for now.

  3. "What Grad School Never Told You About the Job Search" Maybe something like that?

  4. Anonymous8:03 AM

    Another snarky title, "What are you going to do with that? Getting a real job with a PhD."

    1. You know, that's pretty good! Maybe I could make it less snarky with the subtitle- something like: "What Are You Going to Do with That? A short guide to finding a job after academia"

    2. Ha! Already taken:

      That one looks to be more about figuring out what you want to do. Mine is (1) a whole lot shorter and (2) more about how to actually apply.

      I dunno. It may be that the topic has already been well-covered and the heaps of people sending me academic CVs instead of resumes and the like just never did their homework! So maybe my selling point will be brevity....

      Regardless, I've done most of the work already and really want to see how the self-publishing thing works, so I'm plowing ahead.

  5. I don't know. I think there are plenty of fields where people get a PhD with the intention to go into industry, there is nothing covert about it, it's the desired outcome by both students and professors. I would say this holds for the vast majority of engineering fields and CS for sure. So I am always amused by all these calls to prepare the students for the real world -- my colleagues and I do it to the best of our abilities and actively funnel people to industry. I am sure there are many fields where getting a job outside academia is really brave or crazy or rare or shameful or whatever, and the students are as clueless as a newborn bunny who was just sniffed out by a fox, but not all fields are like that.

    OK, righteous indignation over. :-)

    How about some positive titles that don't crap on profs or academia (although I recognize there are plenty of crap-worthy potential recipients):

    Thriving Beyond the PhD: Non-academic Job Search Tips from an Experienced Biotech Manager (or Job Seach Tips for Non-academic Careers in Science)

    Well-Paid and Intellectually Challenged: How to Land Great Jobs for PhDs Outside Academia

    Rich and Happy, PhD: How to Land Well-Paid and Intellectually Satisfying Jobs Outside Academia

    1. I definitely want a positive title- my intention is not to say anything snotty about academia, but to give advice for people who have decided to leave it. So thanks for the ideas!

      I'm avoiding PhD in the title, because my early readers have said the advice is actually relevant for all levels. I think it is skewed towards people with post-grad degrees, but could be useful for bachelor's level people, too.

      From what my husband (who is a hiring manager in a software company) and I have seen, and from what my other friends who hire people have told me- students may be prepared by their studies to DO the work, but a lot of them don't really do a very good job of APPLYING to do the work, which means they have a harder time getting a job than they might if they just had better application skills. My book- which is going to be short and priced low (probably $0.99, but maybe $1.99)- is attempting to give people concise advice on how to do a better job of applying for jobs. I'm hoping that if it is short and cheap enough, more people will read it and maybe that will even things out about for the folks who don't have parents or other people close to them who can give them the pointers on how to apply.

    2. Would in be tailored to people in STEM, do you think? Maybe advanced-degree holders in STEM? Because there is plenty of bland advice out there from people for what seem like low-skilled garden variety office jobs or in to-me nebulous fields like business or marketing.


      Applying For and Landing a Job in STEM: A Manager's Perspective

      From Grad to Employee: How to Apply for and Land the Job You Were Trained For


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.