I recently discovered (via, I think, Clarissa) this most amazing blog for people trying to survive grad school and come out with an actual job on the other end…and then how to keep and thrive in that job.
The Professor is a former academic who now has her own business helping others craft the right kinds of letters, CV’s, tenure materials, and so forth. She is direct, clear, minces no words and wastes no time with obfuscating filters, and I have this funny feeling she may be the difference for me between getting the job I want and going back to the job I don’t want (but getting paid a little more because I will have “Dr.” after my name).
Her advice tends to be solid and very practical: go to conferences. Speak with authority and battle the tendency to be too accommodating and “nice.” And my personal favorite: stop acting like a grad student. (That one in particular cracks me up; I’ve spent the last 20 years being a grownup, so it’s taking everything I can do to learn how to act like a grad student. So now I have to learn how to take that off as well…)
I may indeed try to hire her when actual job market time comes along, although I’d want to touch base with her earlier about whether she has worked with any clients in the arts. (Musicology doesn’t count. Seriously, guys, no offense, but it doesn’t. You’re the Humanities in the Music Department.) Because on top of the scholarship pieces, we also have the performing part. We don’t just have to research and know our stuff, we have to have chops. It’s a whole different dynamic, a whole different skill set that must, at least in every consciously acknowledged way, completely dominate all other academic considerations. Whether it truly does deep down depends, I suppose, on the department. But for us it’s always, I suspect, going to be less about the articles and presentations than about the performances and recordings and guest conductor gigs, the compositions and professional engagements. And because of the nature of music as a performing art, those engagements cannot stay within the world of scholarship; they have to be out in the world, interfacing with non-academe.
So I suspect it’ll work a little differently. The question is, how differently, and how much of that difference manifests itself in the search process.
In the meantime…I am desperately grateful to have found Karen’s site! This one is worth hanging onto and reading every word…