Welcome to our final post on Alternate Careers. If you have not had the chance, check out our previous post on the panelists from the session. Here we offer a summary of the advice that the panelists offered us about preparing for alternate career options. We also include a list of potential careers and resources for exploring your career options as an academic.
All of our speakers offered great advice towards the end of the session which addressed some of the rising concerns about leaving the academy. They all encouraged us to actively combat the stigma of leaving, and the guilt of not pursuing a career in academia if that is not something we want. They also suggested to take a moment, and really consider your options. Do you like teaching? Embrace teaching at a community college if that is what it takes to do what you love. In other words, do not limit yourself with narrow-minded goals or attitudes. They also suggested that even if you are currently planning on a career in academia, to prepare yourself for other options now. You can only help yourself out by taking some of this advice: Build relationships shamelessly via events and list serves (we cannot emphasize enough how important networking is!). Finally, take advantage of your available resources. The GW Career Center offers one-on-one advice for CVs and other professional documents as well as job finding databases. Attend your EGSA professional development workshops! We cover a wide variety of areas that are designed to help you succeed whether you choose an academic career or an alternate career.
There are many professional opportunities for English graduate students, but here are just a few examples we have collected from research and personal connections:
Law (lawyer, paralegal, judge)
Twitter - #Alt-ac
So What are you Going to Do with That? by Maggie Debelius and Susan Basalla
Do What You Are by Paul Tiegler and Barbara Barron-Tiegler
Outside the Ivory Tower by Margaret Newhouse