Thursday, December 15, 2011

What to do when you're unemployed? Start a blog.

I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while. Mainly I was put off by the thought that I really didn't have anything novel or interesting to say. So I spent a lot of time reading other blogs. Mostly ones to do with being "post-academic".

As the title of my blog suggests, I have a PhD. In Sociology. I gather from the blogosphere that Sociology is way down the list of disciplines with credibility. I had no idea. Maybe I would have a job by now if I had chosen a different discipline.

But I love Sociology. I love the way it is, in essence, about figuring out why people are constrained, shaped, influenced and pushed into acting the way that they do by the cultural, political and social dynamics of the contexts in which they live. Does that sound suitably vague? Good. It's meant to be - Sociology is, after all, whatever you want it to be.

That said though, throughout much of my research career, I have been accused of being "not sociological". WTF is that supposed to mean? Seriously. Who are these people that act as the guardians of the discipline? Why do they find it necessary to so rigorously defend those boundaries in the first place? Is it really about their own anxieties, maybe?

I am never very good at figuring that last point out. I don't know what it is, but usually it takes me forever to realise that when someone is being judgemental or undermining in some way that it has little to do with what I am doing and much to do with their own anxieities... Anyway, that's for another day.

So, why do I want to write a blog? I am not sure. Maybe as a way of figuring out what I am going to do with my life. Currently I am unemployed. Since finishing my PhD six years ago (Count 'em: SIX!!) I have been lurching from precarious contract to precarious contract. This is not personally sustainable any longer. I think I am going to have to move on and look for... gasp... a NON-ACADEMIC job! EEK!

But what to do? Where to go? How do I leverage my considerable experience/expertise into something that won't make me want to vomit? That's all I ask really. Less precariousness in my working life, and non-vomit inducing work. (NB: vomit-inducing means corporate. I think. I might consider working for a company with a good ethos though, eg. strong corporate fundraising values, no unpaid overtime. But then again, if the job is interesting/stimulating then I would consider going corporate too...)

Which means: I have NO IDEA where to start.

TGIF. I think that means I can have a drink. Of goon (wine in a box that is), 'cause it's cheap.


  1. Hi! Welcome to post-academic bloggerland. The more the merrier, I say! Looking forward to your future posts.

  2. Hey glad to see another Nonacademic blogger. It will be interesting to see where you take the blog. All the best,

    James from

  3. Hi James,

    Thanks for your comment. I am not at all sure where I am taking this! It's a work in progress :)

  4. Good look with the blog! I just started a postacademic blog too and it's been really interesting "meeting" other people in similar circumstances. I really look forward to hearing what you have to say.

    ~Currer Bell,

  5. Welcome to the post-ac blogosphere! Don't despair, most of us have no idea where we're going from here. Apparently some level of uncertainty is part of this whole real world thing. For now, stock up from post-holiday wine sales. We're all here (with an assortment of adult beverages, no doubt) cheering you on! Good luck from another social scientist!

  6. Thanks Pi! I won a free gift card to the local supermarket last week, so that will certainly help with the adult beverage supply ;)

  7. Hello - great idea with the blog! I'm looking forward reading more. Best, Lisa (from Germany).

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