How to Prioritize for the Job Market
A Response to a Question in Office Hours
Do you have a question about writing, surviving and/or thriving in academia, or managing everything? Want to learn more about me or my writing process? Do you have additional questions but do not know where to ask them?
Office Hours is a space on Publish Not Perish where you can ask for advice or insights. I prefer this mode of response to email because everyone benefits from the response! This feature is for paid subscribers of Publish Not Perish.
Here's today’s question (edited):
I'd appreciate your thoughts on how to prioritize my time effectively, as I'm struggling with the decision-making process. To provide some context, I am currently unemployed and facing a dilemma about where to direct my energy first. Should I focus on finishing my article drafts for submission? Should I attempt another round of grant writing, despite my previous unsuccessful attempt earlier this year? Should I prioritize getting my PhD manuscript ready (as it has been accepted for publication)? Is it advisable to start planning for data collection fieldwork for my next project even without funding at this stage? Additionally, should I engage in more networking, attend workshops, and have conversations to secure a position? All of these aspects seem vital for securing a job, but I find myself at a loss for where to begin. The only clear deadlines are related to grant writing, which may cause the other tasks to fall behind (and not contribute to my CV for job applications). It's ironic, isn't it? I would greatly appreciate your advice on making strategic choices, as I currently lack such skills and would love to learn how to become more effective in this regard.
It sounds like your primary goal is to secure an academic job during the upcoming job market season, and I think you’re asking the right kind of questions. You know how important published articles, grants, ongoing projects, and networking are for your candidacy. You are correct that your plan shouldn’t be based solely on deadlines, as this sets the priority for you rather than allowing you to be strategic with your CV-building. So, how do you decide what to prioritize and when?