Edited by Luke Plonsky
[Not in series 229] 2020
► pp. 79–98
Chapter 7. Navigating the academic job market
An important goal for most PhD students is to procure gainful employment. Although PhD students receive a great deal of training in the areas of critiquing, conducting, and publishing research, the process of searching, applying for, and securing an academic job is one that is often shrouded in mystery. This chapter attempts to shed some light on this arduous and stressful task, and in doing so make it less mysterious. Although the chapter is written with PhD students in mind, it may also be helpful for early career scholars with limited experience on the job market. Regardless of your individual background/circumstance, training, and previous job-searching experiences (or lack thereof), the goal is a shared one: To navigate the academic job market effectively and obtain one or more job offers. In this chapter, we cover three key phases in the job search process, including preparing for the job market (as early as possible), starting the search (approximately one year before one hopes to be employed), and excelling in job interviews. In each section, we highlight key aspects of the preparation stage, and provide specific steps an aspiring academic can take. It is our experience that few reasonably comprehensive resources exist that provide insight into the entire process of securing an academic job (see Kelsky, 2015). Furthermore, few resources offer the joint perspective(s) of new (i.e., Avizia and Kris) and seasoned (i.e., Graham) scholars who have successfully obtained academic jobs in the field. A particular goal of this chapter is to provide such a resource within the particular context of the field of applied linguistics.