Rachel Neff

Nov 16, 2023

Chasing Chickens

When Life After Higher Education Doesn't Go the Way You Planned

University Press of Kansas 2019

The majority of PhDs won’t secure a tenure-track job. So how can you pivot, and find a new opportunity? Dr. Rachel Neff joins us to share her experiences post-grad, and offers her wisdom on how to turn “This wasn’t the plan!” into “Why not?”

Today’s book is: Chasing Chickens: When Life After Higher Education Doesn't Go the Way You Planned (UP of Kansas, 2019), by Dr. Rachel Neff, which retraces the steps that took her from her moment of reckoning—aka “failure”—to a new way of seeing and grasping success. Each chapter takes us along her new, unlikely career path, from revealing how she ended up chasing chickens on New Year’s Eve, to explaining what happens when a PhD becomes an executive assistant. Written with the benefit of hindsight, Dr. Neff offers advice on how to see the bigger picture, find your next career, and ace an interview. She takes the uncertainty and stress out of reinventing yourself, and provides tools for finding and making your own way.

Our guest is: Dr. Rachel Anna Neff, who is the owner of Exceptional Editorial, and has worked as a digital strategist, a copy editor, an adjunct instructor, and a tutor. She has written poetry since elementary school and has notebooks full of half-written novels. She earned her doctorate in Spanish literature, and holds two BAs, an MA, and a MFA. Her work has been published in JuxtaProse Magazine, Crab Fat Magazine and included in several anthologies. Her books include The Haywire Heart and Other Musings on Love, and Chasing Chickens: When Life after Higher Education Doesn't Go the Way You Planned.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, who is the host and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in history, which she uses to explore what stories we tell and what happens to those we never tell.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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