Rachel NeffNov 16, 2023
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.
Listeners may also be interested in:
- Three Things I Wish I Knew When I Went on the Academic Job Market, by Rachel Neff
- The Employability Journal, by Babara Bassot
- Independent Scholars Meet the World: Expanding Academia Beyond the Academy, edited by Christine Caccipuoti and Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge
- Academic Life episode "Should I Quit My PhD Program?"
- How to Leave Academia and Find a Good Job
Welcome to Academic Life, the podcast for your academic journey—and beyond! Join us to learn from experts inside and outside the academy, and around the world. Missed any of the 175+ Academic Life episodes? You’ll find them all archived here.