Can’t find an academic job? Struggling to make ends meet in a recession? Then this article is for you. A recent article in Chronicle http://chronicle.com/article/From-Graduate-School-to/131795/ explained how increasing numbers of Americans who are educated to masters or doctoral level are living supported by the state. Here are some tips on how to make money while boosting your CV, in order to stand the best chance of getting a permanent position.
Surviving while job hunting:
1. Exam marking or invigilating
This time of year between April and July plenty of money is to be made by invigilating exams for your local university. While this job is rather tedious, it does mean that you can stay in touch with academia and can earn money on a part-time basis, leaving you free to build your CV.
Exam marking is also a good way to earn extra cash. In many subjects, International Baccalaureate and GCSE/A level exam boards are looking for markers. You do not have to be a school teacher; they welcome applicants qualified at doctoral level too.
2. Private tutoring
As mentioned in other articles, private tutoring of school children is becoming increasingly lucrative because of the pressure on young people to achieve good grades. Why not sign up for tutoring websites? Many are free for the tutor, so it won’t cost you a penny, and tutoring can bring in at least £25 per session.
3. Temping at a university
Many universities require temporary staff, offering posts ranging from bar work to high level admin jobs. While this might not be what you want in the long term, it can be a really useful stop-gap while you are looking for an academic position. Some universities have their own temp agencies, such as Unitemps, (www.unitemps.co.uk) which mainly serves Warwick, Birmingham and Nottingham.
It is vital that you do not allow disappointment in the job market to lead you to stop CV building. If anything, it demonstrates the importance of improving your general profile. See the lack of a permanent job as a great opportunity to boost your CV.
Building your CV ready for your dream job:
1. Build your research portfolio
If you don’t have to worry about settling into a new post this year you should be able to focus on your research profile. Publications are vital in securing an academic job, and when you wrote your PhD you probably gathered plenty of material that can be easily brought together as an article. Why not make that your goal this year?
2. Look for teaching opportunities in your local university
It’s still not too late to find a part-time opportunity as departments often realise late into the summer that they haven’t got quite enough staff to cover their classes. Send your CV around to heads of department asking whether there is anything available for the forthcoming year.
3. Go to conferences
While it is expensive to fund your own conference attendance, if you can afford to keep attending without an institutional affiliation then do so, because they are a vital opportunity for networking and presenting your work. Conferences also make you feel as though you are part of the academic community.
4. Network online
Online networking is increasingly important. Again, it connects you to other scholars and prevents you from becoming isolated. It can also raise your profile and attract the interest of interview panels. Blogging and tweeting are good ways of doing this although, of course, be careful to keep yor comments professional at all times!
Above all, it’s vital to stay positive. Although it can be dispiriting not to have a job for next year, try to see this as an opportunity and don’t give up. You never know when a job opportunity is going to appear. Just make sure that your CV is ready to get you that job when it comes.