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N. G. Laskowski



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When you, as an undergrad, were told, repeatedly, that the odds of securing a good job in academia were long but you decided to roll the dice anyway, how did you rationalize the decision? What did you tell yourself? Be honest.

I'll start: The short answer is that I was young and I didn't expect to care about (still) being broke in my 30s.

A slightly longer answer is that I also thought that the top marks I had received from the top dept I happened to attend (because it was down the road from where I grew up & cheap) meant that I would buck the odds. Side note, profs: this is part of why grade inflation is bad.

The longer answer touches on issues involving class, punk, anarchism, idealism, immaturity, luck, break ups, and so on. But that's a story better told in person over a round of ferraris. Your turn.

Wow. I woke up to hundreds of heartfelt responses so far. Thanks for sharing, everyone.

One thing that comes through the responses is an upending of the stereotype that it's mostly trust fund ivy kids choosing to roll the dice. Loads of ppl, myself included, viewed, perhaps mistakenly, being paid 20k+/yr for ~6 yrs as financially better than salient alternatives

For those deciding now: - You'll likely care about $ in your 30s. - You'll likely care about $ in your 30s. - You'll likely care about $ in your 30s. - Job market isn't a true lottery. Find someone who will tell you whether you'll face shorter odds in your situation.

And now that this thread is reaching a more mean spirited audience I expect to mute soon. I'm also becoming skeptical about whether ppl are answering honestly w _so many_ saying they had _no idea_ job prospects were bad.

N. G. Laskowski


Assistant Professor of Philosophy @ Cal State Long Beach working on topics in Ethical Theory & Social Philosophy. Proud union member. NJ✈︎LA✈︎🇩🇪✈︎LA.

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