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Matt Drabek
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Hi, Milquetoast. Whether or not I have more freedom in terms of research direction may depend on how you look at it. On the one hand, sure. I have total freedom. I face no pressure whatsoever to publish in the "best" journals, and if I'm not interested in the topics that are valued by the field overall, I don't need to write about those topics. I spend no time thinking about topics I'm not fully interested in. But on the other hand, I don't have as much time to read the literature as a T/T professor. I work a full time job and I've done a much better job as a non-academic than I did as an academic of maintaining other interests and hobbies (e.g., pleasure reading, travel, knitting, time with friends, local activism, etc.). And so I'm unusually dependent on the research base I built up as a graduate student and during my first year out of grad school. This is obviously somewhat limiting in terms of my ability to jump into completely new topics and research areas.
Thanks for the comments! I avoided getting into the details of putting together non-academic application materials because there's a lot of stuff out there and it probably does a better job of telling that tale than I could do. Helen provided a good link. But I do think a really quick bare minimum would be setting up a linkedin profile and filling it out with keywords, and constructing a basic resume that contains important keywords in your target industry.
Matt Drabek is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 12, 2014