Hi, I’m James. In this blog, you will find my true story about my decision to not do a PhD in English. Six years ago, I left academia, struggled a bit, and now I am happy with a new career. I work full-time at a global software company as a senior marketer. I’ve also worked at ad agencies with clients such as Google, Thomson Reuters, and popular consumer start-ups.
This blog will show you how I did this, and help you find meaning and success after grad school.
The purpose is to record one story and to motivate others to move away from the anxiety of finding a job with a graduate degree in the humanities. I want to show you that the same skills that made you successful in graduate school can also bring success in the real world.
Academia wastes talent. It took you for granted. I want you to stop investing your energy into the system, and invest in yourself.
I want to inspire others to run from the culture of fear, isolation, and single-mindedness that keeps many graduate students from finding employment outside of academia.
You may want to start at the beginning by reading “April: The Beginning of the End of My Academic Career.”
More about selloutyoursoul.com
This blog is a refection of the absurdity, overinflation, and over-importance put on graduate education by students and the culture of academia.
This is the story of one life after graduate disillusionment. I hope the transition from graduate life to a career outside of academia works out for you. It did for me. And I’m very happy with my decision to not stay in grad school.
What this nonacademic blog will do for you. . .
This blog shows you how to be more proactive in your own career search, and tells about my attempt to find meaning outside of the tenure-track Ph.D. job trap.
Success as a graduate student doesn’t end in the walls of your department. I want to help people rediscover the ambition they had when they were young, before graduate school, and help them reapply that to their own life.
You have an amazing work ethic. You are smart. You can see what others miss. For that reason, I want you to dedicate the energy you would have put into writing a dissertation into the path of your own success.
What this blog won’t do for you
This is not a factual blog. I don’t want to research or present “the state of academia.”
I want you to show you how to recover your confidence. Reclaim your energy and devote it to something other than another scholarly article. You will be surprised how much more you get for your time and ambition outside of the unhealthy expectations of a department.
This is not an objective blog. It’s simply one experience. One life. You should take my opinions, judgements, and frustration as you see fit.
Why I wrote this
To help others humanities graduate students and other post academics. When I first left grad school, I lost the clear shape to life, career, and thought that graduate school gives you.
But I know now that the proper path for me was never there in the halls of an English department. I’ve left. You are thinking about leaving. Or, you’ve already left.
I don’t want others to see the end of their academic careers as an end. There are other ways that lead to success other than a tenure title. Begin to rediscover the greatness that got you in prestigious programs. Reignite the hard work ethic that got you top marks, fellowships, publications. Apply these traits to the development of other skills, other interests, and rethink what you are capable of.
Selloutyoursoul.com has been cited in national media such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate Magazine, Inside Higher Education, Minding the Campus, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Thank-you for all the support.