Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Advice for Graduate Students from the Chronicle's New "Vitae" Column

The Chronicle of Higher Education, one of our resources for insight into the well-being (or lack) of the academic job market, is in the process of launching a new column, "Vitae," exploring the vicissitudes of the market and the professional skills needed to navigate it. A recent column "Advice for Graduate Students" provided a refreshing change of pace from the more detail-oriented articles about how to tailor your cover letter or how to strategize campus visits when you have childcare concerns, highlighting instead a big-picture state of mind  that helps us keep our studies and research and job search in perspective.

One caveat: It would be easy to take the author's reflections as platitudes, but I think that she is offering an important observation, that our psychological well-being is an important part of our professional toolbox and appeal as a candidate. In our search for the minutiae that will help us nail down that dream job, it's easy to forget the bigger picture of the life of the mind, and the passion that drew us to graduate studies in the first place.