Think of this as an

annotated post ac bibliography

(please add more resources at the end)

Places to Start

The Professor is In - ”Karen has some really good non-academic career advice for free on her blog!” ”Breaking down the myths and socialized beliefs about academic jobs” 

Beyond the Professoriate - ”Straight tips and courses, as well as conferences, that help you navigate the post-ac world. Real strategies and homework even!” 

Imagine PhD - ”It helped me to explore career possibilities and read testimonies.” 

Jobs on Toast - ”Very clear tips on how to change your resume, and especially how to start thinking about your skills differently once you've left academia.” 

Versatile Ph.D. - “It showed me just how many jobs are out there, outside of academia, for people with a PhD.” 

Perel, Greta - What Happens When Academics Quit? Good Things it Turns Out.

Cheeky Scientist

Wild Mind Collective 

Basalla, Susan and Maggie Debelius. - So What Are You Going to Do With That? Finding Careers Outside Academia ”This book mostly helped me emotionally. The advice is good if you're at the very beginning of your search, but I read it throughout my search to remind myself that my feelings were really normal” 

Kelskey, Karen - The Professor is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. into a Job

Fruscione, Juseph and Kelly J. Baker (editors) - Succeeding Outside the Academy: Career Paths beyond the Humanities, Social Sciences and STEM

Margaret Newhouse, Outside the Ivory Tower : A Guide for Academics Considering Alternative Careers


Selected Quit Lit

Ahmed, Sarah - Speaking Out - “A necessary read for anyone who identifies as a feminist and is currently or has every been attached to the academy. While the essay is particularly focused on the problem of sexual assault and harassment at universities, this discussion leads to the broader issues of power differentials and systemic inequalities that the academy reinforces. Ahmed also realized that she, as a successful member of the academy, became part of the problem, part of the power and the abuse that she sought to undermine” 

Baker, Kelly J. - On Quitting - “She wrote of ‘quitting’ as a dignified re-articulation of the self, rather than a failure.”  

Bartram, Erin - The Sublimated Grief of the Left Behind What the profession loses when people quit.

Conditionally Accepted - Dear Department, I Quit.

Dunn, Sydni - “Why So Many Academics Quit and Tell

Garber, Megan. The Rise of Quit Lit - Atlantic

Harbin, Alison - Why I Left Academia 

JC - “From Grad School To Happiness“ has four pieces that each explored a specific reason for their departure.  Reason I'm Leaving #1: Geographic Constraints Reason I'm Leaving #2: I Hate My Research Reason I'm Leaving #3: I Deserve Free Time  Reason I'm Leaving #4: My Mental Health

Jet - Steps for Academic Recovery 

Kruger, Phillip Why It’s Not  a ‘Failure’ to  Leave Academia - Nature

Lee, Oliver - I have one of the best jobs in Academia. Here’s why I’m walking away - Vox 

Lomax, Tamura Black Women’s Lives Don’t Matter in Academia Either or Why I Quit Academic Spaces that Don’t Value Back Women’s Life “‘Precarity’, the academic-corporation and the historical oppression of, particularly black women's bodies is explained so well and with a strength that I appreciated.”

Schuman, Rebecca Thesis Hatement - Slate

Wanchisen, Barbara - There’s No Shame in Leaving Academia 

For more, see the list of pieces in a Google Doc: Quit Lit: The Vitae List  


Karen Kelsey The Professor is In

Jennifer Polk From PhD to Life/Beyond the Professoriate

Melissa Walker at Heyday Coaching “She is a former academic who left a full professorship, so I know she's helped a lot of people. When she left she gave me the courage to do so as well.”

Diamond, Julie - Power: A User’s Guide Starts with the idea that each person has power and the task is learning how to use it and work with it.

Khan, Shamus - Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School A book that describes how students at an elite private school encode their privilege during the course of their elite education.  

Romm, Robin - Double Bind: Women on Ambition

Power and Privilege

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