Comments: 312 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

_lcll_534 karma

How were you able to get your doctorate, find a tenure-track job, and achieve tenure within 5-6 years? That seems almost impossible. Not calling bs, just genuinely very curious.

homeless5star-4 karma

I posted an answer here but it disappeared?

homeless5star-4 karma

I explained this at the top. A shorter answer is I went for areas (both in the type of degree I earned and the type of institutions I worked for )where I could advance quickly and worked hard.

homeless5star-4 karma

I explain this at the top.

I do not have a doctorate- I have a terminal degree in my field. I chose an institution that has tenure track open positions, made myself standout (party by being cross-discipline) and luck played a part as it does in every circumstance.

smashedshanky10 karma


homeless5star0 karma

I no longer work in the hotel industry- and my academic field has nothing to do with hospitality.

However, if you can bring something other than strictly academic experience- that may help you land a faculty position. Also bridging two or more fields makes you stand out. Example: a biology professor who works with art professors to produce interpretations of organisms. institutions love (in my experience) the ability to cross into other academic silos.

tommygunz0076 karma

I have economic PTSD from my homelessness and I wondered if you do also?

homeless5star0 karma

Somewhat, I can count pennies one day but also splurge unnecessarily. It is something I have to control. Maybe bipolar economics?

herennius5 karma

What field did you get your terminal degree in, and what sort of institution are you working at? You talk around answers to similar questions elsewhere, so I'm hoping for something concrete.

homeless5star-3 karma

I will not go into detail as to my field- but can tell you it is possible to standout with a terminal degree in your field. Example: You earn a MFA (master of fine arts). You are a really good performer and hit broadway before or after your MFA. You want to work in academia so you apply for a tenure-track position at an institution that you know will hire you based on your broadway success.

My goal is to give advice to be cross-discipline if you can, seek institutions where you would stand out among applicants, and be open to moving for the position if you have to. Also in a job interview- the real people to impress are higher administrators( if you can) not just the fellow faculty, directors and assistant deans who are interviewing you. i.e. if you can impress the provost, vice-presidents, deans, etc. and show you bring something unique- they trump other decision makers.

The_Potato_Dude4 karma

Blue carrot or purple tomatoes?

homeless5star1 karma

I like rainbow carrots and heirloom tomatoes.

AVeryConfusedRedhead4 karma

What were the moments that made you know it was getting better? Like the moments to build up from amidst a challenge and struggle such as that? The moments you gripped onto to look back on and go "This is going to work out".

homeless5star2 karma

When I was eating better honestly. And I had to force myself to eat carrots/apples instead of McDs. Something someone said in the last AMA, which I am GRATEFUL for.

DarthTenebrous42 karma

What was the biggest struggle and how did you overcome it?

homeless5star0 karma

Motivation, it is constant work not to get demotivated. I think this is true for many.

meukbox1 karma

My Happy New Years wish to you was removed because it wasn't a question.
So I'll rephrase it: Did somebody already wish you a Happy New Year?

homeless5star2 karma

Not yet- probably tomorrow. Happy new year to you.

ambos1 karma

What advice would you give a college freshman who is picking a career? What advice would you give them about life?

homeless5star0 karma

typical advice would be to "find something you love" or "try a bunch of fields" My advice is to focus on something "close" to what you think you might like and where there will be job opportunities. Also do something others aren't doing. For example you might want to be a performer/actor, but going to Hollywood or New York and standing in line may be unsuccessful. Start acting locally or try something that isn't being done by a lot of other people.

Also this was BIG for me: volunteer. If you go to where you want to work and there are no jobs, just tell them you will do something for free- not because you are desperate, but because you are curious, like the people that are there, etc. Again this worked for me, that is all I can say.

Dabmonkey1 karma

What's the most important thing you have learned from life and would tell younger you, after all your experiences?

homeless5star3 karma

Life seems to fly so much faster when you are older than younger. I would say use the time wisely- and spend more time travelling.

NoelTrotsky1 karma

What would be the best 3 ways to help people who are suffering in a similar way as you were? I like helping others and want to be better at doing it. Thanks!

homeless5star0 karma

Just listen when people have a problem. Just talking about the problem can be nearly impossible- especially a grown man asking for help. In this culture, it is hard just to talk about problems because of fear of judgement..

oranjemuisjes0 karma

What are your thoughts on a social security program where you receive welfare if you lose your job involuntarily like in some European countries? Ie you would have received 70% of your former wage until you found a new job. Would that have made a difference?

homeless5star2 karma

I did use the U.S. system for unemployment wages when I needed to.(Never SNAP) it was enough for me not to starve, but maybe others would need more? I have no children- that would make a big difference in the amount of assistance needed I think.

the7real0 karma

What advice would you give someone who is unsuccessful now?

homeless5star1 karma

My advice can only explain my situation. Honestly you need luck , hard work and good people I feel. When/If luck hits you should try and work hard to take advantage of it. Surround yourself with good people if you can.

sleepeatingsince890 karma

What steps did you start taking? Did you have a coach/ mentor to help along the way?

I'm interested because I'm 27 and working full time living on my own but trying to go to school to get out of my current industry.

homeless5star3 karma

I had no coach, but did need to "hit rock bottom" and be homeless before working as hard as I possibly could- which was two 40 hour per week jobs at one point.

ychirea1-2 karma

What do you say to hostile people who believe that PhD's in anything except STEM fields (and particularly Humanities and Arts disciplines), are virtually worthless?

homeless5star1 karma

I would give this real life example: A psychology professor asked me to go into his program (PhD Psych). I looked at the long list of people in the program taking classes and the chances of getting a fully time or even adjunct position. I also considered a History PhD, but saw much of the same - though psych was worse. I opted for the terminal degree in my field and looked for institutions where an opportunity to get in the door would be easier than applying vs a bunch of other people.

I do not know much about jobs in the STEM field, but I do know I did not have the aptitude or time to put in to get a STEM degree. Conversely I will probably earn less than half of what a STEM professor would make. However we both are on the same academic committees, have the same amount of time off, and the same faculty union. There are some professors who think their field is "superior". I just ignore it and look at the positives.

Inceptos13-2 karma

  1. What was it that made you decide to leave your what you were doing to go for this?

  2. How were you living while in the transition period from this to your new job as a professor?

  3. Where do you work as a professor?

Thanks and happy new year,

Best of luck in your new life.

homeless5star0 karma

  1. It is very very difficult to move up in the hospitality field in my experience. Also I love to teach/make a difference in people's lives and honestly a faculty position is much less work than a hospitality manager.

  2. I was in my car for the 1st part as a grad student, and when I could earn enough moved into a real home.

  3. I work in the U.S.

TheMapesHotel2 karma

This doesn't match your other answers and you have no idea how much work being a professor actually is.

xavec2 karma

Holy shit how did I miss this. Less work than a hospitality manager? Fuuuuu.... (also lol to the idea of doing grad study FROM A FREAKING CAR.)

homeless5star-1 karma

hospitality manager can work 60 - 70 hours a week and always weekends and nights. A professor has set hours and is also not dealing with cash transactions, employee theft, drunks, etc. Yes there is research/writing but I will take 10 hours of quiet research and writing rather than a nightclub/bar situation for a 10 hour shift.

xavec3 karma

"Set hours." "10 hours of quiet research." sigh ok dude. You carry on embarrassing yourself.

homeless5star-2 karma

You clearly have not worked in academia. I have set office hours, set class times, no one will call me with an emergency after 5pm (worse case is emails from students) and my research and writing involves being on the computer. I did not choose an institution that worked me to death with too many responsibilities- such as pushing various committees, meetings, and an excessive push to be publishing.
I have summers to do research- or adjunct if I wish.

Also, if you are smart enough, the academic work gets easy over time- the papers have a set structure- sometimes you can find co-authors to help. Also I try to work group instead of individual projects with other faculty to share the burden.

I am not embarrassed at my life choices, instead I consider myself lucky and savvy to find my niche both in my field and with my institution.

Have a great new years!

toaurdethtdes-3 karma

Dude good for you for getting back on your feet! What was the hardest part?

homeless5star1 karma

Getting demotivated. I still procrastinate when I can - but I shouldn't.

WIT_MY_WOES-24 karma

What did you think of the horrible new Star Wars movie?

homeless5star0 karma

I agree.