The Career Doctor™
Dear Career Doctor:
I'm 63, have a Ph.D.
in Comparative Literature, 25 years experience in non-tenured
college teaching (started when I was 19) including ESL,
4 as a periodicals managing editor, and the last 10 in part-time
freelance writing. Am I unemployable?
You poor thing! No wonder you ask if you are employable,
since you have spent most of your career in two of the most
under-appreciated, difficult and competitive fields: non-tenured
college teaching and freelance writing. I have done a bit
of both and know that they are really ego-deflating!
However, anyone who began teaching college at age 19 and
slugged through 44 more years in these tough fields has
to be very smart and full of skills picked up along the
There is always work for editors, ghost writers and writers.
For example, if you join The American Society of Journalists
and Authors based in Manhattan, they have a service that
connects writers with these jobs.
It also sounds like you could work as an ESL teacher. Here's
what an ex-Larchmont ESL teacher, Mary Anne Sullivan, told
me about the ESL job market: "A person with a Ph.D.
and ESL teaching experience plus writing experience can
certainly teach ESL at a community college, in a continuing
ed program or a language school in New York City, Westchester
or Connecticut. I recommend calling up the Directors of
ESL programs nearby to see if there are any openings and
to request an interview. Teaching writing is of new interest
in the ESL programs, so someone who is a writer might be
of particular interest as a teacher of ESL at this time."
So, with lots of possibilities, the question is, what have
you enjoyed doing and what would you LIKE to do? The most
important freelance writing job will be to write a great
resumé and cover letter, so you can go for what you
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