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Experiences of redundancy- particularly from those in academia

(15 Posts)
Pogmella Mon 27-Jul-20 12:50:49

Just that really. DH is worried he’s facing redundancy as a HASS academic. Relocation would be tough for us with kids and he’s become disillusioned with Grant culture anyway so would be open to looking at different sectors.... but what?! This is all he’s known since his early 20’s (late 40’s now).

I’m sure we’ll get through it but would love to hear anyone’s experiences...

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mindutopia Mon 27-Jul-20 13:38:27

No experience of redundancy in particular, but I know lots of people who are fed up with the grants treadmill move into non-academic professional roles. Would be be suitable for careers advising for a research heavy university? Or working for a funder? Does he have any skills he could do on a consulting level? For example, I know someone who moved on to start up her own business providing patient and public engagement training on a consultancy basis. Does he like to teach? A teaching only role, including in a college or even secondary school, might be suitable depending on his field.

LoeliaPonsonby Mon 27-Jul-20 13:39:54

What field?

Pogmella Mon 27-Jul-20 13:45:43

@LoeliaPonsonby Renaissance literature so not super obvious to adapt to industry. He did go to Cambridge so we were think he could tutor and offer Oxbridge interview coaching.

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Pogmella Mon 27-Jul-20 13:57:27

@mindutopia he does really enjoy teaching and has wondered if he could teach at a private school perhaps

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Raimona Mon 27-Jul-20 14:32:21

His best shot with current qualifications is tutoring or teaching. Teaching is a BAD career though, especially at present. Retraining in a different field is a much better long term career choice.

bluebadgehelp101 Mon 27-Jul-20 14:36:07

I would try to get into a private school as a teacher until he is sure what he would like to do.

ChicCroissant Mon 27-Jul-20 14:40:37

Does the Uni have any teaching-only roles (these are very rare, I know) or has he thought of running his own course via an online provider, or tutoring for the OU? Workshops for pupils or schools on set texts for exams? Hope he finds something,

Didiusfalco Mon 27-Jul-20 14:41:19

I think he wouldn’t know what had hit him trying to teach in either a school or college after academia, it’s so so different. He’s obviously super bright, is there anything he could retrain in that he might be interested in? Renaissance literature is quite niche. If I didn’t know better I would suggest curator, archivist, librarianship type jobs, but this is the area I work in and the job opportunities are really thin on the ground and badly paid.

Pogmella Mon 27-Jul-20 16:18:09

Yes he’d be going along with 3 colleagues with similar skills so I’d think anything obvious and local in archives etc would be hotly competed (if it exists at all).

We have teacher friends and are aware it would be a very different ball game in many respects.

Funders is an interesting avenue, maybe on the other side of the grant stuff.

We do have at least 6 months we think, so maybe we could look at short term immediate stuff like tutoring and a longer term plan to retrain in... something. Do they do carter advisors for adults?

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Raimona Mon 27-Jul-20 16:48:07

I was in a similar situation when I quit academia. I’m disappointed to say that private sector employers weren’t welcoming. They tended to think I was “too academic” and too used to working in an environment where profit wasn’t important. There was also an attitude that I’d be difficult to manage and would ignore instructions because I’m highly qualified and would no doubt think I knew best. Some employers were reluctant to employ someone with more qualifications than themselves, particularly if they thought I might be promoted above them, or listened to more by the boss, or simply be smarter than them. They also tended to think I must have some grander plan in mind so wouldn’t stick around. Public sector organisations by contrast were more welcoming and supportive of a career change. Without exception however, employers were put off by my age (early 30s). They felt they could hire a younger and more malleable person and pay them less. In the end I became self employed because it was the only way I could actually get a job.

Chevron123 Mon 27-Jul-20 17:06:20

I'm going to go against the grain here and suggest he have a good hard look at teaching. I have a couple of friends who went this route in their 40s and are thriving. One teaching part time in a very well regarded sixth form college with tutoring on the side, and one in a private school. Private schools around here (South East), are falling over themselves for highly qualified teachers (and they don't necessarily require a formal teaching qualification). Lots of finance and law professionals are moving out of London permanently and wanting to put their kids in private schools after experiencing "home schooling". His Cambridge and Russell Group (?) credentials would be a huge bonus. No doubt it would be a slog for the first few years but I certainly wouldn't discount it.

Pogmella Mon 27-Jul-20 17:14:18

Yes @Chevron123 he’s worked in 3 RG institutions for the last 15 years and internationally earlier in his career (not to sound smug! Obv not hugely helpful with the sector suffering right now...)

We do have quite a few private schools around us which is perhaps why it’s sprung to mind. Also a private IVth form within an hour.

We are mortgage free following an inheritance so in a better position than many but it’s worrying none the less- his career is a huge part of his identity sad

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Chevron123 Mon 27-Jul-20 17:16:09

As an "academic" who was made redundant in my 40s (2008), has survived on bits and pieces for the last 12 years without really establishing a new career and is about to be made redundant again.

Chevron123 Mon 27-Jul-20 17:20:33


It's hard at the moment but once (if) schools reopen I would suggest at least getting in touch with local schools and seeing if he can have a look around. If you have any "contacts" in the private schools it can be massively helpful. Offer to coach Oxbridge entrance?

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