Late last night, amid the rush to post homework to my grad classes, I started chatting with a colleague. While we have our educational endeavors in common, we come from different places professionally prior to this point. During the course of discussing the attributes of our professors, we started networking for adjunct positions. I am blessed at the moment to have too many solicitations in which to accept them all. Hearing that my school chum is in search of a new adjunct position gave way to the referral process. Would we refer a complete stranger to our employer? No way! After all our reputation as an educator is on the line. Nope, we only help those we can be sure are stable and capable to do the job.
How do we meet others that we can have a beneficial business relationship with? Networking is the key to this question. Since we work by contract without guarantee of classes, this applies to all adjuncts. I may have too many offers on the table today, but a few months from now that prosperity might dry up. You might be asking yourself at this point where these magical places that adjuncts meet and forge bonds are. How can I find the time to seek out and connect with other adjuncts when I am buried in papers to grade?
For starters you are already in the perfect place by reading this! Adjunctnation.com has awesome forums for branching out to greet other part-timers. You can check out these excellent watering holes (https://www.adjunctnation.com/forums/list.php?52) that have threads on teaching online to specific institution information. This is one reason that prompted me to frequent Adjunctnation.com in the beginning.
Where else can we network with others of our kind?
Last week I perused the faculty chat room at one of colleges where I work. There are some pretty hysterical postings, because that forum is not heavily monitored. One faculty member posted a question about a possible teaching gig at a new school found on the Internet. Being a lively bunch of adjuncts who stick together, many jumped on the bandwagon to investigate the legitimacy of this college. Insanity and hilarity ensued as we shared insights about contacting representatives via a chat feature. The gist is that this school expects new adjuncts to pay to teach. Let’s all scream “SCAM” in unison! Who would part with their money to get a new job? A new adjunct without any friends who have his or her back might be tempted. If you are already teaching in the ranks of adjunct world, reach out to others who feel your joys and pains. Be sure to share some laughter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In3RZJTDsoo) amid the gripes.
Although being an adjunct has drawbacks like using the cupboard under the stairs as an office, we can find benefits by cultivating professional reciprocal relationships with others in our field. Perhaps, we can find humor in the long list of outrageous excuses given by students or by dabbling in cartoons (https://www.adjunctnation.com/magazine/cartoon/20/) that show the things we endure. Are you desperately seeking likeminded souls on the same career path to laugh and cry with?
Join the conviviality of others just like you!