Sunday, May 18, 2008

What Part of Hiatus Don't You People Understand? A Huge Response to Job Seeking Jerry Nets Just One Note. (We've Been Catching Up On "Gossip Girl.")

I see you've already succumbed to Snowflake Syndrome. You seem to think you're special by virtue of your oh-so-superior R1 education from that top school. Oh my God! You had to lower yourself to apply for the dreaded 4/4 teaching position in BFE and even considered slumming around with those of us in community colleges! Why oh why couldn't any of these search committees see how truly amazing you are?

Here is a newsflash your graduate advisors shouldn't have had to convey: it's tough in the academy. It was tough when I started grad school 20+ years ago. Hundreds of job applicants are routine in most fields and have been for quite a long time. Until the Boomers retire or die, it's not going to get any better. The odds are not in your favor. But if being a professor is truly the only thing you can imagine doing, then take the following advice to heart.

Your newly minted Ph. D. doesn't mean jack. It's very rare for someone to get the ideal position right out of the gate. Most of us who have one now had to pay our dues. We moonlighted doing academic grunt work while we also did our TA/RA duties. We adjuncted or did VI/VAP stints while we sent out those hundred CVs to get a tenure track job. If you're not willing to put in the time to get the experience, this is not the job for you.

Decide what it is you really want to do. An R-1 position, a 4/4 teaching position, and a community college position are three very different animals. All have different duties and require different mindsets (none of which is Snowflake conducive). Just throwing your applications everywhere to see if something sticks is not an effective way to get a job. It's better to go for what you really want than to settle just to be "in the field." Search committees everywhere will thank you, as will your future colleagues and students.