Monday, April 19, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies

Here are some of my statistics for the '09-'10 Job Market season:

Jobs applied for: 37

First-round interviews: 2

Campus visits: 0

Job offers: 0

Beers/cocktails: 1,427 (approx. It's hard to remember.)

The thing is, I feel like my teaching, writing, conferencing, and publishing are going really well. Except for the fact that I'm having an extremely hard time finding a tenure-track job, I feel really good about my career.

--Mr. Zero


Anonymous said...

Hey, my stats are almost exactly the same as yours. Just add about 15 to the number of jobs applied for and replace 'beers/cocktails' with 'bags of potato chips/milkshakes'. I have more of an Oprah approach to the stress, I guess.

Anonymous said...

My stats are something like:
Jobs applied for: 31
APA interviews: 3
On campus interviews: 3 (I must interview well, I guess?)
Job offers: 1
Coffee/baked goods: Hmm. 3/day x 365 days is, what, nearing 1100?
Bottles of champagne had upon getting a job offer: two.

Anonymous said...

My Stats:
Jobs applied for: 0
APA interviews: 0
On campus interviews: 0
Job offers: 0
Bottles of Tequila: 374

Anonymous said...

Jobs applied for: 21
APA interviews: 1
On campus interviews: 1
Job offers: 0
Consolation: no one got that job
# of post-its reading 'find shrink and get Prozac': equal to # of sleepless nights; approx 100.

Anonymous said...

I've been doing this for four years. I've lost count of the jobs I've applied for, but I've had two interviews at the Eastern, one phone interview, and two interviews at the Central. I applied for about ten things this year and had my second Eastern interview.

Unleiterriffic alma mater, decent CV in terms of pubs, presentations, and teaching. Fwiw. Oh, and I wasn't offered the job this year but I have a TT job.

I'd be curious to know what dept. ranking and pubs people had (esp. (9:33--what the hell, I've never heard/seen anything like that.))

FemPhil said...

Are we counting VAP apps? If so, here are my stats:

Jobs applied for: 15
APA interviews: 2
On campus interviews: 1
Job offers: none yet (on campus was last week)
Number of times I've checked my phone/email in the past 3 days: 10,253
I'm not even going to report on alcohol-consumption.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to hear advice on how one goes about deciding when, given failure on the market, it's time to quite the academic job pursuit and to start pursuing a non-academic career, and ideas for non-academic careers philosophy PhDs might pursue.

Anonymous said...

I'm 9:33,

I'm from a top 20 program, though not in the top 5. I have one decent publication and a great advisor who is well respected in the discipline. There are some other things on my CV (fellowships, service commitments, etc) that may have also been attractive to SC's.

I was shocked at going 3 for 3 with the interviews. I have no idea why. At the time I thought that the interviews and conversations at the smokers went well and were fun, but I certainly didn't expect to go 3 for 3.

Anonymous said...

To 12:20, when you can't pay the bills.

My stats for this year:
40 jobs applied for (all TT)
7 first-round/APA interviews
4 campus visits
2 TT job offers
(I declined both and decided to remain when I am currently, even though the contract is year to year)

Anonymous said...

1:36, with such success, why? and can you say why you applied to these places you declined, in the first place? (curious, looking for insight)

Anonymous said...

Anybody else get a Skype interview? How did it go for you? Was a very weird experience I felt, although it got me a campus visit and *almost* a job offer (inside info...).

Anonymous said...

I like that Zero still feels good about his career. A nice reminder that it is not ALL about the TT job!

Of course, it works the other way too: I have a TT job that, in theory, I like, but other things have sucked for me lately and make me feel pretty miserable.

Anonymous said...

33 job apps
1 interview
0 job offers
0 bottles of champagne
10 or so bottles of vodka
2 nights of crying

Anonymous said...

Jobs applied for: 61
APA interviews: 5
Video/skype interviews: 2 (1 declined)
On campus interviews: 3
Job offers: 2
Bottles of wine/champagne bought upon getting a TT job offer: five, plus cognac.

Anonymous said...

I'm 1:36.

I think I would have been very happy at either place where I was offered the TT spot. The problem is that I have a two body problem (the other is a non-philosopher) and it seemed unlikely that s/he would have been able to get a decent job in either location.

People in my department suggested to me that I get an apartment in one of these locations and just "commute" (or whatever you call travelling back and forth on weekends). To me, that sounds absolutely terrible. I teach philosophy because I really enjoy it, not because I can't do other things. I'd much have a 6-figure 9 to 5 job than a mid 5-figure philosophy job where I have to "commute" back and forth to see my family.

There are more important things than TT spots--sanity, family, etc. I'd never leave the city I'm in right now to accept a job at some of these terrible locations... I'm looking at you University of Alaska-Fairbanks! For some people, however, that isn't a problem. They'd be happy to pack up and go to the middle of nowhere. Not me.

Now, all of the jobs I applied for were positions that, when I applied, I thought I would be happy relocating to. As I learned more about the school and met some of the people on the faculty at the APA, I realized that there was no way in hell I'd go there (and so I pulled myself out of three of the searches after the APA/first round).

Anyway, I hope that offers some insight.

Anon4:53, One of my interviews was a Skype interview. It was very... odd. I had business clothes on the top half of me and pajama bottoms on the bottom half. (At least I had clothes on the bottom half, right?)

I really hate the APA meat market, but there is quite a lot you find out about a school/candidate by meeting with people in person. I didn't find the Skype interview any better than the one I did over the phone (and that one I found to be very uninsightful).

Anonymous said...

There is something sad about the abrupt messages of professional triumph posed against those of failure. Almost an argument against blogs as anything except the triumph of success against anything less than that. Unless that is the point of blogs. Let's decide. Of course we won't. Especially on this blog. We'll dither until we triumph--then declare, and abandon.

Anonymous said...

1:36, thank you very much for the explanation, i do appreciate the insight. i hope you find something close to home, or somewhere you can both relocate to.
this also goes back to a thread we had here earlier (re i think the case of rusty and harvard, and possible cases and reasons for not accepting fancy jobs).

Anonymous said...

6:42 something sad, yes. did you mean to say slightly distasteful? anyway, not to put words in your mouth, i thought - despite being happy for those who did get jobs, seriously, that in context, seeing as this was a commiseration thread, triumph posts may seem a tad boastful.
but while you have something to boast about, do get more than just 2 bottle of champagne, 9:33, come on; learn from 5:59.

Anonymous said...

9:33 again.

Was this a commiseration thread? Sorry, I didn't realize. (Genuinely didn't realize.) I thought it was interesting to just see the stats - how many jobs people applied to, the ultimate results of the process, and so forth. And with that in mind I thought I'd add the stats from my job search.

Again, apologies if somehow I ruined the tenor of the entry. I most definitely didn't intend to come across as gloating.

Mr. Zero said...

Dear successful people,

Please do not feel weird about sharing your successes here. I see it as a "how'd it turn out" thread.

Anonymous said...

My stats:
Applications sent: 101
1st round interviews: 6
Campus interviews: 3 (2 at community colleges; 1 at a state university)
Job offers: 0 (but 2 interviews have only very recently taken place)
Alcohol consumed: 4 bottles of beer
Number of papers I could have written if I wasn't coping with my depression by playing mindless video games: >2

Anonymous said...

Applications: A lot (I've lost count and I'm not looking it up)

1st round interviews: 11 (3 declined)

Campus interviews: 2

Job offers: 2

Number of times I thought that going on the job market just might be the most miserable experience of my life: 259

Bobcat said...

I ended up getting a job in 2008, but I was on the job market twice. My totals for those two years were:

Applications: 195
APA interviews: 7
Callbacks: 3
Job offers: 1

zombie said...

Applications: 31
APA interviews: 1
Campus visits: 1 (not same job as APA interview)
Job offers: 0
Potato chips: countless

Glad I still have a year on my fellowship, but I really want to go home. Heavy sigh.

Anonymous said...

39 applications sent

9 initial interviews (6 APA, 2 phone, 1 straight-to-campus)

5 campus visits

3 offers (2 tenure-track, 1 permanent non-TT and attractive for other reasons)

Alcohol in celebration: negligible amounts. Alcohol for dulling pain: moderate amounts. Alcohol to take the edge off after interviews/visits/discussions w/ family about where we’ll end up: substantial amounts. Alcohol offered in thanks for my good fortune: endless amounts.

A-158 said...

Counting only tenure-track searches:

Years on market: 5

Pedigree: not Leiter-ranked

Jobs applied for: approx. 280

APA interviews: 15

On campus interviews: 2

Job offers: 1 (accepted!)

Adjunct positions held between graduation and TT offer: 2

Anonymous said...

Job applied for this year: 2
APA interviews: 0
Number of service activities I've done this year at my current job because it looks like I'll actually be here until my tenure review and that's all they seem to care about: 15+

Will Philosophize For Food said...


Years on the market: 4

Job offers: 2 (both VAP)

Pedigree: "ass-end" of the Leiter Rankings

This year

Jobs applied: 45 (or thereabouts

TT first round interviews: 3 (2 APA, 1 phone)

TT on campus interviews: 0

VAP first round interviews: 4 (3 phone, 1 straight-to-campus)

Offers: 1 (to stay in my current VAP position)

How many more years on the market: ?

Xenophon said...

1:36, there aren't a lot of 6-figure jobs out there that are 9-5. Maybe you've got special talents or connections, but if and when you grow tire of living off the SO while adjuncting, you might be in for a surprise. I'm just saying. Meanwhile, it sounds like you're happy now, and there's a lot to be said for happy (or so I'm told). So good for you.

My stats, for what it's worth:
applications: 2
interviews: 0
Given the market, and that I'm gainfully employed at present, I just decided to sit out the year. The two applications were early in the season, for jobs that just looked too good. Now I don't even remember which they were.

After n years on the market, the job search had become part of my lifestyle. I was well into the fall term before I learned not to follow the job postings, make lists, etc. Weird.

Anonymous said...

My stats;

Apps: 1
On Campus 0 :(

BunnyHugger said...

Last year:

Jobs applied for: 68
APA interviews: 2
Phone interviews: 2
On campus interviews: 3 (one was from the APA, other two were from the phone interviews)
Job offers: 0

This year:
Jobs applied for: 28 (I shotgunned just as much as last year, there was just less to shoot at)
Interviews of any variety: 0

Next year:
Might not bother.

BunnyHugger said...

I should add to my last comment -- all the positions I applied for both years were tenure track. I'm in an annually renewable lectureship, and don't bother applying for VAPs.

Anonymous said...

Strikingly similar to anon 12:50... 31 applications, 9 initial interviews (1 skype, 2 phone, 6 at the APA), 5 campus visits, 2 job offers.

Anonymous said...

Stats are about:
Years on Market: 2
Jobs applied for: about 120-ish total
APA/Phone interviews: 5
(1st year 2 interviews, 2nd year 3 interviews)
On campus interviews: 1 (with a community college)
Job offers: 0

Its a bad economy, I'll take what I can get because I don't things are getting any better anytime soon.

Alcohol consumed: Alot.

Anonymous said...

Years on market: 3
Jobs applied for this time: a bit over 60; maybe 70
Pedigree: low-end Leiter
APA Interviews: 2
Skype Interviews: 1 (kinda weird, not awful)
On campus: 2 (one from APA, one not)
Rejections: 1
Still waiting on: 1 (yes, 3 months after the on campus; no, not b/c they've offered to someone else; seems administrative)
How nervous (1-10): 3 (I have a non-TT forever-renewable position, so I'm not doing awful; but, not happy about having same non-TT position for 4 years after graduating, and still waiting...)
Alcohol: you people count? Amazing. I suppose a lot, but nicely spread out. :)

Anonymous said...

Years on the market: 3 since PhD
30+ job applications
2 on campus interviews
no offers as yet
a stunning amount of ice-creams, chocolate and other comfort food.
It's very frustrating. I have 12 journal publications, of which 6 or so in good philosophy journals (the remainder in more obscure philosophy journals and good cognitive science journals), next to 10 or so book publications. My productivity is not what it used to be due to this terrible waste of time of writing nice personalized application letters, polishing CVs, etc. Recession is a terrible loss of cognitive capital.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:02,

That's terrible. If you haven't already, you might take a suggestion that I've seen on here before: ask the placement director or department chair at your PhD institution to take a look at your recommendations. There might be something in there (intentional or not) that's causing problems for your applications.

Anonymous said...

Update to my post on May 13 at 9:14 pm.

My one holdout came through w/ an offer (yes, over 3 months after the visit; and, again, no, not b/c they offered to someone else first). So, that's good.

To May 30 at 2:02 am: I agree w/ the person following need to have some fresh eyes on your application. A couple things strike me: if you're applying w/ that many pub's that soon after graduating, this means one or more of a few things to me:
1) you're not applying to the right kinds of places; some non-R1 schools will fear that many pub's, thinking you'll move on or that you're not one who cares about teaching
2) you need to polish up on your non-philosopher aspects of your interviews; you may come off as weird (and yes, this makes a difference to interviewers even if they're primarily interested in having a good philosopher as a colleague; after all, they have to work w/ you for years)
3) something nasty is in your application...a bad letter of rec, poor teaching eval's, weird AoS's..lots of possibilities that need to be looked at from a distance.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

@anon 2:02am: I'm really sorry to hear of your situation. Were there only about 30 postings for jobs that are reasonably within your AOS/AOCs (including open searches)? If not, perhaps you're shooting too high. My stats from this year looked like this:

Apps: 93
Interviews: 4
Fly-outs: 3
Offers: 2

At the time I went on the market this past year, I had my Ph.D. in hand, three publications (two in good journals) and very good teaching evaluations from the past three years. Even then, both of my offers were from community colleges. (I thought I'd get at least a couple interviews from decent four-year schools). Needless to say, however, I'm really happy to have the job that I do.

I hope things turn around for you.