Monday, November 1, 2010

The 2010 Job Market So Far

I'm having a hard time whipping up enthusiasm, either positive or negative, about the job market this year. One reason is that there aren't very many jobs I'm especially excited about. (Although I would be totally, completely stoked about any tenure-track job offer; there just isn't much in the way of "dream school" or "dream location" jobs this year. At least that I have a nonzero probability of getting.) Another, I think, is that there are so few jobs that it's hard to feel like I have a serious chance at getting anything. Looking at this JFP, it is simply not possible to send out a significant number of applications. Like last year. These facts seem to me to explain why I'm not feeling very positive. The other thing is, I feel like my file is much, much stronger than it has been in the past. I've had some significant professional accomplishments over the past year, and for the first time I feel like a legitimate contender for a tenure-line job (or, I would be if it weren't for the fact that there are no jobs and a billion people on the market who would normally have been hired in the last three years but weren't). So I don't feel particularly bad about things this year, either. I feel very medium.

The other thing is that I've blogged my way through the process before. Looking at the numbers, we've clearly got a lot of readers who weren't with us last year, but still. As a job market old-timer, I don't feel like I have a fresh perspective on this. It's sort of hard for me to believe that anyone is the least bit interested in reading what "Mr. Zero" thinks about anything; it's all the more difficult for me to believe that there is an audience for a second annual post about how much I hate the online-application process. On the other hand, maybe there is an audience for this, and maybe the whole point of being an anonymous blogger is that I get to write about whatever I want, whether anybody is interested in reading it or not. So maybe there's an "I hate online job applications, part II" coming up.

So anyways, that's kind of where I'm at right now, and that's kind of why I haven't been posting much, even though this is our big time of year, readership-wise.

--Mr. Zero

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Judging by how much the schools have become addicted to adjunct and limited appointment workforce (minimal to no benefits, lower pay, no long-term committment), I seriously doubt that the job market situation will improve significantly with time. Unless, of course, the future generations of potential scholars will recognize the humiliating futility of pursuing university teaching as a respected and fairly compensated profession, and with a resounding "FUCK YOU!" will avoid graduate schools like the gallows.
Only then the generous flow of nearly free labor to the universities will stop, forcing them to re-think their destructive employment policies.
None of which, of course, is any comfort to the multitudes of PhDs presently on the market.

ABD said...

Zero,

I'm first time on the market, and have been following this blog since 2007 in the "philosophyjobmarketblog" days. And I love reading what you have to say. I find it both cathartic and educational. Please write frequently about whatever you want. And I would be very interested in your thoughts on the online application system. I, for one, actually like it.

zombie said...

I am feeling stupidly optimistic about my prospects this year. I've had several significant professional achievements this past year, which make me a much stronger candidate than I was in the last two rounds. I've learned better how to toot my own horn in my cover letters (for what it's worth). Other post-docs from here have done well on the market. I'm hopeful that will all count for something. This also seems to be a year in which my AOS is in demand (or at least more so than the last two years), and I'm feeling well-qualified for the jobs I've applied for, even though I know that some of them are out of my league. When they're online applications, and all I stand to lose is a little time and my $6 Interfolio fee to send out my letters, I go for it. "Take that, Dartmouth! Ball's in your court now!"
But I may be deluding myself. Time will tell if April is the cruelest month.

Anonymous said...

I like it. Keep it up, if and only if it's therapeutic and healthy for you. You should know it's therapeutic and healthy for us; you've helped a lot of people through tough times.

For us old timers, any way we can get an update on PGS and PGOAT?

Anonymous said...

I'm not even a philosopher, rather in another humanistic discipline, and this blog is fantastic. So I'd keep it up, because I'm loving it.

Anonymous said...

I enthusiastically second the request for PGS and PGOAT. How about coming out of retirement for a post or two?

Anonymous said...

Oh fuck yeah, I miss PGS. PGS! PGS!

Ben said...

We* put ourselves through the application process each year, so why not write/read about it each year too?

*Except hopefully not me this year - but I suffer vicariously...

Dr. Killjoy said...

Hey, M. Zero,

Just wanted to wish you luck out there, and to let you know that a good CV stands out--eventually, good philosophers find good homes.

Hell, maybe I'll even look at a few cover letters this year and, in your honor, allow myself a brief chuckle when I do.

Your Sincere Frenemy,

Killroy Octavius Killjoy MD DDS PhD

Anonymous said...

This idea of Killjoy's that "good philosophers eventually find homes" seems to be widespread among those lucky souls who have found tenure-track jobs. It is, of course, total fucking bullshit, and I wish those who have been luck enough to find homes would stop perpetrating this insipid lie.

Anonymous said...

Yes, total bullshit. I had two classmates who never landed a job. (PhD 02 - mid- Leiter 50 school ) Neither of them were able to land a job. Both were better than me at the time. I am currently superior to them. One continues to be a woman, the other claims to be a man. Both read this blog for some fucking reason.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, people are starting to post drunk. And they're mean, angry drunk. I'm surprised they manage to type the verification word.

Anonymous said...

Third enthusiastic shout-out for PGS and PGOAT (especially PGOAT!!)

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good year for metaphysicians, so I'm feeling unrealistically positive right now. In about six weeks reality will probably slap me silly.

Ben said...

In case anyone is based in the UK (or would relocate for a 1-year VAP), my department just advertised this job, which probably won't be in JFP.

http://www.hr-services.stir.ac.uk/vacancies/information/Lecturer10722.php

Anonymous said...

Whoa, people are starting to post drunk.

Wait, I thought that was one of the rules here...

BunnyHugger said...

Please do keep it up. It's very comforting to read about others' feelings during the job circus. It helps me feel less alone when I am low.

Mr. Zero said...

Thanks everybody. To be clear, I wasn't thinking about quitting, I was explaining why I'd slowed down a little.