Friday, September 27, 2013

My Problem is Hope

This is what happens to me every year. I know what the job market is like. I know that there are lots of jobs and lots of applicants, and that the odds of me getting a job are not high, and that for any particular job, the odds of me getting that job are low. I know this.

But then the job ads start coming out. And I see a couple of jobs that seem really attractive. Maybe I know somebody in the department; maybe I've been to the city or town and thought it would be pretty cool to live there; maybe it's close to family or friends; maybe there's a reason why it would be particularly good for my family; maybe there's something about the job that I connect with somehow, where I'd be especially well-suited for it, or it would be especially well-suited for me.

And then I can't help but start to think about what it would be like to get that job. I start to get hope. I would rather not get these hopes, but it's hard not to. At least, I seem to have no ability to prevent it. I can't help it. And I have found myself doing this again over the past few weeks.

And a few times, I've actually gotten interviews at these places. It is very hard to avoid this hopefulness when you are prepping for an interview with your favorite job from this year's JFP, or with your favorite job ever.

And frankly, I'm not sure how you'd be able to summon the motivation to apply for these jobs, or to prep for the interview, if you weren't at least somewhat hopeful that you'd get the job. I once had an interview with a school that was located in a city I'd lived in as a child, and where I had a really tough time. When I thought about the possibility of moving back--and bringing my family with me--I didn't feel particularly hopeful. I wasn't excited about it. I wasn't "into" it. And I think that came through in the interview. I didn't say anything about it, of course; I didn't attempt to express these feelings and did what I could to conceal them. But I couldn't get myself excited about the job, and I think it showed. I don't think I fucked it up, or anything, but I also didn't blow them away, and I didn't get the flyout. So I suppose I see the utility of feeling hopeful. It seems to play a somewhat important role in providing motivation.

But I really don't like having to let go of these hopes as the season progresses. I don't like it at all. And so I wish there were a way to avoid it, and then to do without it.

Sorry if this post is a bummer. Here's some Miles Davis.



--Mr. Zero

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Despite the sad tone, this is one of my favorite recent posts on this blog. I've read this blog for a couple of years now, and it's been extremely helpful to me as I've prepared for the job market. As a result of reading this blog (and other work, of course), I've managed to land interviews with a few fairly prestigious schools.

The job ads, especially for places that will never employ me, give me hope every year, and it's hard to convince myself that I won't get certain jobs, even when I know my chances are practically zero. Dreaming is both wonderful and terrible for my mental health.

My current (temporary) position is lovely, and so I won't complain. But I just wanted to register that this post really resonated with at least one of your readers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Zero, for your honest post. I wondered whether other people recognized the same phenomenon in themselves. At the end of the season earlier this year, I was really beating myself up for even being on the market and for everything else associated with it.

This is my second full turn at the market (I don't really count my first because I was ABD from an unranked school). I recognized the same phenomenon from my previous experience, and I wanted to do what I could to avoid what seems like the inevitable 'crash' that I experienced before. Here's what I did over the summer and am continuing to do as I start the process all over again.

First, I took a break. I hope you got to do this for some length of time over the summer. Mine was short (four days), but restorative. I spent time with my family and didn't think about philosophy or jobs or jobs in philosophy. I'm doing this now on a much smaller scale (one afternoon a week, maybe a whole Saturday, max), but it's really helping. I feel better, and I'm working better.

Second, I reflected on the things I can't change about the situation. I can't make someone hire me. I can't change the past and not decide to be a philosopher. I can't un-borrow student loans. I can't make jobs magically appear. There's more, I'm sure. I continue to remind myself of this as needed.

Third, I thought about what I could do. I can present myself honestly in the best possible way, but that's it. I can work on the material that I like. I can revise my portfolios. I can update my cv. I can...you get the idea. Taking the actions that I can, exerting the control that I DO have, is empowering.

Fourth, I reflected on the things I should be grateful for (whether or not I really am grateful for these things). I have a VAP. I make 'enough'. I have a loving family. I got some interviews last year, whereas in the previous year I got none. I get to teach. I get to write. I have to remind myself of these things and more daily these days, but it's really helping.

Lastly, and related to the third point above, I seriously investigated Plan B's. I've been advised that it is too early, but I don't think so. I know myself, and I know that I need to prepare at least somewhat. I know what I like about being a philosopher, so I looked into careers with those features. I can't afford to go back to school, so that limits my choices, but I learned of at least a couple of opportunities that, while I would have to train or get certified, I could transition to if need be. This really helped me because, in my mind at least, I recognized that I have options.

So, I'm using the hope that is welling up inside me to motivate me to apply again, and I'm doing these other things as well to balance out the feelings of loss and self-loathing brought about by the inevitable rejections. It's working so far, one application at a time (and hopefully, one rejection at a time as well when they start to come in).

Anonymous said...

So speaking of the hope and the general stress and disappointment of the job search.... I've been wondering recently whether it ever makes sense to take a year off? I'm two years out from my PhD and I just landed a lecturer job. The job, city, and university are all thoroughly okay. I don't want to do this with the rest of my career but it's not bad for the moment. I think about all the time the job search eats up and I wonder if it might not be better to just take a pass on it this year or only apply to jobs that are too good to pass up. I've got a couple of good papers under review one of which is a revise and resubmit so I think the odds my CV will be stronger next year are good. I've also got ideas for a couple more papers that seem promising and it seems to me that the time I might spend on the job search could be better spent working on those or focusing on my teaching.
On the other hand I feel I'm starting to get old (getting into my mid 30s) and I want a TT job as soon as I can get one. Also, with the market as brutal as it is part of me says it's stupid to ever pass up chances. So what do all of you think? Anyone else having similar thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I know there are so many that share your inability to keep yourself from hoping. I know exactly how you feel. I've been in the market for two years, the most I could do was land a few skype interviews.

I'm not an American, but I got my phd from an interdisciplinary program in science studies at a well-respected American research university. I did my dissertation in philosophy of science and my advisor and committee members are very well-known philosophers of science. Coming out of grad school I couldn't find a job and I had to go back to my home country.
I started putting together a new dossier, updated everything. Since I was applying from outside the US, even though I finished my phd in the US under well-known people, I knew for a fact that my chance of even landing an interview was about one in a thousand. Nonetheless, just like you, as I saw the job ads I couldn't help getting hopeful.
I didn't get anything better than a few skype interviews. Since I was outside the US, I couldn't go to the APA, because I couldn't afford the airfare and the hotel. During all this time, I was adjuncting and living in my childhood room in my parent's apartment.

The second year on the market, pretty much the same scenario repeated. In both years, I applied to a few positions at English-language universities in my hometown and I gave three job talks. In the meantime, nothing came from the US and Canada.

Finally, late in my second year, I got a TT job to teach and do research in philosophy of science and cognitive science at a new private research university in my hometown. I get to teach undergrad and grad courses and all the resources I need for research are provided. The language of instruction is English, so I don't have to rewrite anything, after all, my academic native tongue is English. I am truly thankful for my new job, it is the kind of job that enables me to do my own work as well as venture into related fields. But every now and then I catch myself looking at new job ads. Even though I was lucky that I got a great job in my home country, I can't help but consider other good positions in the US. This may be because I can't help being hopeful that I could get a job say at WashU or Indiana.

The point I'm trying to make is that even after you get a good job, the hope you can't help feeling will make you consider other jobs, perhaps at better institutions, better cities, better colleagues, etc. I don't think that's a bad thing.
A more important point I want to make is this: my north American colleagues, please consider jobs outside the US or Canada. There are lots of jobs in eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and quite a few of them are at English-language institutions, so you won't have to change even your lecture slides. Given the job market, I don't think anyone can fault you for making a bad career move by working abroad. I think it makes perfect sense to work for three or four years at a good English-language university in eastern Europe or the Middle East instead of laboring away for terrible pay at a community college. Some of these universities have very good academics in their staff and they wish to hire Americans, so you won't necessarily be at a disadvantage just because you don't speak the native language. In fact, it may be a plus, because students at these places would have to talk to you in English and many English-language universities want their students to improve their skills of English. The experience of working at another country may even work to your advantage when you get back in the north American market. So, my dear colleagues, just because you didn't get a good job in north America does not mean that you have to quit being a philosopher and it also does not mean you have to make do with adjuncting at community colleges or not-so-good universities. It is obvious that the demand for us in North America is way lower than our numbers. But at the same time, a lot of non-American universities need you and they pay well...

Anonymous said...

Re 1154: You're right that it's good to broaden the search, but I wouldn't underestimate the difficulty of getting a job abroad. I've been short listed for a few jobs in the UK I applied for but otherwise I've had worse luck applying abroad than in the U.S. The really good English language universities like say CEU in Budapest are competitive. People know they're good places to work. And as for the older European universities: They tend to be really closed. I know that one doen't get a job in a German university without personal connections and I'm told that the same goes for Italian and French universities. I've seen a few German universities advertise open searches, but at the end of the search they almost always hire someone they personally know.

But still it is a good point and I'd just ask: Where do you find ads for foreign jobs? I know a few pop up in philjobs and those are the ones I've applied for but are there other places to look. More jobs to apply for can never be a bad thing.

Anonymous said...


12:43

Thank you, but I was talking about more about the universities in places like Turkey, Israel, and central and southeast Asia. The private ones are better and much more effective in hiring and state institutions tend to be closed like you said. In the Middle East and Asia, there are lots of new and private universities that need to grow. For example, there is an ad on philjobs for I think multiple positions at Koc University in Istanbul. I know that Koc is a new but very good institution, ranked 226-250 along with Bilkent in Ankara, in the 2012-2013 THE world university rankings. Bilkent for example does not advertise on philjobs, at least not to my knowledge, but they have their ads on their department website under Openings. Another point is that although some of these universities do not advertise, they welcome emails bordering on solicitation. I heard that quite a few people I know got interviews that way. There must be similar places in Israel, Turkic republics of central Asia, and places like Korea and Hong Kong. Sending emails out of the blue like that is certainly weird, but not necessarily so for a dean or department head at a new university who has a million things to do including expanding his/her dept or program.

The good universities in Turkey and Israel may be a little competitive, but certainly not as competitive as in the US or Canada. I'd guess that if you have to compete with 50 others for a job in the US, in the Middle East you may have to compete with 10. The universities in central Asia would be less competitive.

As for finding out about these positions, it may be a good rough start to look at the THE world rankings by region and then look up philosophy departments or programs or interdisciplinary programs at these universities. See if they're hiring, even if it is a 2-year lectureship I say it still beats adjuncting in the US... Hope this helps...

Anonymous said...

Hope is only part of your problem. The other part is that our field defines success very narrowly, and anything other than "good job in good location" is often viewed as failure.

I have a book in print, another under review, articles in top journals, and have been invited to lecture at universities and conferences on my AOS. I review submissions for the top journal in my AOS, and have had editors at UPs approach me for work. However, I work at a small state university, and almost every time I introduce myself and note where I work, people apologize for my dire situation and assume that I must be miserable to be trapped at such an undesirable hell. When I tell them how happy I am, they assume I'm just putting on a good face.

Anonymous said...

I agree that broadening one's search to other countries can be a good move. However, one should certainly be aware that there are highly ranked schools that will promise you much, and provide much less. Once one has moved to Asia to take up a 2-2 job one thought was paying over 60K, it may well be financially unfeasible to leave, even after discovering that you'll actually have to teach 4-4 and only be earning 35K. And when you cannot speak the local language, good luck trying to get what you thought you were promised.

Of course, not every place is like this, and many universities abroad treat their faculty very well. However, it is imperative that you do your research well before accepting a job abroad, and understand that the standards that you expect in the US won't necessarily be there elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone feel like this is a good year for jobs so far?

Mr. Zero said...

Hi anon 11:14,

I would not take a year off. I've thought about doing that before, and it would definitely be nice to have a year where I didn't have to do all this shit for once. But it seems to me that the best approach to the job market is to apply to every job you can, so as to maximize your chances of success. If you took a year off, that's a bunch of jobs you're not applying for.

Hi anon 9:03,

The other part is that our field defines success very narrowly, and anything other than "good job in good location" is often viewed as failure.

I don't think you're wrong, exactly--I do think that people often see things they way you suggest. But that's not where I'm coming from. To me it sounds like you're career is pretty good. If, in ten years, your second paragraph were a pretty accurate snapshot of where my career was, I'm pretty confident that I'd feel like I'd made it.

Unknown said...

When I was on the market years ago, my adviser sketched out what he thought was the standard for success. "Get a tenure track job, then get tenure." That's what I was told success was. No requirements concerning the kind of school or location though. Is this the vision most people in our discipline have for 'success'?

Anonymous said...

I'm in a different position than the earlier poster. I'm still working on the dissertation, but I've run out of funding. I decided to adjunct this semester, but teaching has really taken up a good chunk of time and it really isn't worth the shitty pay. Since I won't be going on the market this year, I was thinking of taking a year off from teaching (and everything else) just to work on the dissertation. Will this put me at a disadvantage when I do go on the market? I'm not sure that I'd have the time or money to go to many conferences during this year off.

Mr. Zero said...

Hi anon 4:57,

I would not say that I know this, but as long as you're still technically in grad school, a year away from teaching probably won't hurt you very much. Especially if you get a lot done during that year. After you defend, gaps in your employment history are more likely to raise eyebrows.

What I would be more worried about is food and shelter. Do you have a workable plan for acquiring those?

Anonymous said...

Zero- I'm in almost exactly the same situation as 9:03 (books, articles, and all the rest, at a small/unranked place in not the most desirable of locations), but the difference in my case is that I'm NOT completely happy where I am. I can't say that I thought I'd feel this way years ago. If you told me coming out of grad school that I'd be in the position I'm in now, I would have considered that complete and unqualified success. Being in that position today, however, I feel like I want more.

One might argue that I SHOULD feel content with my current position, and they'd probably have a good point. But it just seems hard to quiet the little voice in one's head that nags "hey, you've done plentiful and good philosophical work, you should be somewhere better."

Maybe this is just a function of being human. We're never satisfied. Grass is always greener, and all that. (great post, by the way. One of my favorites too.)

Anonymous said...

What's Hope?

Anonymous said...

@10:18

I get it. I'll probably be the same if I'm as lucky as you. Don't you think the (ridiculous) norms and values of those at the top in our discipline are partly to blame - we take the norms and values in, and slowly become like everyone else.

4:57 said...

Zero,

I agree that I'd have to find a way to generate income. I will be applying for some different fellowships, but I don't believe I'll get anything. My significant other has a decent job, and I could get a part-time job waiting tables or something. I have experience working as a bartender and a server, and I could make more money doing that than adjuncting. It's also fewer hours. So a year off from teaching wouldn't be a full year off from doing any kind of work. I was thinking I'd just get a job once I run out of money.

Anonymous said...

Grad directors should start all orientations for new grad students in philosophy like the Inferno: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Anonymous said...

"But it just seems hard to quiet the little voice in one's head that nags 'hey, you've done plentiful and good philosophical work, you should be somewhere better.' Maybe this is just a function of being human."

Yes, it's human, and of course you can't just *choose* to be content. However, it's not a purely passive matter, either. There are strategies for becoming more content.

I originally disliked many things about my current job and location, but once I went out of my way to take an active interest in my new situation, find things about the place and the job that I like and focus on them, develop them, make them more central than the negatives, I've become much more content. Not totally content (who is, and who wants that?), but more so.

Anonymous said...

10:18,

9:03 here. I'd like to say that part of the problem is the very idea that "One might argue that I SHOULD feel content with my current position, and they'd probably have a good point." No, they wouldn't.

My point is that there is no magic formula that we are all supposed to agree to that should automatically make us content. There are all sorts of reasons why one might not be content at one's job (lack of professional opportunities, hostile department, location that does not allow for the kind of community one wants to be part of, etc.). It's idiotic for anyone to feel that they should be content because of someone else's standards.

Are you glad to be employed? Probably. Do you recognize how lucky that makes you in this field? Probably. Does that mean you should accept your fate and decide to be content? No.

Also, there's nothing wrong with changing your definition of success as your career develops. Would the grad student you find your career to be a success? Sure. But that's not you anymore, and you don't have to hold to that definition. You're allowed to want to build your career, and to not be content if it's not progressing as you'd like. No guarantees that you will move on or move up, but that shouldn't stop you from trying.

My advisor was disappointed that I didn't land a research position. My fellow grad students were jealous that I landed a job my first year out. Some of my colleagues hate the area where we live and desperately want to leave. Which of them should be allowed to determine what should make me content?

Anonymous said...

I'm writing this comment here in case anyone is still reading this thread.

Here's just a tip to help with hoping for an interview: write your cover letter appropriately. For instance, if you are applying for an R1 position, make your cover letter short and talk only about your research.

However, if you are applying for a position at a teaching-type of school (e.g., many state schools, SLAC's), write a longer cover letter showing that you actually care about the school and how your application is perceived. Write your letter trumping your teaching and how you would make a great fit at that school. You can also talk about your research (unless you are applying to a community college), but let that be subservient to your teaching. The last thing you want to do is send a "R1 school" cover letter to a teaching-type of school." That gives the impression that you do not understand the school and do not care as much about teaching. I know that that requires more effort on the part of the applicant, but those who put in the effort are the ones most likely getting interviews from teaching-type schools.

Anonymous said...

Hi 1:38.

If there's anything I've learned in my years on the job market is that there is no such thing as a general rule, even about cover letters (even about R1s) on the job market.

Each committee really is its own little snowflake and each department a little snowflurry. Some R1s committees might like your 'short and sweet' approach to cover letters (my really spotty placement adviser seemed to think along your lines) and some might like you to demonstrate that you've tailored your letter a bit and, in some longer prose, say more about your fit with that specific university.

The only general conclusions I can make is that there aren't any. While all committees are trying to find the best applicant they can, the criteria that define 'best' are so varied and determined by the ideas, needs, insecurities, and history of each member of each committee...that I just couldn't bring myself to recommend to anyone any general course of advice.

Maybe I've lost hope.

Anonymous said...

I completely shared the OP's frustration during my long job search. The process forces almost constant state of double think--of forced optimism and reinforced realism--that easily veers into swings between excessive hope and excessive despair, both of which are not only unbearable but necessary to keep at it and do it in a worthwhile way. Without hope I wouldn't have been able to mail one more application, without irrational, excessive optimism, I wouldn't have been able to write a good letter or give a good interview.

That said, I think there is an alternative to either hope or despair, since I think despair is not just the lack of hope but the rejection and resentment of hope. There is a state I'd like to call unhope that is worth striving for: it's something like not giving a damn, but in a way that gives a damn. Not giving a damn *because* you give a damn.

In the case of the job market, it is based in your love of what you do and of your decision to have done it. Since it's about that, damn the consequences. That's the stage I reached when I was about to quit the game. I loved what I did but I no longer gave a damn about whether I got a job. My applications and interviews were not blighted by despair but freed from false hope: I said what I really meant and thought and I said it with passion because I wasn't afraid of hurting my chances.

After deciding to quit, I got a call, and a job. I think unhope may have helped, but I don't know.

Anonymous said...

9:03,

"It's idiotic for anyone to feel that they should be content because of someone else's standards."

This may be true, but I think it's a straw man. The implication of "I *should* probably be content" is that the speaker recognizes that to some degree they *share* the standards at issue.

That's why it can *sometimes* be perfectly reasonable to say to someone: "you ought to be content." Because I can know another person's standards and see they achieve them. In an anonymous blog, of course, I can't know that--but I can make rough generalizations about shared standards of the profession and culture that might be true for many anonymous readers.

And of course, I can also say "you ought to be content" if your standards are questionable. For example: if your standard of contentment is being Batman or the president or Plato, you've got unreasonable standards. In the case of the job market, realism about the odds and the options is part of having reasonable standards of contentment.

That's not an issue of moral authority, as your comment suggests ("Which of them should be allowed to determine what should make me content?") Pointing out someone's standards are unreasonable and doom them to misery is not a matter of "allowing" or disallowing them the freedom to be miserable, nor is it a matter of "determining" their contentment.

Yeah, you're free to be unhappy and to cling to standards that make you unhappy. But if there's an option of more happiness in modifying your standards, why not let others suggest it--at least as a possibility?

Anonymous said...

8:48,

But then the inference to be drawn from your claim is that we have to act AS IF there are some general rules, since we are usually completely unaware of the peculiarities of the particular job. Without any general rule we'd be making decisions without any reason at all. So which general rules are the most plausible? I think 1:38 has given us one. Is it true? Maybe not, but it can be useful. (And I'm not even a pragmatist.)

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask about something in reference to the job market. How effective are 'informal recommendations'? My department encourages us to notify our placement director when and where we apply so that they can, "...contact the places where [we] apply on [our] behalf." This seems like an odd practice to me. If the discipline is really trying to level the playing field for women and minorities, how can this be fair? I am curious to know whether other smokers have heard of this and if it works, and not just for the few, but also the many.

Anonymous said...

Is the message that hope is important? I don't buy it. Most job seekers (not just in philosophy) need to give up hope and do something else. There are precious few good permanent positions and a glut of PhDs clamoring for them. This just serves to perpetuate a system--a caste system in which the vast majority work for a mere pittance--that's rotten to the core.

Anonymous said...

1:59,

I agree with much of this, even if I find the tone too cynical.

For those who are already deeply invested in the profession both psychologically and financially, hope is reasonable advice.

However, I agree that generally speaking, a better option is true, thoroughgoing despair of the kind that motivates resistance and action.

It's an unethical system that should be changed, not endured. So, how do we--above all, faculty who benefit from it--change it?

Anonymous said...

"My department encourages us to notify our placement director when and where we apply so that they can, "...contact the places where [we] apply on [our] behalf." This seems like an odd practice to me. If the discipline is really trying to level the playing field for women and minorities, how can this be fair?"

Can this smoker expand on the supposed tension between fairness and implicit recommendations? Why is there reason to think that implicit recommendations, as a whole, disadvantage women and minorities? Is the supposition that recommendations as a whole are biased against women and minorities, and so implicit recommendations are a special case of this bias?

Or is the fear, rather, that because implicit recommendations by their nature bypass official channels, they are more explicitly sexist? I'm failing to see how that could be so, but maybe you can think of an example.

zombie said...

1:41 -- I can't say how effective those informal references are. My advisor told me of people she had contacted on my behalf, but I never got an interview at any of those places (but they were longshots for me anyway).
But yeah, it still gets done. I guess it's a vestige of the old days when an informal phone call was (legend has it) all it took to get a job.

Anonymous said...

Hi 9:39

I think one ought to represent oneself in the manner one thinks best (according to her/his own standards) and hope that 2-3 members of any particular search committee happened to think along similar lines.

Anonymous said...

It's been a while but I remember during my second year on the job market I had a much harder time conveying that enthusiasm for the job. I'd unfortunately learned during my first full time one year job that no, I could not be happy anywhere. And some of those jobs were in scary places (to me). I think I unintentionally sabotaged myself when faced with interviews isolated locations in the Midwest, for example.

Anonymous said...

1:41 here...

I am mostly concerned with the bypassing of official channels. Departments are trying hard to minimize implicit bias by revising their hiring practices. Some examples of changes are cutting out APA interviews (and the informal 'interview' at the smoker)and by standardizing application materials (e.g. requiring all dossiers to be submitted via Interfolio). It seems like the practice of informal recommendation undercuts these attempts. Here is an example.

Suppose Candidate A is African-American and Candidate B is Caucasian-American. Candidate B's advisor calls his friend, who is on the hiring committee, at School C to informally recommend Candidate B. Candidate A's advisor doesn't know anyone at the school. Both candidates are well qualified for the position.

School C has done its best to counter implicit bias by doing at least the two things I mentioned above, possibly more. The hiring committee intends to increase diversity at its school, but wants to hire the best candidate nonetheless. The hiring committee at School C is composed of only Caucasians because there are only Caucasians working in the department (some though are non-American). Candidate B's advisor is also Caucasian-American.

This is the perfect setup for the activation of implicit bias, and this scenario is realistic in today's market. You could substitute other minority terms, in particular I am thinking sexual minority terms like 'cisgendered' and 'non-cisgendered' and get the same result.

Anonymous said...

But what if Candidate A is an African-American and her adviser calls various departments to drum up support for her? In my department, most of the faculty (at least claim to) call various departments if they think they can drum up support for a job candidate. I have never observed that this informal push was limited only to white men or any other dominant hegemonic units of privilege.

The bigger worry is that some faculty do it in some departments and some don't do it. Perhaps that is a question of fairness across the boards, but this might be a case where trying to smuggle in concerns over race or gender is not very helpful.

Anonymous said...

1:41 again...

But, isn't the point of having official channels for hiring and making the means by which anyone applies uniform to overcome implicit (as well as explicit) bias?

Anonymous said...

@10:01 "Smuggle in concerns over race and gender"? Seriously? As though these aren't primary issues that should be on the table by default whenever fairness in hiring is concerned?

Anonymous said...

Pacific Lutheran University sure was efficient with sending out rejection letters.

Hear is to the REAL beginning of the job season: the first rejection!

Anonymous said...

Pacific Lutheran = inside hire

Anonymous said...

At this stage of the game some (possibly not altogether realistic) hope is probably good. It can keep you going and it can improve your chances of getting a job a little (of course they may still be low) if you are upbeat and persevere and sound positive should a prospective employer call. Not much to do about the ensuing disappointment, though it's relevant evidence for anyone out there considering grad school.