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.