Archive for July 10th, 2009

A recent Inside Higher Ed post gives some helpful advice for those who are planning to go on the job market this year, whether for the first time, yet again, or looking for a new job.  Some good advice for first-timers:

Practice not going around telling people that you won’t go just anywhere for a job. It causes them to believe that you are a snob, or that you have your head up your butt about the state of the market, or that you don’t really care about getting a job. Or all of the above. So practice not saying it: it is really immature, and it causes people — especially those who are in charge of recommending you — to think poorly of you. If you really want a job, and you want a shot at this career, you may need to go to someplace that seems like anywhere to you, but is actually somewhere to the nice people who already work there. If your attitude gets back to someone on a hiring committee (because as Walt said, it’s a small world after all), you might as well have not applied.

You also need to be honest with yourself about why you think this, because you may need to start planning an alternative career now rather than waiting for the perfect job in the Bay Area that 500 other people are not applying for. If you can’t go anywhere because your partner won’t allow it, be clear with yourself that you are risking putting the career you have trained for on the shelf because the relationship you want to be in, and the person who says s/he loves you, requires it. If you won’t go anywhere because you refuse to live outside a major city, or a particular major city where you have made your home, be clear that you may be sacrificing years of graduate study because of your own limitations about what constitutes an acceptable life and/or job. “I don’t want to” or “I am afraid to” is not the same as “I can’t.” Be clear about the difference, and the consequences.

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