Monday, December 07, 2009

Job Market

'Tis the season to be thinking about the job market, APA interviews, etc., as I'm constantly reminded by the posts showing up on my Google Reader list. I spent two years devouring (and medicating myself on) these postings and discussions, and it's hard to break the habit now even though I'm not looking for a job. I'm very lucky to have gotten a tenure-track job last year, given that the market looks worse this year, and I feel for everyone who's on the hunt.

I wish I had some great advice, but my impression is that general advice is pretty easy to come by, the stuff that is truly good advice is often fairly obvious, and beyond that, you have to simply work whatever your strengths (and other advantages) are. And beyond "being yourself," it would be good if "yourself" has the trappings of someone who appears to be a good (potential) colleague, an interesting scholar, and a promising teacher.

All I can suggest, from my own case, is not to despair--especially those who don't come from a land of (the oft-discussed and alleged application filter) "pedigree": it's not a delusion that you can find your way into a job through hard work and persistence, even if you come from a small school or program. If that wasn't true, then I wouldn't have a job. Stay focused, and if you must, read some Epictetus.

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