It's March, which for philosophers means the job market is winding down for the year. See, every fall, on a set schedule, every philosophy department in North America that's hiring advertises for applications. And every fall, on a set schedule, every grad student or recent PhD looking for a job as a professor applies for some of those jobs. And then, for months after this, hijinks ensue. For job seekers, other things also ensue--such as the soul-grinding humiliation of being rejected by absolutely everybody, drinking to cope, and buying new ties.
I'm a grad student in philosophy, and I went on the job market this year. I struck out big time. But I did learn a few things. One is that the process is so foreign to people outside of academia that it's actually very hard to explain to them. Another is that the philosophy job market is absurd. It'd be funny if it were happening to someone else. So in the coming year, as I do it all over again, I want to help non-academics understand what the hell this is about, and to document some of the more tragicomic aspects of it.