A friend of mine is thinking about hitting the market this year. He's never been to the APA, and the other night I was trying to explain what the atmosphere is like. The anxiety becomes as much a part of the hotel as its heat and A/C. You walk in the front entrance and you walk straight into the anxiety. The only way to leave it behind is to get out of the hotel.
I was trying to explain this to my friend, and I remembered something a junior prof in my department told me last year at the APA. When she arrived at the hotel, she started to freak out. As soon as she walked in, the anxiety hit her and she started to freak out. She kept herself together by repeating over and over, "I have a job. I have a job. I have a job. I have job." And indeed she did. But even with a job, the anxiety hanging in the hotel air put her on edge.
And what about those of us looking for jobs? What do we tell ourselves to keep our shit together?