Committee Member #3 was bitching me out earlier today for the lack of posts recently. (That's interesting, given that he didn't mention my dissertation going nowhere. I guess now I know how he wants me to spend my time.) But since he's writing me a letter right now, I figure I better give the man what he wants.
So let me tell you a story about a placement meeting I had last year with the Old World Septuagenarian and Evil Columbo. The Old World Septuagenarian had been saying some general things about what to expect about the market, and Evil Columbo decided he'd give me and my office mates some advice about our professional development.
He started, as he always did in those meetings, with the story of how he got his job without ever having to think about such crass concerns as application packages, job talks, or, really, professional development of any kind. He helpfully told us things would be different for us, and we should start thinking of ourselves as "junior academics". Apparently, this would involve such steps as going to conferences, and seeking out philosophers working on stuff related to our work. We should even try to meet these people, in order to make them aware of our existence. We should, Evil Columbo instructed us, start to "network".
Yeah. We were on the market, we were three months out from the APA, and Evil Columbo was telling us to maybe start thinking about networking. What awesome fucking advice. Because that definitely hadn't already been obvious for many fucking years.