Here's another thing I wish someone had told me about before the job market last year. It costs a fuck of a lot of money. For about two months last year, my spending was relentless. On a grad student's stipend, it feels like you're giving a pint of plasma a day, every day from the middle of October to the middle of December.
I don't know the exact figure, but I know I spent over $800 on the whole process last year. I know I dropped way over $300 on postage. That was over 80 applications sent, way too many of them sent late at night by priority mail. I also had to get a sport coat, since the only one I owned was this tan ultra-suede jacket from the 70s--a sweet, sweet jacket to be sure, but not exactly right for the semi-conservative job market. Throw in a new shirt, since I knew I'd sweat through my only other one, and a tie to go with the jacket and shirt, and that was another $250 at a Thanksgiving week sale. Then close to $150 for three nights at the hotel in DC during the APA--that was splitting the room three ways at the "cheap" graduate student rate. Then there was getting to and from the APA. And then all the little things, like APA fees and envelopes and labels.
I want to spend a lot less than that this year. I don't need another jacket. And I really, really don't want to send so many applications at the last minute.
But still, the costs are already adding up. Between some criminal fucking postdoc application fees and the postage costs of not being ready well in advance of a handful of early deadlines, I've already spent $132.22.