Saturday, December 8, 2007

Make a New Plan, Stan

So last weekend I told myself if I got even one interview this week I wouldn't lose my shit. Well, looks like it's time for a new plan.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's early, search committees procrastinate as much as I do, and most of the jobs I applied to haven't shown up on the wiki yet. But still, I really wanted something this week.


Anonymous said...

Its still way too early to even think about loosing it. This time next week, maybe. But even that would be early. Wednesday of the following week (say, 11 days from now) is time to start getting oinchy, but many people will get calls even after that.

Anonymous said...

I think that the most telling point is that there aren't many jobs that you applied for listed on the wiki. This alone should make you completely unworried at this point.

languagepolice said...

It is a real bummer. I'm in the same boat. (See my feeble attempt to dramatize this in cartoon form in the sunday comics discussion.) Honestly, I don't think I'm going to get much or any attention until I cross over from ABD to PHD (defense in March). Still, trying to have low expectations and actually having them are two different things...

I am confident I will get a TT job someday, but I don't think this is my year. I've stopped checking the wiki since it was just stressing me out. Besides, I need to finish editing this dissertation!

My recommendation for maintaining sanity (besides exercising and eating well) is going out to experience some art or music. The performance I saw last night (renaissance music) was simply good for the soul.

remus lupin, abd said...

Yesterday I heard about a friend who's going out as this year's premiere candidate from a Leiterrific department. At that point, he only had one interview. Better than my number, but still only one.

Which is to say, it's early in the game. The first anonymous is right -- the fact that my phone hasn't been doing any singing and dancing should be no cause for worry. Not that I'm totally blase about the situation, but it's way too early to flip out.

Anonymous said...

You’re all stressing out to much over this – CHILL!!!

Ok, so I convinced my chair we don’t need to go to APA to interview and as we speak we are contacting those whom we already contacted to cancel interviews and we will not contact others whom with we wanted to meet.

It will all wait till spring when we re-connect with are applicants and fly them in for interviews.

In the mean time, I’m grading my last papers.

I won’t look at this bog again till after Jan 1.

I’m off to someplace to tan and sail for 2 weeks.

CST said...

It makes me feel a little better that other people don't have lots of interviews already. Perhaps it will make others feel better that I only have one APA interview lined up, and it is only for a 2 year.

Will Philosophize for Food said...

No interviews here either. I'm going to wait until next weekend to sink into a clinical depression.

mapantsula said...

People are right -- you should chill. When I went out on the market, all of my interviews came through in the teens of December. I'd expect next week to be the big week when depts. get there final interview lists together. Admittedly, if you don't hear from anyone by this time next week, that is a cause for concern, albeit not the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

I didn't hear from the place where I now work until after Christmas. Just a few days before the APA! Thankfully I had already booked a room and purchased a flight back in October, at the insistence of my DGS.

wikimonger said...

What's a DGS?

Anonymous said...

DGS = Director of Graduate Studies.

CarnapScholar said...

I just discovered this blog, and this post in particular compelled me to share my own story. Bear with me, as it's long and kinda whiny, but I have a feeling it's a story that many of you will share.

This is my second year on the job market. Last year I was ABD with an expected finish in May 07 (honestly, I could have finished it by the end of '06 if I didn't waste my time with the job market). I went out on the market with what I was assured by my committee was a strong portfolio. Sounds good.

I did everything they asked of me. I applied to places that I didn't want to work at. I wrote long teaching dossiers and research statements. I collected piles of transcripts (including undergraduate transcripts). I did a practice job talk on Dec 1st (which I nailed, or so I thought). I even did a practice interview on Dec. 8th.

Let me interject to say something about my practice interview. It didn't appear to be an exercise designed to help me at real interviews, instead it was a chance for random faculty members to act like assholes. No one gave me any practice questions, or any other advanced prep. Instead, they bombarded me with rude and harsh questions, giving me no chance to answer any of them. They all seemed to want to be the biggest asshole, so I had faculty members interrupting other faculty members to ask me how I would teach such and such, then I'd get interrupted when I started to answer, and then I'd get in trouble for not answering. It was a complete waste of time since it taught me nothing - just give me a list of practice questions and I'll be fine.

Anyways, all my prep is done, my apps are our, my hotel and flight are booked (I'd be flying home for Xmas, so I actually booked a flight from home to California (school) to Washington, all in one day). When I got home for Xmas, someone sent me the wiki. Uh-oh.

Yep, zero interviews. Zero. All my schools were on there, and all had contacted their interviewees. Shortly thereafter I got an email from my DGS who was super excited to help us at the APA, and I had to inform him that no, I won't be going because I had zero interviews.

Another interjection: "us." Yes, there were three of us on the market, and none of us got any interviews. We were all students of a fairly prolific philosopher at a very highly ranked school, and all three of us got no responses.

On the plus side, I got to spend the last few days of December drinking vodka and playing Xbox instead of going through the APA.

Our department told us that it was because we were ABD, and schools were (apparently) leery of hiring people who were ABD (even though all my letters stated that my diss was mere months from completion, and even though they could verify this in an interview...).

Don't worry, they say, you'll look a whole lot better next year with a completed diss and (hopefully) some publications.

Well, here I am now, sitting at home watching the wiki, and of course it doesn't look good.

Oh, and a paper that I sent off to be published (in JUNE!) just got rejected last week. Another still awaits a decision.

So I'm starting to lose my shit just a little bit. If I don't get anything this year, that's pretty much it for me, I think.

Anonymous said...

"If I don't get anything this year, that's pretty much it for me, I think." Whinny, and a little wimpy, I'd say. Not that I don't feel your pain. But wait three more years, getting one or two conference interviews per year and one- or two-year positions, just enough to keep you optimistic long term. Then tell me how you feel.

BTW, what happens when enough is enough? Three years of law school? Starbucks? ABD is the time (or maybe a year or two too late) to start planning an alternate career.

wikimonger said...

Anon. 4:18,

I know people who went two years with no interviews, then landed a couple of interviews and a job the third year.

languagepolice said...

Thanks for the story, carnapscholar. The job search process is very fickle. I know someone in an MLA field who had 3 interviews while ABD and none while a visiting professor the following year. For reasons like this, I believe it is wise to think of the job search in the long term.

Last year, I was ABD with a couple chapters written (0 interviews). This year, I have the diss written, a defense scheduled, and an article coming out (0 interviews, thus far). (And, yes, I would probably have defended the diss this fall if I hadn't been crafting the article for submission -- but that I did last spring as much to prove to myself that I have a place in academe as to improve my research profile.)

I still don't think this is going to be a good year for me (job-wise -- it's good in many other ways), but I suppose you never know. If I get no calls from depts in the next week or so, then (AFTER I defend) I plan to craft another article or two for publication and see what comes of it. I plan to keep trying for a few years and then reevaluate if no TT job offers have come my way.

As for stress and chilling out, that works differently for different people. For me, being very sober about the difficulty of finding TT jobs helps me; what stresses me out is when friends or family insist I will do just fine on the job search this year (when from their perspectives, it looks like I'm doing really well professionally). Ah well, what are you gonna do?

Anonymous said...

If you are not getting interviews, perhaps you need to change your AOS/AOC mixture before the next round. I recognize that adjunct teaching is seriously exploitative. And yet rather than give up, perhaps teaching a few "bread and butter" courses will interest search committees in you because you will have more legitimate AOCs to claim. Getting interviews at most non-Leiterrific schools is a matter of fit on paper. You may be the most brilliant philosopher of your generation... but if you can't be counted on to teach the courses that a school is hiring someone to teach then you won't get an interview.

VAP said...

So things are hard now and will get harder for many of us over the next 15 days. Remember though that the job market does not end at the Eastern. Many jobs have not even been advertised yet. Of course, many of those are visiting positions. But visiting positions can be a great stepping stone and a lot of fun. You gain experience, live in a new town and get letters from people outside your department. Hopefully, you also do a few interviews and learn to take a more relaxed approach to the market.

Point being, the job market is a marathon, not a sprint. You could be at this for a few years, And each year you could spend several months applying. It's hard, but at the end you get to be a Professor of Philosophy. How fucking cool is that?

Liberal Arts Prof said...

Allow me to jump on the "VAP Positions can Rock!" wagon.

My own opinion is that, in many ways, having a good two to four years of full-time teaching at a reasonably non-exploitative place can be a much better way to go than to land that coveted T-T your first year out. I think anything over 3-3 is a tough row to hoe, though numbers of preps are generally more important than raw numbers of courses taught.

Not that I would necessarily counsel somebody to accept a VAP over a T-T (except in cases of geography, trailing spouse, 3-year VAP with a 2/1 load at Princeton, etc.). But simply learning how to teach, and to handle all the myriad duties a faculty position entails, is a complete and utter bitch. Learning these lessons without the tenure clock ticking away is enormously helpful. Having done that, beginning a T-T position is much easier, and your chances at actually getting tenure are much better.

So, if a couple of VAP slots are in your future, don't despair. They might be the best thing for you in terms of your long-term prospects.

The T-T position is your ultimate goal, but better to set yourself up to succeed at it in the end, than to be so overwhelmed at first that you end up bombing out.

So, keep the faith, and look to the Spring if nothing pans out this go 'round.

tt asst prof said...

Yep. I'm a fan of the VAP option as well. It took me four APA cycles to finally land a job in my current department. I'm positive that it's a job that I probably wouldn't ever have landed had it not been for my good VAP appointments. I used my time as a VAP to write a lot of articles and to make good connections.

I know of several other cases like mine. I also know of people who took relatively difficult tt jobs (with 4/4 loads) right out of the chute and have regretted it ever since. At the time I remember thinking that they were the lucky ones; but in retrospect, I don't think that's as clearly the case.

Now's the time to take the bull by the horns and to make the most of your career. Taking a VAP at a good school can spare you the pain of feeling forced into any job.

Anonymous said...

hey..Anon3:23...WTF..there is a message on my cancelled my interview !!!!!

Fot this i'm wasting what little money I have on travel ???

You are messing with peoples lives here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:25, since this is all anonymous, can you tell us which school cancelled? Or at least update the wiki?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking 6:25's anonymity might be compromised already.

Anonymous said...

I must be thick, anon 8:57. How's that?

juniorperson said...

To be honest, I'm not completely convinced that anon. 3.23 is real, simply because her or his attitude about TT hiring is so cavalier!

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 11:50 and that, by inference, anon 6:25 is also pulling our leg. I was suspicious regarding the former when he said that he himself convinced the chair to cancel the interviews at the APA. This would at least take a committee meeting. He's a fake.

Anonymous said...

If you have a web page, an easy way to find out if schools are even thinking about you is to put a counter on it that tracks who checks the page. This will tell you the locations (including, usually, school affiliation) of the people who look at your page, and the page they came from (i.e., whether they got to your page by searching for you on Google).

Is this ethically problematic electronic monitoring? I'm really not sure. I'm open to comments.

In any case, I've found that in a good number (20%) of the departments I applied to, at least one individual searched for me rather recently. Sometimes they just Google Image searched for my picture.

Anonymous said...

btw: this page has such an invisible counter on it as well -- and I'm curious to find out from the owner how much traffic it gets!!!!

Billy Gates said...

dude, computers are benign! They'd never store incriminating info like that.

juniorperson said...

"Sometimes they just Google Image searched for my picture."

That's a bit creepy, especially if you're a woman...

This reminds me of Feynman's excellent response ("No, why should we care?") in his first job to a senior person who'd aksed him if he'd seen a picture of one of their incoming grad. students... to which the senior persons responded along the lines of "Good! I just wanted to see what kind of new asst. prof. we had..."

Anonymous said...

How does one discover if people have googled you.

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes they just Google Image searched for my picture."

I wonder if this was to fish out potential AA interviews/hires.

Anonymous said...

So what is an "invisible counter", and can it tell that I am the search committee chairman at the Leiterrificest department in all the land? Am I so busted?

How do you know this site has such a device? Has Leiter set this blog up as a cruel joke?

Anonymous said...

this page uses google analytics.

view > page source

"script src="" type="text/javascript">
/script script type="text/javascript">

it's perfectly benign.