‘Tis the season

For last minute job-market panic.  If anyone would like some last minute advice, feel free to ask in the comments thread here.  We can’t make the job market a good, sane place where people are treated as well as they deserve.  But we can try to give some advice on how to cope with the way it actually is.  So do feel free to ask, and we’ll try!  My big tip for anyone on the job market:  get *away* from the damn hotel.  Spend as little time as possible hanging out with all the other incredibly stressed people who are trying to impress.   Go to a museum, go for a walk, do *anything* other than hang out at that hotel.

5 thoughts on “‘Tis the season

  1. I have mixed feelings about that blog. It’s good that people on the market have a space where they can vent, and the blog is often funny. Many of the topics that get covered are important, need to be discussed and rarely are elsewhere.

    But to be honest, I find the blog really stressful to read — and I’m not on the market and have a tt job at a good place! I am really glad that it didn’t exist when I was on the market, because I am sure that the amount of anxiety I actually felt is at least a quarter of what it would have been had it existed. If you are the sort of person who tends to ruminate excessively, I think you are taking a risk by reading that blog.

    I also worry that there is sometimes misinformation posted by nameless contributors. In a similar vein, there is a lot of anonymous advice of dubious credibility. (I remember reading a thread on advice about to dress, and thinking to myself: why are these anonymous contributors scared to sign their name to a post about whether to, e.g., wear a tie to the APA?) Some of what gets said sounds plausible, but if you don’t know *who* or *why* someone is sharing this info, you might be better off not hearing it.

    That’s my two cents anyways. Good luck to all the job seekers!

  2. Thanks, Kris. My reaction to something like that is exactly the opposite: I’m so relieved that I’m not the only one. It’s an interesting kind of difference; maybe you start out calmer.

    Let me just remark on anonmymous comments. I’d strongly recommend anyone in the blog world remain anonymous. There are a lot of mischief makers out there, and worse.

  3. I have mixed feelings about that blog, too (I’m recently tenured and not on the market, so maybe this affects my perspective.) It seems like reading that blog would increase a candidate’s anxiety, and it also seems that nearly everyone posting is pretty cynical. There are certainly reasons to be cynical about the market (I’m not denying that!), but I think that you want to go into an interview with a positive attitude. That’s hard enough as it is, but reading about everyone else’s negative feelings and anxiety isn’t going to help.

    There are some useful bits of information there, but much of what’s there could (at least in theory) be learned by talking to mentors–both faculty and also friends who went on the market and got jobs a few years before you. Talking to the former grad students who’d finsihed a few years before me was how I learned much of the informal stuff that no one tells you–that was enormously helpfu! But I went to a program where there were other women grad students (as well as some very supportive and helpful faculty). i realize that many aren’t so fortunate…

  4. I also feel unsure about the merits of looking at that blog. I’m lucky enough to *have* tenure at a job I love, and no plan to go back on the market. And yet *I* found myself getting nervous and feeling inadequate reading it. I know those on the market here have found it to be terror-inducing. However, they’ve also found interview questions they don’t know how to answer, and they’ve come to me or their supervisors for advice on them. And that’s done them some good. I agree with Helen that good mentors are the best thing, but I’m not sure the blog does much for those who *don’t* have good mentors except give them more things to worry about. Isolation is surely hard enough, without reading daily lists of things to worry about. What we *need* is a friendly, supportive place where those who feel isolated can get some support and mentoring. Oh, and a saner job market system.

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