|Honey, it's for you . . .|
|Rum, gin, whatever, just pour me some.|
My partner and I, for example, started off the weekend feeling pretty good about life in general, until we learned--via the Wiki--that several of the universities to which we have submitted applications, and even additional materials, have already scheduled preliminary interviews. Bummer. Such news is to be expected, of course, in this highly competitive world, but it still sucks to start off your week with disappointment. I prefer good news.
But it's important to note that not every Wiki-based disappointment/rejection is entirely valid, either, because I know search committees sometimes stagger their invites to job applicants. So one can't, or shouldn't, immediately assume that the party is over because of a presumed Wikijection. It's unwise to presume anything. However, most of the time, if other candidates are receiving contact from the search committee(s) and you are not, that is a bad sign. Very bad.
I do actually have one preliminary academic interview scheduled for next month, so yay for me. It's not at my 1st or 2nd choice university but given that I only applied for a handful of jobs, I am really fortunate to have received any interview requests at all. I'm still hoping I'll have 1 or 2 more schools contact me this month, but I have no expectations. Besides, like every other academic job applicant in the world, I've gotten excited about a possible job and then ultimately been burned by a search committee whose members seemed pleasant and professional but never contacted me again after the initial, or on-campus, interview. Nonetheless, that's the painfully uncertain life of a job searcher in any field. You show them what you have to offer and hope it's to their liking.
I wish I could offer some words of encouragement to my fellow job seekers but I don't really have any false positivity to offer at the moment. "Keep on keepin' on," perhaps, or "just wait and see, 2011 will be YOUR year!," or if that fails utterly, then "better luck next year" (or the year after, or never). I am sure, though, that some, if not most, of us will end up landing academic or non-academic jobs in 2011. We need to work; we need the money. In these times of uncertainty, remaining flexible and open minded is the best option. I'm personally giving the academic job market another go this year because I want to see what happens. I'm already open to looking for work elsewhere. That doesn't mean, however, that my ego appreciates rejection and disappointment any more than it did last year (or the year before that).