Job Tracking - Week 9

You know, searching for jobs always seems like a theoretical exercise until one of two things happens: you get the first contact for an interview or you get the first rejection.

This week, the job search got it's first injection of reality: the first rejection.

You can approach the job rejection a few ways. My first inclination is always to try and figure out why. But this is a virtual impossibility, particularly when you're receiving an early-process rejection. I tend to break rejection letters into two categories: early-process and late-process. Early-process rejection letters are the ones that come while the search is still being conducted - they let you know you didn't make the cut. Late-process, come further along - usually after someone's been hired.

Early-process rejections almost never tell you anything useful, and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure anything out. Because they give so little information and because the process itself is likely not completed, there's no easy way to make sense of it. At least late-process rejections give you the chance to figure out (eventually) who got the job, and sometimes that helps and sometimes it doesn't. All this letter gave me was a polite acknowledgment - and only just, because the attempt to avoid giving information or reason for complaint leads to a bureaucratic simulacra of politeness that looks like the real thing but that never quite satisfies -
and an idea of how many applications there were (more than 150).

It's a competitive market, folks. And so all I can do is get back on the horse and wait to see what's happening with the other applications that are out there. It helps that I've received a few of these letters before, and that this school was applied to largely because it was a Name School and in a place that, rumor has it, I'd probably have enjoyed.

I also dropped a position from consideration this week. I decided that I'll keep the number listed in the total identified, but that I won't be applying. There are a few reasons why, all of which came from deeper research into the department and the school. A few recent articles - the last six months - in The Chronicle have made it apparent that the school is in the throes of some things I'd rather not have to deal with. And a look at the department made it clear that their view of the topics they're asking for someone to teach are mapped on to the field don't mesh with where I see it.

And so, onward! Here's last week's stats. And here's the numbers for this week:
Total # of academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified: 17/20
Total # of non-academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified 0/0
Total spent in U.S. dollars on applications: $148.37
Average cost in U.S. dollars per applications: $8.73
Total spent in U.S. dollars on travel, etc: $0
Total amount in U.S. dollars reimbursed: $0
The Chronicle of Higher Ed: 3 0
Other online service (listserv, etc): 14
Friend/Colleague: 2
Personal Research: 1
Total number of paper submissions: 15
Total number of e-submissions: 2
Total weight in pounds of application packets: 19.69
Total number of recommendation letters requested: 33
Total number of requests for references: 5
Total number of "proof of teaching excellence" packs : 8
Total number of requests for Teaching Philosophy :7
Total number of research packs: 11
Total number of transcripts requested: 2
Total number of acknowledgments of receipt: 14
Total number of confirmed reference contacts: 0
Total number of phone interviews: 0
Total number of conference interviews: 0
Total number of on-campus interviews: 0
Total number of offers: 0
Total number of rejection letters: 1
Total number of canceled or unhired positions: 0
No new applications out this week, either, though I do hope to get the last two out shortly. It's one of the crunch times of our term, so I'm feeling okay about it. Besides, two applications are quick to do now.

Until next week...


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