The Academic Job Market
You On The Market is THE website that I referenced while on the academic market. The site includes:
Beyond this website, I also read "The Professor is In" which many folx have recommended (for good reason). I will say though that for the book, it's probably better to read it the year before hitting the market, but if you're already at this post, you might be in the market so this opinion is not helpful.
Have a spreadsheet, or at the very least, well-labeled folders. This is a template of my academic search spreadsheet (you can find more templates here). Feel free to copy and adjust as desired; you might also have other considerations outside of the ones I included.
For folders, I had one for each institution I applied to, but then had a separate folder for things like my CV and writing samples since these two things remained static (compared to the tailoring for my cover letters and statements on research, teaching, diversity). Within each institution folder was also a copy of the job application (either PDF or copy-pasted word doc). Links get taken down and you want to make sure you know what the job is or have it as reference just in case.
IT REALLY ISN'T YOU. I KNOW, I KNOW. BUT IT REALLY ISN'T.
I hated when people told me this. And it's hard to not take things personally or start comparing yourself. So when you fall into this trap, I'd recommend reaching out to your community (see next section), finding a strategy to deal (see next next section), and also reading articles like this one by Dr. White-Lewis that empirically prove how it's not about you.
YOU NEED COMMUNITY
I was surprised at the emotional toll of this process. Aside from navigating the physical logistics of what to turn in/coordinate, I think surviving is a continued extension of this entire academic journey: one that can never be separate from the community that carries you. Some of the ways this will manifest, beyond reaching out for advice, asking for example materials, include:
Related to community, find the folx you can celebrate with and share pain with; (they don't have to be the same group). For me, it was important to find ways to deal with the constant state of rejection, ambiguity, and the unknown. My routine for rejection included hiding the line in my spreadsheet and archiving the email (no need to be reminded), opening one of my favorite bottles of wine, and talking with close friends about how the position wasn't actually that great of a fit then. Likewise, celebrate every milestone, even in turning in an application! It's a big deal and one that should be celebrated because you're putting yourself out there! And the celebration helps infuse joy in a rather dreary period.
There's probably more that I'm missing. But in thinking about preparing for the market and having been through it, I wanted to conclude with two related blog posts I wrote when on the market about imposter syndrome (no solutions, sorry) and about shooting your shot (TL;DR: go for it).
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