*Updated Sat. 9/22*
Given that the October JFP is less than two weeks away, I thought this might be a good time to present and discuss some...suggestions...for how to behave/not behave while out on the job market. Notice that I didn't say "do's" and "don'ts." Lists of do's and don'ts often come off as holier-than-thou. So I propose we venture and discuss suggestions. Here are a few I offer:
- If you're a job-seeker, don't talk about how many interviews you have at the Eastern APA, or your new publications coming out in Awesomest Journal Around. In my experience there are far, far too many job-seekers out there who go out of their way to let everyone know how awesome they're doing. Please...try to realize that there are a lot of anxious people around you who may not have things as good as you. If you have lots of interviews or awesome pubs coming out, just feel happy about them on the inside.
- If you're fresh out of grad school or ABD, don't think a tenure-track job is the be-all, end-all "holy grail." Although I suspect many people don't believe me, I think a non-tenure-track job can be far better for a person out of grad school than a TT one. Non-tenure-track positions can give you time to find your feet -- and perhaps more importantly your identity -- as a philosopher and teacher without a tenure-clock hanging over your head. Trust me, just about anyone who has gotten a job of any sort will tell you it is an enormously difficult transition.
- Go to the Eastern APA if you can afford it, even if you don't have interviews. I firmly believe that you do yourself no favors staying at home. You'll feel just as sad if you stay at home, and you will miss out on all kinds of opportunities. While at the APA you can (A) make and solidify connections with other people (including friendships for their own sake, not just a "leg up"!), (B) get ideas going to talks, (C) learn things about the job market from other people who are on it (and advising job seekers), (D) go to the book exhibit, buy a book or two and read, and finally (E) have your lack of interviews light a serious fire under your "you know what" (one year I was so frustrated I did work the entire time I was at the APA, and it was awesome!). In other words, even if you don't have any interviews -- actually, especially if you don't have interviews -- don't shrink away from the philosophical world. Get out into it: push yourself to get out there and do more. Trust me, I have experience on this one. It can be tough, but you can do it -- and staying home tends to result in a self-inflicted pity-party.
Okay, guess that's all for now. Gotta run off to teach! I'm curious to see what you all think of these, and what suggestions you all have to offer in turn.
Update: here's one I forgot:
- Don't apply to/interview for TT jobs you intend to "jump ship" from at the first opportunity, and definitely don't lie to the faces of search committee members about it. I actually know of one person who did this. Apparently they interviewed fantastically for a teaching job, then showed up at the job clearly wanting to move to an R1 ASAP. This is clearly one of the most despicable things a person can do on the market. They are not only screwing over every other candidate on the market who would actually want the job. They are royally screwing over -- and lying to -- the department and university that hired them. They have not only wasted several months of SC members' lives (think about all that goes into a hire!) and thousands of dollars of the hiring university's money; they have also made it very likely that the department that was so in need of a new member in the first place will not get another TT line to replace the liar they hired.