This fourth post on philosophers who were/are on the job market for a long time has an anonymous contribution. For more background on the aims of this series, and how to tell your story, see here.
My first job rejection was on Christmas Eve 2009. I spent the whole night having nightmares about never getting a job, and the whole of Christmas day having arguments with my family, because I hadn't had any sleep.
I finished my PhD in September 2010 from a good UK institution, with a good publication. I had missed the job market for the 2010/11 academic year, but I had a couple of interviews within the next 12 months for the following year. I have learned since that I came second in one of those. As much as my institution was good for me philosophically, I didn't know how the job market game was played. My department offered lots of advice, but, at the time, I didn't feel confident enough to ask for help - I didn't want to impose on people's time.
I spent 2010/11 working two jobs, and applying for every job that was advertised. My applications were mostly rushed, my writing sample was not in the best shape (after several revisions it has since been published). Clumsy errors led to no more shortlists. Philosophically, my ideas were interesting, but I didn't understand what needed to happen to make my papers what journals were looking for.