I’ve been applying for jobs over the past year, and it’s a pretty terrible task. Asking people to judge me is not one of my favorite things in the world. Even when I was playing bass in the world’s greatest band that you’ve never heard of, I always focused on packing up the gear and getting things organized after a show. That way I didn’t really have to deal with finding out what people thought about us.
Now it’s pretty much the same. The one great outcome of these applications is that I keep reinforcing the progress I’m making in my post-doctoral research. Over the past year and a half I’ve been able to get a lot of work done, and I think it’s reflected in my cv and my publication record. It’s nice to be able to update it each month with a new talk, a new paper, a poster or two, and know that I’m getting somewhere, making myself more competitive, and slowly shrugging off that horrible impostor syndrome.
I’ve been thinking about posting a list of everywhere I’ve been rejected so far, and how they’ve rejected me (no notification, email notification, phone call, bottle cast into the sea), but I’m not sure how a future hiring committee would process that kind of list. I did want to mention one specific rejection though. I applied to Concordia University in Montreal, QC for a tenure track position, and the rejection letter came signed in the mail. Honestly, it’s the little things that matter. That kind of care is a good reflection on the faculty in the department.
It’s a message I’ll take to heart, and I promise that when I reject people (someday!) I’ll send them a letter too. Won’t that be nice?