I heard back from the chair of my dissertation committee yesterday. I had written to him just to check in about the job search. It was very awkward because the two professionals I feel most comfortable leaning on about these things happened this year to sit on two search committees considering my application for employment. My advisor was one of them.
The good news is both of them are now available to speak freely with me about job prospects. The bad news, of course, is that neither of their institutions have put me on the short list. Alright, so I move on.
My chair wrote a brief, but nice note:
I'm always delighted to support any application you put together. Don't get discouraged, it just may take a while to get things moving where you want them to be.
It doesn't take much when you're feeling isolated, to feel a little more connected to things, and thus a little better. Part of my brain responds: how long? But I know that's not a terribly productive question. Besides, no one has the answer to that.
I'm beginning to think of alternatives, whether temporary or permanent, in case I end up among that cohort of highly-qualified, intelligent, and capable PhDs unable to land a tenure-track job. I have applied for a few post-docs, but at the moment I consider them to be "real jobs" even if they are short-lasting. As I look over some of the online resources, I'll post the links for useful ones.
I try not to despair too much. Admittedly, it was my choice to pursue an area of research that was (and for the most part remains) outside the mainstream. It's interesting how interdisciplinary is such a hot buzz-word, but when your research is truly cross-disciplinary, people nod and smile, say how interesting it is... but I suspect they're thinking, "well, we don't have a place for him on our faculty, but I'm sure someone will hire him." If only I could find that who!
The weather here is gorgeous. I've been out in the garden pruning a bit this week. I've got to get more exercise. It's hard for me to remember it's okay to take care of myself. I feel guilty about spending time on my body, when I feel there are "more important things" I should be doing. But I have to remember, extending my life-span is pretty important, and in the end will likely permit me to accomplish more of those "more important things" than dying young.
Okay, out into the world.