Tomorrow the conference begins. I present on Saturday. Had a long time on the journey for thinking about the career. Just got hooked up to the internet, to receive this impersonal email re: a job posting I applied for last month:
Dear Articulate DadI've come to realize that I really don't need this crap! In part my frustration arises from the fact that there are no jobs in my specialty. And this year, there were no postings in the interdisciplinary area of my [Field 1] that would be the best match for my work. NONE! Not a single, solitary position for which I could unabashedly present my strengths and interests, without a hedge, without an effort to demonstrate my bonafides in the more traditional areas of my discipline. I've expended untold energies in trying to fit my square self into the round holes of established discipline. I've clearly done a miserable job of convincing anyone.
Your interest in the Visiting Assistant Professor of [Field 1] [specialization] position has been received and reviewed. While you clearly have many talents and gifts to offer to this role, I'm sorry to say that we are currently considering candidates who appear to more closely meet our job match.
Please do not let this discourage you from applying to other positions within the University that you may feel qualified for.
Good luck with your employment search and thank you for considering employment with the University of Revolutionary Times.
I'll keep applying. But I'm less and less committed to the effort, less and less content with reducing myself in hopes of satisfying their expectations. Damn it. I'm good just the way I am. And if they're not good enough to recognize that, not interested enough to give me a go at it, then there are other fields for me to plow.
I did some brainstorming on the plane. I'm ready to start sending out my resume on alternate paths. I've come up with some ideas for starting my own business (or businesses). I've done it before. I know how to branch out, to schmooze. I'll keep thinking about it.
My job in this life is to make the world a better place. How I do that is somewhat irrelevant. We'll see what comes. For now, I'll enjoy the conference.