So now I am still waiting to hear from places where I did phone interviews, after getting a rejection after a campus interview. The rejection was a big blow (although now i feel like I was not well qualified) and made me doubt about myself, and the waiting also is killing me. How do you all stay productive in this emotionally draining process of waiting and getting rejections?
Date: 12 Feb 2014 01:33
Number of posts: 5
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I have had the same problem. I had 4 interviews, and heard from the first two that I did not get the job. I wasn't selected for the third place I interviewed at, but am still in the running. Waiting to hear from the fourth place. I've just had to tell myself that I'm staying in my post-doc for the next year. I'm not really thinking about the jobs, and will be "surprised" if I get one. This has been the only way to stay sane.
Rejection doesn't mean you are not qualified. With my experience as a search committee member, candidates who are invited for campus interview are almost equal, each has the potential of being offered the job. Most of the time, the final decision is based on fit.
From personal experience, you don't. Its draining and crushing. If you have nothing when the cycle is over, you just do what you can to pull it together. Me, I make a schedule each day where I assign specific times to do specific tasks. It helps.
What's crazy is after you get the job, there's a bit of PTSD going on, and its tough to recover. Patially because you change up your envirinment, and partially because you can't shut off search mode. I think it may be the leading cause of not getting tenure.
I managed to keep very productive during my job search year. Sure, I had some lousy bouts where a bunch of rejections came-in. During those times my supportive friends and colleagues were a great help, and sometimes a bottle of wine took the "sting" out. But, I kept working hard to write articles and book chapters, and assisted several colleagues with their work and research. Doing these things helped me stop dwelling on the negatives and keep the CV fresh. I also worked to keep building and expanding my skill-set so I wasn't a "one trick pony" so to say. This proved a tremendous help with the job market, as I was able to apply, and be competitive, for positions in three different subfields. Try to expand your skill set by learning new data analysis techniques, software, or technology. I promise, this will prove tremendously helpful for career purposes.
I've always found it hardest to get started. My advice is to perhaps try structuring your life some. This worked for me. I'd plan and set aside certain time to job search stuff and other blocks of time for research/writing/teaching. And, I made sure to take an extra day off each week (usually a Wednesday or Thursday). This let me have a slacker day to tend to my own well-being.
I'd advise to not let the academic job search get you down, as hard as I know that is. I've seen plenty of evidence from the forums and from friends' situations where candidates who have 20+ publications and post-doc experiences don't get tenure-track positions while others who have only 1 or 2 publications and no post-doc experience do. As Anon (above) wrote - a lot of it has to do with fit when it comes to the market.