Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Dog Eat Dog

What should an academic career in the humanities look like today – beyond “not like this”? The question is prompted in the short term by the fact that Mary Beard, to mark her retirement, has taken the opportunity to promote discussion of the academic precariat and the extent to which things have changed over the course of her own career; but if, like me, you use Twitter partly as a means of networking with younger colleagues and early career researchers, this is a topic which has long been pretty well impossible to avoid. One way of trying to think about it, from a not-as-old-as-Mary-but-still-moderately-decrepit-and-comfortably-established perspective, is to wonder about the ideal against which the present situation is being compared; what is it so much worse than, and when did it all change? (more…)

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Ellie Mackin, who has over the last few months been posting a series of thoughtful and helpful articles on ‘Post-PhD Life’ on the jobs.ac.uk blog, has written a very honest, brave and moving piece called Falling at the Last Hurdle, about the experience of post-interview rejection: so near and yet so far, doing all you can and it’s still not quite enough – or, it’s something about you personally that isn’t right. She offers wise advice on how to learn from the experience by seeing it not as a waste of effort and preparation but as practice for next time – but is also entirely open about the emotional side of things:

Let yourself cry, if that’s your style. Let yourself feel rubbish, and eat ice-cream, and lay in bed watching reruns of House. And then, pick yourself up and make the next application, next interview better. You’ll get the job you’re meant to get, and so will I.

Discussing her willingness to admit how much the rejection hurt, Ellie observes that “I know I cannot be the only person who has cried after not getting a job they were invested in getting. Or even one they were less invested in getting.” Yes, definitely, and what I haven’t said as yet to her or anyone besides my wife and close friends is: me too. Apart from the bit about House. I prefer Community as comfort viewing. (more…)

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