It’s September 4, and it has begun.
Today is the official beginning of my intense year of being on the job market. Now it’s stressful enough to be out looking for a job, but in my field, there is a specific yearly cycle that you have to meet deadlines for even while just applying for a job. Indeed, looking for a job is a full-time job in itself.
Here’s my timetable, as I received it today. Every date is non-negotiable.
Sept. 5 (tomorrow). Confirm intention with Placement Director to go on market. Request letters from dissertation committee members, from undergraduate director (for teaching letters), from relevant sources at other institutions where I have taught, and from MA thesis advisor.
Sept. 8 (Monday). Confirm completion of chapter 3 with Placement Director. Have drafts of chapter 3 to dissertation committee. Revise dissertation abstract and send drafts to committee and anyone else (and their dog) who is willing to read it for clarity. (Preferably people not in my field. Any takers?)
Sept. 19 (Friday). Send abstract and CV to professors not on committee for feedback. Send revised abstract and CV to Placement Director for comments. Revise Teaching Statement and submit to undergraduate chair for comments.
Sept. 26 (Friday). Figure out transportation to Eastern APA conference (where interviews happen). Anyone live in Philly?
Oct. 3 (Friday). All dossier documents (rec. letters, CV, waiver, dissertation abstract, course list) must be to grad secretary. Nothing can be revised after this date. Also, have writing sample (that is, another paper that “shows how brilliant a philosopher I am in my field” HA!) ready to be sent out, e.g., in final form. [I’ve not even half a clue as to what I’ll use as a writing sample! I’ve been too busy working on my dissertation—maybe I can grab something from chapter two?]
Oct. 10 (Friday). October JFP (the all-important “Jobs for Philosophers” publication) comes out.
Oct. 13 (Monday). Have wish list, incl. all positions I want to apply for, to Placement Director. Make sure wish list in in exact form PD requires.
Oct. 16 (Thursday). Receive confirmation from PD regarding which of my wish list positions I can apply to. Immediately send out cover letters and writing sample to approved positions.
Oct. 24 (Friday). Set up mock interview time with PD. Finish teaching portfolio (to be brought to any interview). This includes sample syllabi of courses in my AOS and AOC (areas of specialization and areas of competency—the former being areas I can teach graduate courses in, the latter being areas I can teach undergraduate courses in).
Nov. 7 (Friday). November JFP comes out.
Nov. 10 (Monday). Send wish list to PD.
Nov. 13 (Thursday). Receive confirmation from PD regarding where I can apply. Immediately send out cover letters and writing sample to approved positions.
Dec. 1-25. Breathe, and wait to get called for an interview at Eastern APA. While breathing, find time to write chapter 4 and a second writing sample, to be read at any on-campus interview that might obtain.
Dec. 27-30. Eastern APA. In Philly. Anyone got a spot for a very poor grad student to crash?
Jan-June 2009. Be on the lookout for ads. Feb. JFP comes out 21 Feb. May JFP on 8 May. All requests for dossiers to be sent must be made 3 weeks prior to application deadlines.
Yeah. And during all this, I’m supposed to find a couple papers (one hopes, doing a dab of double-dipping by using writing samples) to publish and a couple more to present at conferences that I’m supposed to find time (and money) to attend. Oh, and let’s not forget writing chapter 5. Yeah, can’t exactly take a job unless I can guarantee the dissertation will actually be complete before I start.
What have I got completed? Well, My PD knows my intentions to be on the job market. My committee members have each commented on my abstract and CV, and I’ll have a third draft of it to them Monday. I will finish chapter 3 tomorrow and Saturday. My CV is down to the last-moment tweaking (a CV, for those who don’t know, is an academic resume, “CV” stands for curriculum vitae or, “details of life” in Latin).
So. If you don’t see me here saying much, at least you’ll have a probable notion as to why not. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.