Tuesday, April 03, 2007

recap of the decap, academic version

This year, I reentered the academic job market in a limited way. I currently have a lectureship, and as non-tenure positions go, it's about as good as one can expect. I have zero interference in the classroom, great colleagues, and I'm fully comfortable with the college and the surroundings. However, it's still a non-tenured job, and I still only get to teach intro classes.

I want more. I want to deal with students doing in-depth research. I want to be able to build on their previous knowledge. I want to do courses which aren't general overviews or skills courses.

So, this year, I sent out some applications. It was much more relaxing than my previous searches, because I could ignore any job with a high workload, low pay, bad location, community college, or anything that didn't actually fit in with my skills. I only sent out twenty apps, but they were good ones, and I thought that I would honestly fit in with any of these institutions...unlike in my previous searches, where I would try to argue my way into anything at all.

There was one college that wanted more material, but they never contacted me after I sent a huge packet of writings. However, I did get a phone interview for a very nice looking job.

The interview itself went better than I could imagine. When I was asked to describe a course I'd like to teach, one faculty told me my class was something he would want to take. When I explained what I could add to their department, another told me "that's what we had in mind when we wrote the job description." Plus, in research and in talking to the faculty, the job itself looked marvelous, the kind of thing that I could stay at forever. I finished the phone interview really wanting this position.

I have, unfortunately, heard nothing back from them. I'm well aware that academic departments are tremendously busy and backlogged, and that just because I haven't heard anything doesn't mean that I'm out of the running. However, although I would still jump at the opportunity for a campus interview, I have come to the conclusion that I need to proceed as if I will be here next year...it's a better motivator than wondering what one might've done wrong.

I'm working on better positioning myself for another job market run. Last time around, I found myself without an expected book contract, which would've really helped my publication record. Now, I've been concentrating on getting a lot of article submissions sent. I finished the adjunct article already, and I'm deep into my House article. I have a full research agenda on-tap for the summer. I will be nicely positioned next year. I will think positive thoughts.

Of course, the phone interview institution might still want me...I hope so. I'll keep you informed.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

This sounds like a great strategy; it's a good idea to work on publications before your next job market run since that's one thing they really want to see.