Market Meditations

A wayfarer unexpectedly encounters a tiger and so runs to get away from
it. He comes to a cliff, looks back to see the tiger in ravenous pursuit, and
left with no other choice,
leaps off the edge. Much to his temporary relief, a small ledge breaks the
treacherous fall; he clings to it, suspended more than seventy feet above the
ground. The traveler briefly regains his composure
before he realizes another hungry tiger lurks at the bottom of the cliff. He is trapped, unable to step in any direction and cornered from above and below
by predators. He looks over at a cluster of rubble and is surprised to see a delicate
strawberry plant and with it a small, bright red berry, which, with nowhere else
to turn, he happily eats while leafing through a packet of ads printed from the Job Information

Meeting of the Job Hunters

We held our first job-seekers meeting yesterday afternoon, spent a couple of
hours going over each other’s CV and talking through how we rank criteria for
the jobs we will soon pursue. I use pursue loosely and with a
string of asterisks, of course, since this year I am only something like
one-tenth on the market and nine-tenths not. I mean that I am going
through the material preparations processes as if I am on the market and
will only apply for positions too sweet to resist, provided, also, that I’m
making progress on the diss. Why? Well, it would take an offer somewhere
in the ball park of a

five-year contract and 27.5 million
a year for us to relocate before Ph.’s
senior year of high school. Make that 30 mil. On top of that, it’s not
especially ethical or wise (in terms of reputation-building) for me to court
jobs I have no genuine interest in filling from the outset. While I would
like to dangle a toe in the waters of interviewing and giving job talks, I won’t
be pitching jobs for that reason alone. The process is too grueling for
candidates and committees to tie up everyone’s time and resources on my
desire for full-on play-acting the year before I go on the market in earnest.
Better to spend those energies building bridges (i.e., writing, conferencing,
etc.) rather than dismantling them.

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