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Academic Job Search: More rejection.

October 10, 2016

When will you feel the worst about yourself?  Probably in March.


While I reached peak rejection rate during an action-packed week in mid-January, there were still plenty of applications out there and I was still applying to new opportunities.  I averaged a rejection every other day for the last half of February and the entire month of March.  Even if you’re successful on the academic job market, that much rejection can get you down.  I’d suggest taking a moment now to think hard about what makes you happy, and then plan some of that into your schedule around that time.  Attend a meeting, go on vacation, visit a collaborator, sign up for that week long intensive course on truffle making, whatever. Plan on having an existential crisis in March and build in reminders that life can be joyful and that you have worth both personally and professionally.

Also, try the following bit of reverse psychology.  Tally up all those rejections and celebrate once you reach particular numbers.  If you do that, you might find yourself perversely excited when yet another university figures out how to do a mail merge and drops that form email in your inbox.

Next: enough rejection to bake a pie!

Sample preparation and data collection in Materials and Methods.

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