Yesterday morning, I was feeling completely down about my prospects, convinced that I would be a postdoc reliant on and yet isolated from others forever, headed towards academic obscurity while several of my classmates got good tenure-track jobs last year.
As of then, my prospects were:
- Postdoc offer from the top school in my overall field, but I would be at a satellite campus they hadn't shown to me on my visit, a few miles away from all the main campus for my field, with no apparent colleagues in the same building other than a few faculty types who frequently have business elsewhere, and no academic activities apparent from a google search. And they say postdocs can feel isolated!
- Waiting for two potential postdoc offers: one from this bastard school that I just posted about, and one from this fantastic really nice school that I just visited.
- Probably an offer from this industry job where I'd really have to drink the kool-aid to like, and I'm really not a kool-aid drinker.
And that's it. Then I got three great emails.
- A tenure-track job at a great campus I've visited before has put me on their short list, and probably asking me to visit, pending some kind of committee approval. It's a university which is growing and has attracted some really high-quality people.
- A postdoc which seems friendly has an open slot, told me about the research that they have which actually sounds relevant to me, and wants to talk with me. They are also a couple hours' drive from the above TT job so I don't even have to take two sets of flights if I visit both of them.
- A non-academic job description which sounds completely up my alley: it involves working with others, communicating, and working on a variety of short-term projects related to my field, and it has enough of a cool factor that I am pretty sure I would be able to return to academia if I missed research or teaching.
It's amazing how easy it is to swing from despondency to hope.