Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Job market statistics

Here are my final job market statistics:

  • 6 dozen applications

    • 44 faculty: mostly tenure-track, some research-track, a couple temporary teaching fellowships
    • 7 real jobs: 3 government, 4 research institutes
    • 18 postdocs: 5 prestigious and competitive, 13 regular.

  • 13 short interview offers.

    • 4 conference (2 different conferences)
    • 7 phone: 3 formal (with committee scheduled way in advance), 3 informal (impromptu with 1-2 people), 1 formal declined.
    • 1 informal visit.
    • 1 email interview (seriously!) (declined)

  • 8 visit offers

    • 5 paid visit offers: 4 completed, 1 cancelled.
    • 2 unpaid visits costing >$150
    • 1 unpaid visit costing <$10.

  • 2 offers: 1 postdoc, 1 research-track faculty. Waiting to hear from tenure-track job.

Sources of jobs by outcome:

  • Offers: both were from informal chance meetings, but neither through connections.

    • Postdoc offer: saw faculty posting outside my field, emailed to ask if should apply, guy said I should apply and mentioned an unadvertised 1 year postdoc, declined me for faculty and brought me for postdoc interview.
    • Research-track: walked up to all desirable schools at field's annual conference asking if they were hiring. The guy at this school's booth who I happened to approach turned out to be the chair, and he said to send my CV. I drove there for two short, informal visits. They gave me an offer after the postdoc's offer.

  • Paid interviews (where employer paid travel costs): 1 asked to apply, 1 at conference, 2 online.

    • 3 year postdoc: asked to apply for, also saw postings in 2 places. (When considering the VAP, called 5 people in the area. One of them kept in touch, invited me to visit his campus, and mentioned that the following year I should apply for the postdoc, and then mentioned again that I should apply for the postdoc.)
    • tenure-track faculty: saw posting at above conference. Search chair contacted me right after he got my application to say that he knew my advisor and that they were inviting me. 4 months passed before I actually got the invitation to visit.
    • 2 tenure-track faculty: saw postings online.

  • Unpaid interviews costing >$150: both postdocs, both online. One guy was friends with my advisor, and assured me that I would likely get an offer, but I didn't because the other postdocs didn't think I was interested in the area.
  • 13 short interviews

    • 4 conference interviews from registering for conferences' job services.
    • 4 formal interviews from internet postings
    • email interview from internet posting
    • 4 informal interviews all due to personal contacts: 2 from connections and 2 just because I reached out to them randomly.

Conclusion: networking works, even if it's just randomly walking up to someone and asking if they are hiring. Having a good pedigree and good publications certainly helps with the random approaches, I'm sure.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Finally comfortable here. Time to leave.

Ironic that as soon as I make friends and start a relationship and become productive in my postdoc (finished 2 paper drafts in the past month!), I'm going on job interviews, none of which are in my current city. Which is a terrible city, but it's become awfully comfortable. The closest job is about an hour's drive away, which is pretty far. And I'm trying to think of ways that I could stay here, perhaps just another year. This relationship is going so well that I don't want to put the stress of either geographical separation or a difficult decision on this relationship.

Too early to worry about that, though! This stage of the job market is for getting offers. Once I have offers, I can think about how to make reality work. The hard part about getting offers is seeming so enthusiastic about a place where you don't feel so happy about. My current job, they never asked me what I thought of this city, and it's a temporary postdoc, so they weren't so concerned about that anyhow.

But, really, after putting out all those applications, what I want most of all is just to stay here, doing exactly the same thing as I've done the past 1.5 years, only this time I'll be happy and productive. Perhaps the two grants that I applied for will come through in time to be able to continue here. Maybe I can find more grants. Maybe I will get an offer that will let me defer.

If I stay with Jon and stayed here another year, I think at that point, he could reasonably consider moving with me without feeling like he was premature in his decision, or like it would be too disruptive.