I have been searching for a job for a year, since April 2010 when I first turned in my dissertation.
It took eight months more before I got to defend that disseration (successfully!).
My plan had been to get started early on the job search and then move on to some kind of job without interruption.
Things have not worked out as I had imagined they would. Not that I was taken completely by surprise. One book (What Color is Your Parachute) suggested that it takes up to a year to get a viable employment search strategy in place.
I’m getting really really good at writing cover letters and interviewing. I had a 20 minute interview in Seattle with three men from Harvard that I thought went really well. I had an exceptional application for a postdoctoral position in at Memorial that I spent days in preparing, going so far as getting extra reference letters, and contacting 8 faculty members. They said no.
My dad said this would happen after I phoned them and they said the letter is in the mail. I thank my dad for warning me and thus sheltering me from the blow that was coming, that came today.
How many nos do I need to go through?
A buddhist friend of mine told me that Sylvia Plath had one poem rejected 250 times. I did not point out to him that Sylvia Plath also committed suicide.
I am dealing with this demoralizing situation by taking care of myself and others. I am exercising, writing, reading and cooking meals for my friends. I am socializing and spending time with friends. I am volunteering with a local buddhist organization.
I know the yes is out there somewhere. Talking to my mom, she pointed out that every time she has been granted an interview, she has gotten the job. The same was true for me until I got my PhD. I’ve had a few interviews now, but the competition is harder than ever before.
For the first time in twenty years I have to ask parents and friends to help me make ends meet.
I have done everything right, by the books, I’m doing what I love and what is practical: I have strong technical and scientific aptitude as well as excellent interpersonal, human and cultural knowledge. Well rounded, broad and deep knowledge in abundance.
It must be about finding the right fit. It must be about the work about helping others about making a mark about doing what is right regardless of monetary compensation.
At times it hurts like hell, times when the no is fresh or abundant. The yes is out there, but I’m not waiting around for it, I’m going to get busy creating it.