First of all, thanks to my dozen remaining readers who have been checking in even after my long fallow period. Part of the issue is that, as my anonymity thins out, the interesting things that happen to and around me are not things I should be broadcasting. Department dust-ups, inappropriate advances, and all the other things that color our academic lives and are great blog fodder are suddenly inappropriate if a critical mass of people know who you (and by extension, your colleagues) are. And this will not become a blog where I just complain about students. Too damn boring. Historiann and Tenured Radical have crafted online identities for themselves, so I know it can be done. But right now, I write if I'm inspired, and I haven't been for a while.
But this morning I realized that we're in the beginnings of job search season. That whole thing has been rather bleak of the past few years, but this year's job listings (as well as anecdotal evidence) suggest that we may be coming out of it. With that in mind, I thought I'd do a series of posts on the job search in history. There may be some tips, or dos and don'ts, or just stories from my own long-ago search history... and I'd be really interested in hearing from the young academics on the market for the first time, since the past ten years has completely changed things in some ways. I'm envisioning a bit of a generational culture clash as a new orthodoxy (online materials submissions, Skype interviews, googling candidates) runs headlong into search committee members who don't see the reason for all this techy stuff (or vice-versa).
So maybe that'll be the next post on this topic. But the first post here asks a simple question for job searchers (don't worry, search committees: you'll get your turn): How are you doing? Are you optimistic? What do the offerings in your field look like this year compared to previous years? Do you feel prepared? Are you crafting a plan B? Paralyzed by fraud complex? Worried that your writing sample sucks? Feel like you could be a contender for the big time but the jobs this year are disappointing? Pick a pseudonym and get it all out here. My department is running no searches this year and I promise not to out you. I'll put on a pot of coffee and bake some cookies. You take some deep breaths and relax: