07 Other Thoughts


  • One of the most frustrating aspects of a higher education job search is timing. One institution may have completed the entire process before another even advertises an opening. Be patient, recognize that conducting a job search is difficult, and negotiate the process as best you can. Lean into your support groups.
  • Remember that the interview and search process is a two-way undertaking. You should be interviewing the institution and the department as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure that the institution meets your expectations and matches your skills and interests. You do not want to end up somewhere where you will be unhappy.
  • Take time for self-care. This is a lengthy and arduous process. Try not to get so caught up in everything that you forget to take care of yourself.
  • As mentioned earlier, academia is littered with rejection. Paper submissions get rejected, conference and grant proposals get rejected, job applications get rejected… Don’t believe that you are any less capable or competent because you didn’t get the job or even the interview. There are so many unforeseen factors at play. Remind yourself why you are interested in a job in academia and keep pushing forward. 
  • While in your doctoral program, research what kind of research would be a good fit for you. Stay attuned to what you hear about places to better know what you may or may not want in an academic home. 
  • Ask people what they know about individual departments and deans. At conferences, attend presentations given by members of departments to which you are thinking of applying (or already have applied to). Pay attention to how potential department members act toward each other and toward audience members. Ask graduate students from different departments about their experiences in the programs that you may be interested in.
  • Unfortunately, you may not get a faculty job (at least not this year). In most years the faculty job market is extremely competitive. Think about what a backup plan for you and your family might be, just in case.