Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oh man, should I apply for this job???

My dream job in my dream location is hiring assistant professors in sociology, and they specifically mention gender (which is one of my specialties!) But I'm unsure as to whether I should apply. Here's why:

1. Well, first it's important to know that academic jobs only hire people once a year. If I apply to this job, it would be for a professorship starting in September 2009. Also, not every university hires people in my field every year, so if I didn't apply this year, they would probably not be hiring next year.

2. I was not planning on graduating this year- I have funding for a 6th year of graduate school (I'm going to be a 5th year)

3. However, if I skip teaching in the Spring, work my ass off all year long, and graduate in August instead of May, it will be possible for me to finish my dissertation in that time period

4. Apart from writing and defending the proposal(which is about 60 pages of lit review and methods) I have done absolutely no work on my dissertation so far.

5. My chair knows this

6. So in order to have a good letter of reccomendation from him, I would have to have at least 1 and more likley 2 chapters written by the September 15th deadline to apply for this job.

7. I have to write up one of the chapters anyway, for a conference presentation I'm giving in October, due October 9th

8. Although I COULD theoretically finish my dissertation by a year from now, it's going to be super stressful and crazy to do so

9. I am also teaching this fall, although it's a class I've taught twice before, so it may not be so horrible. But that's a major thing that's going to take some time away from research

10. I probably wouldn't get the job anyways, especially cause I have practically none of my dissertation written

11. Applying to the job will require writing a 4 page detailed cover letter, a teaching philosophy, a research statement and putting together a teaching portfolio, in addition to the stuff I've already done (which is basically...I've written a CV).

12. I'm getting married in May, and there's no way I would delay the wedding, ESPECIALLY if I get the job, cause the "dream location" is on the west coast, and I want all my friends to be there.

But I should apply to it...right? Even though it's completely crazy and will make my next year into a nightmare if I get the job? (Which I wouldn't even find out until december at the earliest, and possibly as late as feburary). Cause it's my freakin dream job! Like seriously, this *specific* university is where I daydream about working at when I should be working in real life!


  1. So why are you wasting time here blogging, get writing and get on with your life! Can your procrastination and indecision be a symptom of insecurity?

  2. Apply!

    The worst that happens is you have a busy year, and get your Doctorate early.

    The best that happens is you get your dream job.

  3. I worked like 8 hours today! I'd hardly call that procrastination :)

    But maybe it is insecurity that is making me hesitate...I mean, it's hard to imagine writing a dissertation in a year. But I can totally do it!

    Ok i'm doing it! This weekend I'm going to start working on my teaching philosophy and depending on how that goes, also my cover letter!

  4. Really. You have no choice. You have to do it.

  5. Stop being so coy, it's gotta be Berkeley!

  6. it's not berkeley..But you're only off by one state :)

    Berkeley is not my dream job for 2 reasons- 1. cost of living in the SF/bay area is insane 2. Berkeley is one of the top 3 sociology programs, and so carries insane pressure for it's faculty to be some of the top most famous researchers in the country. Not that I don't want to be one of the top most famous researchers in the country, but I don't want my chances of tenure to depend on it...I want to be able to take a day off once in a while :)

  7. One state, oh well.

    I was hoping for the University of Washington...

  8. I'm going to go in the opposite direction and recommend not applying. Right now, you're happy. You're in a fairly new relationship and you're planning to get married. You're enjoying your life. Why put that pressure on yourself? It's not like you're stuck, career-wise. You're still going for your PhD and you'll get it in the next few years. And you're still only in your mid-20's. Why rush for something that may or may not be your dream job? Sometimes something looks like a dream job from the outside and then it turns out to be crap. Don't turn your life inside-out with stress for the next year just because a job description looks good.

    Let's put it this way. Suppose you had never seen that job description - you would have continued on with your current fulfilling life with plans to get a decent job and get on the tenure track afterwards. Nothing would have been missing. And you'll have other job offers after you graduate.

    Why not keep on doing what you're doing and not take any rash leaps? I've known way too many people who did and later regretted it.

  9. BTW, looks like you're on DovBear's blog now too!

  10. Dear AE,

    Wrong thread but I really wanted you to read this.

    I'd like you ask yourself a simple question. When you parents die, are you going to sit Shiva?

    I've watched people go through this before and I plead that allow me to advise you that you never ever get over the guilt of not speaking to your parents. Your lifes choices are your own, but I urge you to learn from the mistakes of others.

    You are young and in love and entitled to it but over time, the mistakes that one makes gnaw at the back of their minds. I urge you to find folks that have had the same experience as you and regret it to get the other side of the story.

    This way you will have as many views as possible as you make these very important decisions.

    Best of luck,


  11. I am facing the same conundrum now!!

    (am in the sciences, so we normally only start dissertating about a month before the defense)

    Do I (on the chance that everything will work and I graduate July '09) start asking advisor to get me out? Is it even prudent to let advisor know that I am plotting my escape route?

    You have this anonymous grad student's empathy.


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