Last summer (2015), just as I was giving up on the academic job search, I got a Hail Mary* job offer thrown my way. A contract job, for one year, in a city I’d always sworn I’d never live in.
No sooner had I arrived than I had to start looking for jobs for the 2016-2017 school year. Over the course of the last 12 months or so I submitted 35 applications for tenure-track jobs. (It could have been more, but by November I knew my current contract would be available for another year, so I stopped applying to places I wouldn’t want to live long term.) I got 9 phone/Skype interviews (much better percentage than last year) and had 2 on-site interviews. Neither led to a job.
So I’m sticking around for another school year, and I’m honestly not too disappointed:
- For starters, it took most of the school year to get my research lab here up and running and I really want to get more preliminary results before I have to start the process all over again.
- Also, I love my colleagues. I honestly could not ask for better co-workers: they love teaching and are excited about new pedagogical approaches, but they’re also mostly research active as well.
- The location is also growing on me in a way that I never would have imagined. I love the diversity. (I interviewed at a couple of places in the Midwest and was shocked at how WHITE everyone was. In my current summer class, 2 out of 15 students are white. Yes, no typo, 21%. That’s pretty typical in my classes to date.)
- Finally, next year looks like it will be another amazing year. I get to be a course coordinator (looks good on the CV), teach a graduate instrumental analysis class (ditto), and !!!mentor a master’s student!!!
- Oh, and did I mention that our department just acquired some new instrumentation that will make my research soooo much easier?
No, I don’t mind sticking around here at all. In fact, I’d happily stay until my youngest is out of high school (i.e. through the 2018-2019 school year)…if not longer, assuming they ever decide to offer me a tenure-track position.
*Literally–I work for a Catholic school!