On the Job Market

It must be late October because the mailing lists are brimming with job announcements. Our candidates have online portfolios including video of them teaching upper division classes and giving talks at national and international conferences. This is in addition to pages of articles and presentations in their vitas. I am sure they will all be employed by the time the season is out but I am also sure most will not be in tenure track positions.

We believed, and they believe yet more strongly, that if one is only good enough, which one can be if one tries enough, one can eventually earn a job that is not so painful to hold in one’s hand that it cannot be held steadily. Suddenly, as happens each year in some form, it occurs to me — what if all of this is a scheme to keep us working at low wages, and not doing something else? What if all the jobs so many people deserve, and are told can be found if they are sought, really do not exist, and we are all participating in a collective delusion?

I wonder if it would not have been beneficial to one and all to have been sent to a socialist summer camp. My parents always thought they should have had us be Christian, so we could have more friends; we did not want to be Christian and did not want as many friends as our parents thought we should have, so we were glad the Christian idea did not occur to them on time; I wonder, though, about the socialist summer camp. Then we could have learned about psychology under capitalism and had another, perhaps less masochistic lens through which to view the world than what we received.

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2 Responses to On the Job Market

  1. Z says:

    Honestly, I mean it. I think a lot of the angst is about how people really think their jobs have been “stolen” by other candidates, or that if they don’t get one, it’s their fault.

  2. Hattie says:

    Crank up the disappointment and failure! Didn’t we all expect we would do better in our careers? Thank goodness for alcohol. Look at the graph on my blog.

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