Monday, November 2, 2009

Job Search: Waiting for Word

Two months after I sent in my first job application packet, the earliest posted "review of applications will begin..." date has passed. Of the 10 jobs to which I have applied, 3 are now reviewing the applications - at least, according to their job announcements they are. That means it's time to really start wondering when, or if, I'll hear anything.

I suppose I should be grateful that one of my letter writers didn't get around to writing my letters before these first deadlines. I can revert to the "they aren't reviewing my application yet" mentality, and not feel worried because the delay isn't my fault (except insofar as I should have been nagging him to write the letters). It wouldn't be bad to delay this new stress a month, until the next batch of application deadlines pass.

I do wish I had some idea when I would find out. If I don't hear within a month of the review beginning, should I decide I'm not one of their top candidates, and write the job off? Or is it two months, or even three? Will these committees even be sticking to the announced review date, or delaying somewhat, in the nature of committees - and faculty in particular - everywhere? At what point is it worthwhile following up with someone at these colleges?

Thus far, the only thing I have received is an assortment of e-mail and snail-mail letters acknowledging my application. This has accomplished two things: One, it has reinforced the frustration of relying on my letter writers to complete my applications for me in a timely manner (when the form letters tell me what I need to complete my application). Two, it has started me worrying about those colleges who haven't acknowledged my application, when I had done so well in deliberately not worrying about packets getting lost in the mail or the administrative offices.

I have promised myself I will not start freaking out about my job prospects until January. It's only a week after the first review should have begun, and already I'm wondering more than I should. It's going to be a long three months.

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