October 04, 2011

Autumn in the job search

Fall is officially here. At least, I think it is. Sure it was 88 degrees here in Virginia last week, but that must be related to global warming. Right? Right. There's a chill in the air, pumpkins are out in full force, and I have had to add blankets to my bed.

This also means that the countdown to degree completion has started. Normally, this means lots and lots of writing and formatting. But since I want to have a big girl job, I've been stuck in the mire that is the modern job search. Ugh!

I thought that all the relevant job postings for my field would be in one central location, but that just isn't the case. I've found announcements on individual department or college websites that aren't on the national society's website. And too many institutions are relying on the same awkward design that doesn't allow you to open tabs or return to the search results without having to re-select all the search parameters.

I guess when I started this process, I didn't realize how much time it would require. I've probably spent 10 hours working on my cover letter, and although I have a solid foundation, I still tailor each one to the position I'm applying for. It is very intimidating to send out information about yourself -- your accomplishments (which never seem to be significant or grand enough) and your shortcomings (which always seem more encompassing than you previously thought) -- and know that, unless you make it to the next round, you won't get any kind of feedback back.

I'm trying to stay positive. I won't be in full blown panic mode until I have the degree in hand and am unemployed. Here's hoping that my favorite season brings good luck!

Image is by Marcia Baldwin and no copyright infringement is intended.