Recently I was chatting with a new graduate student who was going on the job market. I asked him how many jobs he had applied for and his response was: All of them.
Ok, I get it, I’ve been there. And part of the nature of the academic lifestyle is being willing to go anywhere and do anything. Few of us end up in our first choice cities or ideal locations when we embark upon a teaching career.
However it will be useful for all involved – the candidates, the search committees – to stop for a moment and consider which jobs it is appropriate to apply for and at what level. It is as inappropriate for a new graduate to apply for an Associate Professor position as it is for a teaching veteran to apply for jobs clearly written as entry level.
What that student had effectively done, was give himself a lot of practice applying for jobs, but he had also wasted a lot of search committee time.
Another area to consider, is what type of job do you want? Or, what type of job are you best suited for?
Not all jobs are one-size fits all and it is worth investigating what you bring to or look for in a teaching job. Things to consider when choosing which jobs to apply for:
- How important is classroom teaching to you?
- How important is exhibiting regularly?
- Do you need to be in a location where there are lots of opportunities to exhibit?
- Will you be more comfortable taking the art world more slowly or do you prefer to have lots of shows?
- Are you comfortable being the only faculty in your discipline, or do you like to be one of a group?
- Are you looking for a multi-disciplined Art department or one that concentrates in your discipline?
- Are you able to take on or would you like to take on administrative or supervisory responsibilities that a position requires?
- Are you fully aware of the responsibilities that a particular position requires?
- Do you prefer to work more individually with students, or in larger groups?
- What demographic of student are you familiar or interested in working with?
- Are you able to collaborate with other faculty, or have a deep interest in collaborating outside of your discipline? If so, how important is this to you?
- Are you prepared for a temporary job, one that may last only several years, or are you ready to settle down?
- Are you willing to go to where this job is located?
In another post, I’ll discuss different types of institutions and positions.
Feel free to add more question suggestions in the comment area.