Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Rejection email

"I am very sorry to have to tell you that the Search Committee has decided to proceed no further with your application. Thank you for applying. We wish you well in all your endeavors."

It wasn't even the post-doc for which I'd had the most hope. I'm grateful to get the rejection sooner than later. And, as emailed rejections go, this one could have been a lot worse.

But then comes the call from A., ecstatic because a mutual friend for whom he wrote a recommendation letter has won Fabulous Visiting Lectureship. The same friend has also landed an interview at Prestigious University.

I am pleased. (Especially since I helped refine the recommendation letter before it went to committee.) This friend is deserving, and I am genuinely happy for him.

But I am sad for me. And I'm worried because I can feel my recently revived hope for an academic future start to flag.

Oh my God. I spent the better part of a month on that application. What was I thinking? What am I going to do next year? I've applied selectively for post-docs and portable money, on account of the baby and a commitment to live here in Alleged Utopia with Adam. I've politely brushed off suggestions that I find a job with a giant insurance firm which, a rep from Adam's university insists, is "a great place for working mothers." Never mind that the firm is an hour away, or that I would rather bleed from the eyeballs than work there. It alarms me that a career placement office would a) peg me as a good fit for the financial planning sector of that office; b) ignore everything I've ever told them about my ten years as a writer and teacher. In my weaker moments, I also worry: Do they know something about my prospects that I don't?

Trying not to get discouraged. Trying to summon resiliance.

A faculty mentor is going on sabbatical and will be abroad next term. But she just wrote to put me in touch with a colleague of hers, and has suggested I might get undergraduate support next semester for an archival project I'm working on. That's a hopeful thing, right?

And the post-doc for which I was just rejected would have required an on-campus interview had I made it to the final round. That interview was scheduled for a week in February which happened to conflict with my due date. So, heck, that's one more worry off my plate, right?



At 9:17 AM, Blogger Benedict said...

Brush off all suggestions that you take a job with a giant insurance firm politely, but with great force.

That is certainly not a good fit, no matter how could their breastfeeding policies may be. It is not a good fit because it is antithetical to the kind of work you enjoy doing, and someone told me once that I shouldn't settle for that.

At 1:03 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

You know what's funny? I compared notes with another woman (also new to this area) and it turns out that she has also been urged to look for work with the insurance firm. WTF? I don't know at what to be more annoyed: At the fact that this career placement office apparently has so few contacts and so little imagination OR at the fact that my most awful job prospect isnt even all my own!

No worries, though, Benedict. I will sell the baby before I work for that firm. (Just kidding. But I might sell one of my kidneys before I would work there.)


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