It is late summer, which for students and faculty means gearing up for another year at school (whatever that might mean in the current COVID crisis). It also means that another cycle on the academic job market is about to begin. While this year will undoubtedly be particularly perilous and unlike any other in recent memory, I would like to offer a few reflections on my experience as an early-career faculty member on the job market this past year. My experience is admittedly anecdotal, and my end-result potentially atypical, but hopefully I can provide some insights into an often-neglected component of academic life.
After graduating in 2015, I spent a year on the job market before landing a job at Northwest University in rainy Kirkland, WA, right outside of Seattle. Northwest is a small, Christian liberal arts college, and I counted myself incredibly fortunate to land my first job at such an ideal location. But was this a first job, or was it a forever job?