Tuesday, January 18, 2005

the generation gap

Grrlscientist reminded me that I might as well use this as an opportunity the plug the National Postdoc Association.

Perhaps in the past there was no need for such an organization, but it fills a void: the generation gap.

There is a gigantic void between the generation that is now tentured professor-dom and the generation that is now looking for jobs is a tremendous one.

It's worth reassessing your goals and your plan to reach them in the context of: things have changed since your advisor got a job. The old formulas don't apply anymore.

Lies the faculty told me:

1. It doesn't matter who you know.

correction: Who you know is the only thing that will get you an interview.

2. The same number of people get faculty positions now, so it doesn't matter as long as you're in the top 10%.

correction: the competition is so much steeper now, it's a nonlinear situation. the dropoff from the top 9% to the top 10% could make all the difference in your success. It's true for grants, and everybody knows it. Why do they pretend it's not true for jobs?

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