indianacat

Site like GradCafe for postdocs?

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Apologies if this has already been asked! Having attained my PhD this year, I'm in the agonizing process of applying to postdocs/faculty positions and have drummed about about 70 rejections so far. I'm suspecting many of the posts I am applying for were not real searches, but the committee already had someone lined up from the beginning. What I'm wondering is if there is a site like GradCafe, to anxiously check submission status changes and interview invites? ;) I use the academic jobs wiki, but it's not as busy as this place. Thanks!

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There are some of us who are new PhDs or received their PhDs some time ago and still remain here. But I've also heard lots about TheChronicle's forums: http://www.chronicle.com/forums/ I am not registered there though and only sometimes read things when someone sends me a direct link.

I feel your job seeking pain---I am glad to be off the job market this year since I just started a 2+1 postdoc. I guess we must be in fields that do things differently since my job search season was in the last year of my PhD, rather than after graduation! Also, in my field, the season has just begun, and decisions won't be made until mid-December onwards. My other suggestion was to find whether your field has something like this: http://www.astrobetter.com/wiki/Rumor+Mill However, I found that every year there are some very toxic people that write very toxic things so I'm pretty sure things like that does more harm than good if you have other ways of finding postings. That said, I think many people know it's no use to check the wiki but we all do anyways. Sigh.

Good luck on your search! Don't forget, you only need one acceptance, so the large number of rejections don't really matter. One piece of advice that worked well for me: For postdoc positions, it's helpful to contact the person that would be your mentor/advisor. Sometimes the posting is fairly general, e.g. "planets around other stars" but when you talk to them, you find that they're really looking for someone who uses telescopes, or maybe someone who does computer models, etc. Knowing this can help you decide which applications to spend your time on, or which parts of your application to emphasize (especially if you have proposals for multiple projects). 

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For venting/discussion.... Here!

Honestly, the more people in this situation that stay around, the more of a place this will become for those of us post-PhD. There's the job section of the boards, as well as the research/teaching sections, depending where you end up. 

CHE forums are good for support, as mentioned- there are several specific threads for job market support/advice, a sub-forum devoted to it, and year-specific cohort threads for TT hires. 

There's also the academic reddits- r/professor and r/academia. 

For finding when interviews go out, there are the academic wiki's, there are subfield specific blogs and posts- ChemJobber does in chemistry what academic wiki's do in other fields. By and large, I recommend avoiding them- nothing good comes from finding out when other people are getting interviews. It can be nice to know where the searches are, but I think leads to more anxiety than helpful. 

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Thanks so much, TakeruK and Eigen! I just signed up for the Chronicle forum, and will spend some time mooching around there this afternoon! I am in Biological Anthropology, by the way, and no - I don't think your field is that different from mine, I just had monumentally bad luck in my last year of the PhD. I had secured a position, stopped applying for others, and then the funding fell through at the last minute. :/ So I am applying now in the new job season, while bartending and feeling sorry for myself. I have another interview coming up in a couple of weeks, so fingers crossed. I suppose I just wanted to connect with others out there who are in the same boat, and would be interested to know if others are interviewing for this position! Again, thank you - it's nice to know others out there get it.

 

 

 

Edited by indianacat

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22 minutes ago, indianacat said:

I suppose I just wanted to connect with others out there who are in the same boat, and would be interested to know if others are interviewing for this position! Again, thank you - it's nice to know others out there get it.

I personally don't like the CHE forums, but that's a matter of opinion. There are folks over here, and the more the merrier! But as for connecting with people who are applying for the same positions, you are much likelier to find them through local and in-person networking at conferences than on websites, I think. I can understand the sentiment -- I've certainly gotten a lot out of commiserating with others who truly get it, and also swapping stories and info, but you're just much more likely to find them at professional gatherings than randomly on the internet. 

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The CHE forums are.... Not as friendly as things are here. 

That said, I do find them an excellent source of blunt advice, which has in its own way been helpful. People on the CHE forums honestly post all of the things they wouldn't tell applicants, but do actually play a role, despite how much you do or don't like it. There are a lot of people there who are deans, provosts, higher administrators and senior faculty who can really give insight into what they consider and how. It's not always comforting to hear, and I don''t always agree with it- but knowing there are people out there who think like that and getting a chance to understand it is immensely helpful.

The other thing to remember about the CHE forums is that they honestly do have places for venting/whining/complaining and looking for support. But outside of those threads, people expect that you want to hear, bluntly, what you need to do to change- and there's very little tolerance for coming back in 6 mos or a year and having not taken past advice into consideration, complaining about the same things. 

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20 hours ago, Eigen said:

Honestly, the more people in this situation that stay around, the more of a place this will become for those of us post-PhD. There's the job section of the boards, as well as the research/teaching sections, depending where you end up. 

Maybe adding one or two more post grad school specific sections would help encourage people to stick around.  Ex: split jobs into academic and non-academic, a section for postdocs/young profs, a section for industry phds.  I think more people would hang around if there was a dedicated space for it ("Post Grad Life" or something)

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We've talked about it, and it's a good thing to keep in mind for future growth. Part of it is a chicken-and-egg problem: With no people here to discuss, we're creating extra forums that are pretty much empty. But on the other hand, people don't talk unless there's a place. 

Historically, the Jobs forum (if you read the description) is supposed to be about jobs post-grad school, so that's pretty much an exclusively "post-grad" forum, but it sees next to no traffic, because there aren't enough of us to keep it populated. 

That said, I'm all for a more robust inclusion of post-graduate school life- lets try to revitalize the current forums, and see where that takes us.

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I'm glad I brought this up, then! I for one will certainly start a thread or two on this topic. Another thing I would really like to get feedback on is potential job resources in my - and related - fields. Let's do it!

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This discussion has motivated me to find some time to write about my postdoc search experience last year. I learned a lot and it might be helpful to those in similar fields. Also, I think it might be a therapeutic experience for me to write it down.

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Some fields have the 'rumors' sites - like Political Science Rumors, Sociology Job Market Rumors, etc. Not every field has them but they are entertaining. I don't know if anthropology has one.

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