Signup date: 16 Nov 2010 at 12:19pm
Last login: 01 Oct 2014 at 3:41pm
Post count: 70
You're far from alone.
I deposited my thesis a while back and I've applied for a similar number of jobs.
Being told you're overqualified is demoralising, though it's at least some feedback.
More typically, I receive automated emails advising that "due to the high number of applications we cannot provide individual feedback."
One of my biggest difficulties is working out which jobs to apply for, what are reasonable salary expectations, and where to pitch myself more generally. It's hard to tell whether I'm being too ambitious, not ambitious enough, or shooting roughly on target but have been unlucky (it's competitive wherever you're looking for work, right?).
Sorry, I'm not offering much comfort here, though I'm feeling down and frustrated today.
If I perk up tomorrow I'll offer a more positive view.
Fled, thanks for your comments.
And HazyJane, thanks also (I'm not sure if you were responding to the original post, my post, or perhaps both; in any case, your observations seen relevant to my situation).
My circumstances are quite complicated, as I have responsibilities as a carer that would prohibit any move. If I was offered teaching work in another part of the UK, or indeed abroad, I'd have to regretfully decline. Because I'm limited to job hunting in cities within commutable distance, the odds of landing a full time (or even part time) academic position are even less favourable. To add to this difficulty, I'm also a relatively mature student. I'd dearly like to live in my own house again. This becomes impossible if I'm on a temporary contract, as there's no way I'd be offered a mortgage.
At the same time, it'll be tough to sell my humanities PhD to non-academic employers, even if I emphasise prior work experience and transferable skills.
I think I need to take things one step at a time. Finish minor corrections first (I'm nearly there!) and make big decisions once I've cleared the decks and can give them my full attention.
MoC, any progress or further thoughts from your end?
I'm not sure how to respond, other than stressing that you're not alone in your predicament. (That's not too reassuring, I know, and I'm not trying to be the voice of doom.)
I'm currently finishing minor corrections. Once these are done I'll be looking for a job, and the prospects aren't great, in or outside of academia.
My chances of landing a senior lecturer position are negligible without several years on low paid temporary contracts and a more substantial research profile. (Even then it would be difficult to secure stable academic employment.) I would also be unable to get a mortgage or comfortably sustain myself. Post-docs in my subject are extremely rare, too.
I worked for more than a decade before returning to academia, and while I couldn't stand my job, it paid relatively well and was secure. I think I'd struggle to land the same job again, and I lack the requisite experience for anything else. I'm also not so young now, which may count against me (unofficially, of course) if seeking to a non-academic job.
I'm telling myself that I'll be OK if I can find a job that loosely fits my earlier work experience and I foreground "transferable skills" on job applications, CVs, and in interview (assuming I get to the interview stage). However, I'm concerned about my job prospects. And I wonder if I'd have been better off sticking with my earlier, admittedly soul crushing job.
If it makes you feel any better, I'm also not entitled to benefits of any description, due to DWP small print that's too long and dull to explicate here. And I've tried to find temporary work and low paid jobs as stop-gaps, but employers have been dismissive, too. My family are far from wealthy, and I'm currently depending on family for bed and board. This situation isn't tenable in the long run.
In short, I'm extremely anxious and unsure what the future holds.
I didn't claim to know you better than you know yourself. (Clearly I don't know you at all.)
I was merely highlighting problems with the Myers-Briggs indicators; and you still haven't addressed any of my points about those problems. Rather you've reasserted that the test and personality descriptors are "100% accurate," because they feel right to you.
I'm sorry, but this doesn't make for a persuasive argument; and as academics or would-be-academics, we need to respond to questions and criticisms by working through any points raised, disproving alternative hypotheses, or acknowledging valid criticism and changing our position accordingly.
I'll leave it there. For the record, my objective wasn't to "disrespect" you, but to outline and support an alternative view.
I'm sorry if this comes across as antagonistic, Timmy, but you've said precisely the same thing again, without making an effort to address my points about language and taxonomy.
You've also referenced just one example (based on your own subjective evaluations) to argue for MTBI descriptors' absolute accuracy or infallibility.
Since this forum is for academics (in practice or in training), our methods and conclusions should be informed by considerably greater rigour than you've applied here.
I'll admit that my horoscope analogy was hyperbolic and used for effect; but this doesn't mean the Myers-Briggs test is a reliable indicator of personality types and their demarcations, which are inevitably problematic, for the reasons I've stated above.
Furthermore, the test derives from Jungian "theory," and thus exists to at least some degree at the level of abstraction; or put another way, is beyond absolute empiricism. (For the record, I'm from a humanities background, so my comments aren't "anti-theory." However, I recognise theory's limitations in particular contexts, including this one.)
To paraphrase, "INTJ descriptors feel right to me, therefore the Myers-Briggs system works perfectly."
I'm honestly not trying to be controversial or confrontational, but perhaps you could address some of my observations above, by explaining how we might construct a perfect taxonomic system (in any context), or account for any system of language in ways that resolve issues of polysemy and appropriation.
I'm sorry to disagree, Timmy, but claims that "descriptors" are "100% accurate" are by definition hyperbole.
I'm no expert in linguistic theory, but I know that language is polysemic, and thus open to manifold interpretations and appropriations.
Moreover, taxonomies (which I know a little more about) are always problematic, especially when we're seeking to classify something as subjective or imprecise as "personality types."
I have no concerns about people identifying with one of the Myers-Briggs personality types, but we shouldn't conclude that it's an infallible system because the results feel right, or were consistent when repeated in certain examples.
I was also classified as INFJ when I completed the Myer-Briggs test several years ago.
Given that INFJ is reportedly the rarest personality type, we seem in plentiful supply in academia.
Perhaps INFJs are attracted to isolating research; or maybe Myers-Briggs personality types are like horoscopes -- we can always identify with loose, multivalent descriptions.
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