The conventional wisdom when it comes to the academic job hunt is to apply for every open position, no matter what it is or where it is located. After all, the reasoning goes, beggars can’t afford to be choosers, and you never know what kind of places might actually be a good fit.
This advice is wrong.
Not only is it wrong, it contributes to the disempowerment of early-career scholars on the job market. And I, for one, refuse to follow it. Instead, I am applying only to jobs about which I am genuinely enthused, and for which I think are a good fit for me on both a professional and personal level.
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, but the real catalyst in making this decision was a job posting this year from Brigham Young University, which, for those who aren’t familiar, is a private university owned and operated by the Mormon Church. BYU requires its faculty to abide by the same honour code as its students: i.e. no coffee, no beards, and no gays allowed. Well, ok, we’re allowed, as long as we stay celibate for life. How generous.
Featured image: Jaren Wilkey