I submitted my first post-PhD life job application today, which I am counting as a milestone moment (hence the celebratory bubbles illustrating this post).
The application is for a lecturer post at a Scottish university which would incorporate elements from my PhD experiences with my “past life” as a communications professional. The post is also well suited to my undergraduate and master’s level degrees, which relate directly to my professional career, which helped to inform my PhD research.
It is a strange feeling to be looking forward to the next phase of my academic life, especially when I’m not quite finished with this phase. (I am close though; very close!) Although, I suppose it is fairly standard to start looking for jobs during the last few months of doing a PhD. (Not that I am generally one to do things the “standard” way!)
When I first saw the post advertised, I thought it looked interesting. However, I dismissed it because I’m just not good enough. (Imposter syndrome, you understand.) But then one of my PhD supervisors sent me a link to the post and said that it was right up my alley. So I gave it another thought and decided, yes, I can totally do that job! (Confidence is a wonderful thing.)
However, as I started to pull my application together I began to worry that maybe I wasn’t a good candidate after all. So I threw some talking points together and sent them off to a (non-academic) friend, along with the job specs. He replied with excitement, declaring that the job was perfect for me and that I should most certainly apply. (He works in career services and hasn’t steered me wrong yet!)
With my confidence growing stronger each day, I sat down and wrote out my supporting statement. Then I went for a run so that I could talk through a potential interview in my head. (I know: I’m crazy.) By the end of my run, I had a better idea of how to finish up my statement and was starting to feel really excited. In fact, I spent an hour or so making edits before I took my post-run shower. (Too much information, I know.)
As today’s deadline fast approached, I sent my CV off to be reviewed by a couple of trusted colleagues and friends. And when I was finally ready to share my supporting statement with my reviewers, I was pleased with the positive feedback I received. (Being told you have a strong application by people you admire and who have proven academic track records is a real boost!)
When I hit the submit button on my application, I felt a wave of satisfaction come over me. I felt very confident and I knew that I submitted something worthy of consideration.
Of course, I also felt a bit of doubt because, well, imposter syndrome. Again. You understand. But the doubt is also relevant as the post is for a permanent lectureship position in an area that is not (quite) the same as my PhD. And I am not (quite) a PhD. (But I am within the timeframe they stated.) And it is not overly common for new PhDs to land a permanent lectureship right out of the gate. At the very least, I hope that my application gets me an interview. Although as I’ve already started dreaming about a new “I got the job” work bag, I will be a bit crushed if I don’t manage both an interview and a job offer.
But, I am perfect for the job. I really do meet (or exceed) the specifications for the role and I have the passion and commitment to excel in the position. Yes, I am very well qualified for the post and would make a positive contribution to the university.
“They’d be so lucky to have me,” she says, forgetting all about that previously mentioned imposter syndrome.
However, if they do not agree with me, at least I now have a bit of experience in applying for an academic post. And that’s what life is all about: Experiences!
A special shout-out to my colleagues and friends who took the time to review my application materials. When I get the job, I’ll buy the celebratory drinks!
Now, on to the next milestone!