+2 votes
asked ago in Job Market - Candidate Questions by (760 points)
Looking back to the summer before you went on the market, what do you wish you had done or hadn't done? This could be anything from major (I wish I had presented at more conferences, for example) to minor (I wish I had bought my plane tickets sooner so I wouldn't have landed at 3am).

2 Answers

+2 votes
answered ago by (520 points)
1. I wish I had starting writing earlier -- I spent too much on polishing results before putting the paper into the draft. By having a draft earlier, it would've been easier to get critical feedback on the draft and revise during the summer / September, rather than desperately trying to do it in January.

2. Critically think about my paper's work a bit more. It is very easy to feel like your Job Market Paper is You. It's part of your work, but it's still very much a work in progress (it will take years before it's finally published, sadly). I wish I had done more to take an outside view of my paper and say "If I were in the audience, what would I have been skeptical of?"
commented ago by (1.6k points)
That's great advice, not only to job market candidates but for all researchers. Take an outside view of your paper and think "If I were a reader, what would I have been skeptical of?"
0 votes
answered ago by (3.3k points)
I would have started new research projects, especially coauthored ones with colleagues and faculty. Of course JMP and dissertation chapters should take precedence so maybe this isn't an option, but I felt I missed out on so many good ideas the summer before the job market. I kept saying, No, can't start anything new, must polish and polish app material, which can be so mind-numbing and demoralizing. This is going to be the last summer in your department (hopefully), and it will likely be difficult to work on and start research with most of the individuals you currently interact with. Not to mention, having ideas and projects started can be a huge save during interviews. Several times I felt the interview team was bored with my JMP and papers and it would have been nice to have some developing ideas to also discuss with them (even if they were not on your CV).