Thursday, January 17, 2013

To the Inside Candidate Who Did Not Get the Job. From the Crampicle, April 2012.

by John Lemuel

Nice knowing ya.
Our job search is over, and now it begins—that awkward interval while you're still working in a department that chose someone else over you for the full-time job. Just a year ago it was you we invited to be the visiting fellow, and now we seem quick to cast you aside.

It's a wound, raw and painful, but you must keep telling yourself it won't likely prove fatal to your career. What you're experiencing here is more common in academe than you might think. In fact, I was in your shoes some years ago. The specific circumstances were different, but some of what I learned then might be useful to you now, or at least provide some perspective on what you're going through.

I was sitting in a drafty cubicle one January, when I got word by e-mail—even though the search-committee chair sat in an office just one floor away—that I was not a finalist. We're sorry, the message said, but we're sure you'll be successful somewhere else.



  1. I know this feeling well, having been the internal candidate who got an offer to extend the agony for one more year. It sucked.

  2. This is like a long, patronizing, poison pen letter from a boyfriend who dumped you for another woman, and then writes to tell you that he's sure some other guy will appreciate you. But that guy is never ever going to be him.

    It's not your fault, of course, and he wants you to know that. The two of you just weren't a good "fit". The woman he dumped you for won out not because you're a bad girlfriend (sure you were nervous and made some mistakes, probably because you wanted him so much), but because the new woman is prettier and comes from a better background.

    You can see that, can't you? I mean, his family seemed to love you of course, and thought you'd be together forever, but they don't decide what's best for him. You should take what they say with a grain of salt anyway, because you had a year to win them over and some of them still didn't like you. They were just being nice.

    Seriously, this guy is a total bastard. Shut the fuck up, asshole. Keep your "supportive" missive, filled with little hidden digs and patronizing advice to "buck up". Because what that letter proves is that ou suck.


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