The misery of the Ph.D job market

Ph.D holder J.D.J. Plocher, an alumnus of Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, blogs about how the misery of a failed job search may have forced him to give up his dream of becoming a music academic:

“…I told myself that I was worthless, that I’d thrown away seven years of my life chasing a degree that was going to get me something between jack and squat. After a decade in graduate school, I was somehow even less employable than I would have been straight out of undergrad. I’d made my wife work full time through our kids’ preschool years, made her live 1200 miles from her family. I was convinced I was failing my family. Late one night it got so bad that I cried for an hour, great wracking sobs that I couldn’t stop. I don’t know what would have happened if I’d been alone. My wife helped me get through that night, and the days that came after.”

You can read that post — and others — on his site here.

  • Adina Schneeweis

    I read this post before, and that paragraph that you quote is what stuck out to me as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hanna

    It’s worth noting that he ends hopefully. “I’ve got dreams to chase again”

    As a young academic myself, sure, the depths of misery are what resonate. But his openness and optimism are the notes to remember!