Advice for Job Market Shoppers

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Something to bide your time. Source:

Regardless of whether you are a public administration or an international relations student, you will be on the job market before you think.

During your time here at Maxwell, we hope that you will also develop the professional skills necessary to succeed in the job search.

Thus, we wanted to share the following article about Going on the Job Market? by Professor Amanda Murdie of Kansas State University. Even though it is written for a doctoral audience, Professor Murdie gives some advice that is applicable for all graduate students and job seekers.

“I’ve been on the market twice (once in fall of 2008 and then again in 2011).  Although I thought it would be much easier to be on the market once I had a job, I found that the stress didn’t diminish the second time.   Both times, I’d spend an unhealthy portion of my day hitting “re-fresh” on my email inbox.

Both times, I would check my phone for messages any time it hadn’t been attached to me at the hip.   The experience was punctuated by two periods of stress: (1) the stress that occurs before any calls, where you wonder if hiring committees just laughed at your vita and tossed it in the trash, and (2) the stress that occurs after the call and continues through the interview until you know the actual outcome of the search.


… my point is to advocate that to-be job candidates take up something – anything! – that can occupy their minds during the job season. One of my friends said she is going to take up the ukulele.  Another friend said he is taking up cage fighting (but he is a little concerned about hiding the bruises and black-eyes if he gets a quick interview).  The job market process is difficult.  In my limited experience on the other side of things, interview decisions have a lot of “groupthink” and network pathologies involved that have nothing to do with the candidate or the strength of the file. … Finding other interests while on the job market is essential for personal well-being.”