Why You Can’t Find a Full-Time Job, Part 1

A few years ago, I wrote a column called “Why You Didn’t Get the Job,” aimed at rookie candidates who had failed to find full-time teaching positions at community colleges.

In my next two columns, I’d like to update and expand on that premise, focusing this time on people who have spent several years on the community-college market—teaching as adjuncts all the while—but have yet to find full-time jobs. Such apparent futility may have many explanations, but I’ve chosen 11 of the most common. Part 1 looks at five reasons that are probably beyond any one candidate’s control but are still important to understand. Part 2 will explore six problems that you might actually be able to fix.

I need to issue a few disclaimers in advance.

  • I understand that many readers have already answered the question suggested by my title with what they consider the obvious response: The system is broken. You’ll get no argument from me. But my purpose here is not to rail against an unjust or irrational system, or even to suggest sweeping reforms. I will leave those Herculean tasks to others, for now. (As some of you may recall, I took a stab at the “sweeping reforms” part last month, with mixed results.)
  • The advice in these two columns is primarily for people who are still hoping and attempting to procure a full-time teaching position at a community college—not for those who have essentially given up (that’s a different topic).
  • Keep in mind that I’m talking about community-college jobs since that’s the world I know well. Some of what I say might apply to four-year colleges, too, but I make no claims to that effect. <Read more.>

Via Rob Jenkins, The Chronicle of Higher Ed.