Tag Archives: npr

On the Job Market? Listen to NPR's Embedded

On my way to work this morning, I was listening to NPR’s new podcast, Embedded. One episode in particular, The League, struck me. As I was listening to the story of two basketball players whose dream was to play for the NBA but who had to play for the D-League in the meantime, I could not help but think of my years on the academic job market. Just like everyone on the job market, these players want the job of their dreams, a job that will also pay them what they are worth. When they are not picked up they go to the D-League, where players can be paid as low as 13,000 dollars (it reminded me so much of adjuncting). They work hard to prove to everyone that they deserve to be in the NBA, just like we work hard to prove we deserve a tenure track position: we are amazing teachers, we publish, we serve on committees, and yet, so often the tenure track position is unreachable. And then an agent from the NBA calls the players. Could it be happening? Could it be that they have finally been noticed and that their dream is going to become reality after many years of hard work? Probably not. It’s just like getting a Skype interview and then you hear nothing for months or when you make it to the on-campus part but you are not the one chosen (“You were great, but we went with someone else”). Just like us, academics, these athletes have hope, get excited, and despite being severely disappointed, never give up.