The dark and cold of autumn has settled in, and I’m starting to feel generally apathetic about my career. There are some bright spots, to be sure: A few highly engaged students, a couple of ongoing research projects, a few fun trips planned. I don’t think I’m depressed, but I’m perhaps more conscious of reality than I have been.

In the course of two weeks, I’ve had two articles rejected. One of them was particularly tough because it was rejected after a revise and resubmit, and it was a write-up of the major focus of my dissertation. This thing has now been rejected twice, and I’m beginning to wonder if my research is just unpublishable. It bothers me because I’m doing a modified version of the study very soon. If this is a dead-end project, I fear wasting my time. Maybe it doesn’t matter in the long run, but I’d still like to know.

Also, I’m finding that there just aren’t that many good jobs out there for me this year. I’ve applied for eight so far, which is slightly more than I’d applied for this time last year. At the same time, I just don’t feel like any of the position descriptions really fit me. I wonder if this is really it for me, which makes the idea of revising my rejected manuscripts to be published even more difficult. Why bother, if this isn’t the path I’ll be taking? What good will a couple more publications do if I’m no longer an academic?

The spouse turns 40 today, and I look forward to going home here in a couple of hours to focus on something positive and life-affirming. My career is clearly neither of these things.