Tomorrow is my last day with Max Planck - day after, I will join King's College London. This is exciting in many ways - and it will be the first time that I am permanently employed. In academia, this means I won the jackpot, cracked the lottery. How did I do it? That's what today's post is about. Four insights:
The first truth is that I did not do it. Means I did not crack the lottery - I just got lucky. After 68 permutations, resulting in six shortlists and 67 rejections. Consequently, the most important lesson of the last two years is that the faculty job market is completely crazy. Does excellence count? Yes. Do publications count? Oh yes (but not in Germany - see below). Is teaching really irrelevant? Sadly yes, at many places (luckily not at King's). Do you have to network? But of course. Do you need to fit the expected profile? Kind of, but not always.