Something I've been confused about is the reaction I get from tenured faculty when I tell them about my struggles finding a job. There seem to be a few different reactions I get. 1) Saccharine reassurances that everything will work out fine. 2) Glib advice about my job search that is usually completely outdated and pertaining to a market situation that no longer exists. 3) Stories of other students who were unemployed or underemployed for years before landing their supposed dream job. 4) Silence.
The silence is the one that really intrigues me. When I talk to faculty about my job search struggles, I expect some offers of tangible help. After all, I've made immense contributions to the department as a grad student. I've taught a ton, done service, you name it for nearly a decade. And yet the indifference of the faculty to my struggle (measured in terms of tangible help received, not saccharine reassurances, etc.) is startling. Its like they knew from the beginning that this would happen, that people would get out and not be able to get jobs. And now that they are faced with me coming to terms with my situation, its only really a surprise for me, not them.