I’m finishing up an awful, imposter-syndrome encouraging, prestigious position application.
I came up with a list of references, one of whom has to be arms-length from my work and collaborations. I came up with a list of reviewers who would be reasonable experts to evaluate my work, one of whom I respect greatly but have never met.
In sending the list of references to my chair, who requests the letters, I had a moment of insanity and decided the respected-reviewer could make a good reference, and suggested them.
They have NEVER MET ME. And now my chair has already requested a letter of reference from this person, whom I respect, but whom is unlikely to agree to this (and if they did, unlikely to actually be a good reference). Upon thinking of this with growing feelings of dread, I:
- Emailed my chair and asked as to the status of the request, explaining this may not be our best choice. Answer: it has been made, but he has not heard back from this person. Likely because they are critically confused. Chair suggests we wait til Monday (he’s at a conference), and reach out/let them off the hook. This is an awkward position for me to have put my chair in, and I look like an idiot
- Emailed the person who should actually be a reference and asked him if he is willing, because now we’re only giving him three weeks warning (and one of them is American Thanksgiving).
Then I went to bed and stressed. I woke up this morning – no reply from the potential referee yet, and I feel vomity and sad. I don’t know what I was thinking, but now find myself up against a deadline when I have had MONTHS to accomplish this. MONTHS.
Not to mention that my inability to come up with a solid, arms-length reference who is an established expert in my field speaks volumes about my eligibility for this ’emerging expert with national and international collaborative network’ award.
Pea is certain this will work out, and that the awkwardness of relieving a request for reference is not a big deal to my Chair – just an administrative email to send. I think it is VERY awkward and that the Chair doesn’t know me well and now I look like a total spaz. Pea admits this is embarrassing for me, but possibly nothing more than that. I do not have any clarity on this yet, I am mostly just feeling sick and panicked.