I haven't got anything to report but complaining. So what will I do? I will complain!
First of all, I hate informational interviews. They are just as nerve-wracking as actual interviews (side note: I am not a good phone interviewer!) but without an actual job on the line. No, indeed, they are like pre-interviews for the interview, in this bizarre recursive process where every step you take requires more preparation than the last and only moves you backward in the hiring progress.
I had a spate of requests for informational interviews get ignored, so then I sent out a huge number across a couple departments at a university, and then all of those requests got responded to and I had the stress and running about and preparation for a whole bunch all in a day. And I had lots of student grading to deal with, too, so I am not a wise planner. Plus, I feel like I am getting a smaller amount of useful tips with each interview --- which, if the point was really to learn about the field and how to get a job, would be progress, but really, these are all about meeting enough people and networking and hoping they will get you past the barriers somehow to actually get considered for a job. I don't think that this is working for me. Meh. I hate schmoozery.
Also, I had one application "move further forward in the process" and request more stuff, but then promptly get rejected. Sigh. I would expect them to promote up through the ranks anyway. But this was the closest to any sort of interest in my job apps I have gotten, and is also the one most closely matching my prior academic interests. I don't know how anybody does an actual career and field transition --- they must have to know somebody personally and get a pity hire because nobody seems to be looking at resumes that show a trajectory up through a different field. There's "sure, I could do that" and there's, "the best, closest match of resumes in this pile to the job description." Sigh.
I would have thought I could have gotten some better responses to the job apps by now. I am feeling like a failure and that it is futile to even try. It's been 10 months since I knew I would be nonrenewed and, what, 4-5 months I have been unemployed and looking? In the middle of historically low unemployment and job growth around here? I'm sick of it.