A little gallows humor is probably appropriate as we are about to start the next cycle in the academic job market. Due to
The good news is not just that they are all very bright and doing interesting, relevant work, and they are hardly identical. They will mostly not be competing for the same jobs I have failed to produce
So, we are preparing for the job market this fall at the same time we are preparing for the next few years (which is why I was thinking of long term vs short term) as things shake out. Not every candidate will be successful the first time. In this market, few will be. Next year, they will be more competitive with dissertations completed (only one has a completed dissertation this fall), with more publications, more teaching experience, etc. So, we need to plan for today and tomorrow--how to compete well this year while completing the dissertation and publishing so that they are more competitive next year. This is not bad training since multi-tasking is a huge part of the academic enterprise. Might as well get used to it.
To be clear, each one will be a great hire this year with heaps of potential to make significant contributions. That potential will simply be clearer to see next year with longer records. If you are interested in employing any of them (or all of them!), I am easy to find. You can learn more about my students on my website.