I'm in a conundrum. Due to a change in areas half way through my PhD, I find myself at the end of my training with no significant publications. I have one in press, and several in prep so in the next year I should have 3-4 if all goes well. I'm also at a top ten university in the US and have good recommendation letters etc...
My issue is: I need to get a job as soon as possible in Europe to be with my partner. I have applied to both post-docs and to some assistant professorships at smaller schools in his city thinking I should at least try but I'm feeling seriously under-competitive where the norm in my field is at least three papers by graduation.
I have an option to stay on as a grad student for a 6th year at my institution, but it would have to be remotely (as I will move to Europe anyway) and frankly, I don't want to have to do that (both because it's too hard to do research and I make little money). But it is a safe option, and might give me time to write up all the backlogged data I've recently acquired.
So my options are to take an extra year with very little pay and apply later, or apply extensively and effortfully to jobs that will probably reject me, though there is a small chance I'll get one.
In your experience, will people even consider PhD's with very few pubs, or impending pubs, and if so, are there things I can do to make my application look more competitive, e.g. should I explain myself (I don't want to make excuses though) or highlight grants and presentations?
Or should I just cut my losses and suffer through living abroad with no money and taking the extra time I would have spent applying to a million places to write up a bunch of papers and then try again next year with more confidence and competence, and maybe landing a better job?
UPDATE: I ended up getting short-listed for five institutions, two of which are top-tier, and ultimately was offered two assistant professorships and one post-doc. I am sure I would have been better off with more pubs but I'm glad I ended up applying for reach jobs as ultimately I think I ended up with some great choices, met a lot of people in the field, and most importantly, got a job!
Thanks for all your input.