This is my first post in this community, which stems from desperation and what I could only refer to as a state of hopelessness.
I completed my PhD in August and have been looking for postdoctoral positions in my field of research ever since. I have obtained my PhD from a top UK university (not quite Oxbridge, ICL or LSE, rather one tier lower than the said universities) and my supervisor is very well known in the field. Unfortunately, there are currently very few postdocs on the job market in my field and I had to resort to applying for projects that only loosely overlap with my field of research.
It may also be worth noting that in my field, it generally takes time to publish. Most people, including my PhD supervisor, as well as some renowned scholars in the said field, have published their thesis chapters sometimes as long as 2-3 years after graduation, after heavy editing and polishing.
My intent is to secure a decent postdoc at a respectable institution, but that dream seems dead. I have had 4 interviews so far and was offered a position at a random institution, which did not particularly publish well; so I declined that offer with the hope of securing a better one. One of the said interviews was with a very reputable Italian university, which I have yet to hear the outcome of, but I have little hope in securing that postdoc. The competition was fierce, with one candidate already having 4 years of postdoc experience under his belt and numerous publications in top journals, whereas I have none! Additionally, I have been invited for my 5th interview next week at a yet another reputable university, but having looked at the list of the applicants and their CVs for that position, the situation is not much different: for some of the candidates, this would be their 2nd postdocs and most have publications under their belt. Additionally, there is a Columbia University graduate in the list of applicants whose work is more related to the advertised position than mine - these are the people I will be competing against.
To say that I am feeling low is an understatement. If this is the sort of competition that I will be facing at interviews at each relatively respectable institution, I do not stand a chance in securing a decent position. I am incredibly motivated and was looking forward to get on board a project, publish, and also polish my thesis chapters in the process. But at this rate, it doesn't seem that I will be given the opportunity.
I was hoping to get the views and the experiences of more senior members. Is the situation as dire as I think, or am I blowing it out of proportion?
Thank you in advance.