Thursday, February 24, 2011
Applying for jobs at the associate level or has Snarkygirl lost her mind?
It all started when a friend pointed out that there were several jobs that seemed to be hiring at my level (associate). I looked and thought, well maybe it is time to make a change. I applied to all four knowing full well that three would outright reject me. The letters came and I felt nothing. I did what I usually do with rejection letters, I shredded them and moved on. But that fourth job, advertised at the asst or associate level, the one that sounded just like me in a place I would love to live, was a different story. I was contacted several weeks ago and invited to Skype with the committee. I was thrilled. The interview went well and I imagined that maybe they would invite me to campus. I wrote a thoughtful thank you note to the the committee that evening and immediately got an e-mail back from the chair telling me how my work is wonderful and compelling. I was jazzed. I was convinced I would get an on-campus interview, but now four weeks later, dead silence. I know that there was at least one other search they were conducting, but shouldn't they have contacted me by now one way or the other? Honestly, I am really confused. I looked at the job wiki and found that very little is posted and mostly in the form of "has anyone heard if ..." questions. I know I should be wiser at this point in my career, but I am truly baffled. Should I assume it is a done deal and forget about it, shred the rejection letter when it comes, or is there something about searches at this level that I am missing? Are they conducted differently? Please advise.
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Wow, I didn't even know there -were- jobs open at the associate level.ReplyDelete
I was shocked too, but there were four in my field this year.ReplyDelete
Is there any way for you to find out whether they're sincere about this? They may be just saying they want to hire someone at the associate's level, just as long as they're willing to be paid at the assistant's level: particularly if they just got burned by hiring someone minty fresh, or even ABD, who never did finish the thesis.ReplyDelete
Not to give you false hope, but my department is conducting two searches this year and we had to put them on hold as other events within the University took over. We have people in mind, but until other things are resolved, we can't do anything to continue the hiring process. Remember how tough the budget situations are.ReplyDelete
Perhaps your application is similarly stuck in limbo.
Or maybe you'll get a form letter about the position being filled in about 8 weeks' time.
Do you think I should write a note asking about the time line for hireing? I don't want to do something stupid because this is a job I would really love to have.ReplyDelete
@AM I think the search might be in limbo, but I am not sure why because they seem to have completed the other search.
@FF I thought about that too...don't know how I can find that info out.
I have been off the job market for about ten years so I am really out of touch with how things work these days.
It is impossible to know, but in my experience associate searches take longer. The hiring department has to consider a lot of things that don't come up in a junior search--paramount among those whether they'll be able to get the person through their own institution's p&t process. That's right, if you get hired at the senior level, you get to go through tenure all over again--outside letters, the whole shebang--even though it can sometimes be a pared down version. Or maybe they've made an offer already, but they are keeping the other short-listers in a holding pattern. Negotiations at the tenured level also take a lot longer, and can fall apart at any time--I know of offers that have sat out there for more than a year before they got turned down. So you might still get the job a year from now. You just can't know.ReplyDelete
The problem here, as always, is the insane culture of secrecy that pervades academic searches. There is no reason under the sun they couldn't just tell the people they are keeping on ice that that's the situation. It would lower stress and save resentment. But that's the culture we live in I guess.
@Archie, thanks, I am hoping they put the search on hold to complete the other first. But you are correct, the stress level is out of control. A simple update about where they are in the search process would help. I guess I should take a deep breath and try not to think about it...ReplyDelete
In answer to your questions just now: It is not impolite, especially at the tenured level to drop the chair of the search a note inquiring about where the process is.ReplyDelete
As for Frod's point, that only becomes clear once an offer is made, and there is no way to figure it out before-hand.
I think it likelier that they may have had a person in mind from the outset, brought only that person to campus, and that they are doing the bossanova with her or him as we speak. The rest of you will hear something, including possible campus invites only once that first situation is cleared up.
@Archie, that is what I suspect. Oh well, I will try not to feel foolish for hoping that I could finally have a job in a place that I would love. Again, thanks for the honesty.ReplyDelete
There is no reason to feel foolish. If you don't apply, then it is 100% certain that you won't get the job, fellowship, whatever. That's foolish. Taking your best shot is never foolish.ReplyDelete
And like I said, you may still get to the next phase in this search. Even if they have someone in mind, there is a better than even chance it won't work out. Mid-career and senior searches just tend to drag out much, much longer, and there is nothing anyone can really do about that.
Drop the chair of the search a polite note, and then try not to think about it.
Thanks, I will take your advise and write the note today.ReplyDelete
I think you can make a polite inquiry at this point. Usually you'll get a secretary who will tell you when they're meeting and stuff (or at least when you can expect the rejection letter).ReplyDelete
I sent a polite note late this afternoon. Now I will try to not think about it. Thanks everyone for your advise.
@Snarkygirl: good luck, and thanks for starting the thread; I'm nowhere near at your level, but also curious about how mid-career searches in general go.ReplyDelete
One note: if you end up needing to use the word with a hiring committee, please be sure to spell "advice" with a c, not an s. I'm not trying to be snarky myself; I have to look up "recommendation" every time (is it double cs? double ms? both? neither?), and live in fear of misspelling it in some vital document. At least knowing that I have trouble with it helps.
Thanks. I always misspell and commit grammatical terror when I am tired and a bit unhappy about my life. So no offense taken. I have followed everyone’s advice and sent a polite note...the silence is deafening. Not sure what to think.