Thursday, November 22, 2012
Job Misery: Al From Alpaca Falls.
Here’s some background. I don’t want to sound as if I am bragging, but I want to list what I think are my strengths. I’ve been an adjunct for several years and did everything they asked earning good reviews from students and the past Chair. When the department lost a person due to retirement I took over in a term position and am carrying an overload of classes. I have put in time doing service work even though it was not required. My publication record is good, included a well-received book, as well as articles and reviews. I should have another book contract in hand before I am interviewed and have several pieces “in press” right now.
I am older than the normal new job candidate because I had a career outside of academia before returning to teach. My previous jobs have been useful because I gained a lot of experience teaching. Even before I came here I put in classroom hours equivalent to about 15 years teaching a 3/3 schedule.
They provided me contacts that I still use for classes and for student internships.
They were related to my academic area of expertise so they provide background knowledge that the other candidates will not be able to duplicate. Basically I teach people about small mammals and I used to be a hamster rancher and gerbil breeder.
I will go into the interview with a teaching portfolio that includes syllabuses for couple of classes I am developing and I have been careful not to suggest classes that trod on the interests of others in the department. Politically I have the opposite views of some members of the committee, but I don’t discuss politics at work, largely because it was considered unprofessional at a previous job and I’ve kept that attitude. FYI, some members of the committee know me well but others are new and do not.
Finally, I have a position outside of my school that fits perfectly with one of our minors. Basically our students can minor in X and I happen to be in charge of a local organization that does X. As such I have been able to provide internships and other opportunities for students.
How should I approach the interview? I think that I need to emphasize my unique outside experience and my ability to provide resources in X that are not easily available elsewhere locally. What possible weaknesses do you see? My age? I am older than the members of the committee, but could easily teach another 15 years. I really, really want this position and would appreciate any advice. My spouse has a career and our roots are here so I can’t travel to find another job. Thanks…