Job Tracking - Week 20

Okay, readers: let's take a moment to catch our breaths. A lot has happened since last week.

First, I want to say again, thanks to all of you for your advice on travel reimbursement and job negotiations. This week sees another job cancellation and the first job offer. As it turns out, I wasn't wrong in my guess that good news was around the pike. And the beginning of the week also saw me finish off the second of on-campus visits. So now I have an offer, and I'm waiting to hear from a second school. That leaves this week's numbers here:
Total # of academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified: 23/25
Total # of non-academic jobs applied for/# of jobs identified 0/0
Total spent in U.S. dollars on applications: $192.90
Average cost in U.S. dollars per applications: $23.94
Total spent in U.S. dollars on travel, etc: $357.78
Total amount in U.S. dollars reimbursed: $0
The Chronicle of Higher Ed: 9 0
Other online service (listserv, etc): 14
Friend/Colleague: 2
Personal Research: 1
Total number of paper submissions: 19
Total number of e-submissions: 4
Total weight in pounds of application packets: 22.13
Total number of recommendation letters requested: 48
Total number of requests for references: 5
Total number of "proof of teaching excellence" packs : 9
Total number of requests for Teaching Philosophy :11
Total number of research packs: 13
Total number of transcripts requested: 3
Total number of acknowledgments of receipt: 21
Total number of confirmed reference contacts: 0
Total number of phone interviews: 2
Total number of conference interviews: 0
Total number of on-campus interviews: 2
Total number of offers: 1
Total number of rejection letters: 11
Total number of canceled or unhired positions: 2
Now that we're caught up,that leaves new dilemmas. Of the two schools I interviewed at, I prefer the second one, the one lacking an offer, to the first one. If nothing comes from the second school, the first school will certainly be a good fallback, so things are a win/win thus far. Both schools are 98 percent positive the funding is there, but would like to hurry their processes to make sure i's are dotted and t's crossed before anyone higher up the ladder gets wet feet. This means a few things:
  1. I don't want to say anything to anyone at my current job until I have a letter in hand
  2. I have to try to stretch out the talks with the school with the offer until I hear from the second school
My plan for this - I was thinking/hoping ahead - was to leave some questions from the campus interview that I could ask during this process (ideally, things that would justify some research - and hence, some time - on my part or the person I'm asking). I'm also working through a few comparisons of cost-of-living (see here for the one I think is most useful, here for the one The Chronicle uses, and here for a third which will probably disagree with each of the others). One of the things I've been trying to do is to make a list of the things I want in my future (for example, how much do I really care about owning a house?) and trying to decide whether it's possible in that job and market. Those are the sorts of things that take time.

And, of course, having the one offer is great, but because I'm more excited about the second job possibility, that's more of what I'm finding myself focused on thus eliminating of the joy and happy-dancing that I should probably doing in favor of "I wonder if they liked me?" sorts of questions.

So that's the status of things here. Your thoughts and advice are, of course, always welcome and encouraged.


8 Responses to “Job Tracking - Week 20”
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Notorious Ph.D. said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful dilemma to have.

I think you're right to draw things out, but not beyond the point where it becomes unprofessional. From what I've heard, it's perfectly legitimate, once school #2 has hosted all their on-campus visits, to contact the SC chair and let them know that you have one offer, but that their job is your first choice, and politely inquire as to if and when you might hear from them. If you're #1, that might cause them to hurry a bit; if you're a close #2 that they might lose, you might gain some advantage there, too.

But you probably know all this. So my main advice is to go ahead and do that happy dance. You've earned it!

January 31, 2009 at 9:47 PM
Anonymous said...

What Notorious PhD said. I like the third cost of living calculator best, by the way.

Should one want to own a house, good question. My mortgage now is lower than my rent was in the mid to late nineties. But there's the cost of maintenance and the work - not to be underestimated, although they don't have to be horrible. The main reason to have a house is that they do appreciate in value, and they are a tax advantage. Mine was really cheap, original cost only twice my annual salary at the time, and is now worth twice what I paid. So they're good to get if you can get them cheap, but I think the enterprise of owning is overrated if they make you house poor. People don't believe in having condos or coops but I can see some advantages, it depends on which one.

February 1, 2009 at 12:16 AM
ash said...

Do you know where you were in the interview lineup at school #2? (I sure hope you weren't the first candidate they brought in!) I agree with Notorious that as soon as they have seen all the candidates, you not only could, but probably should let school #2 know that you have an offer elsewhere but they are your first choice.

I also think it's perfectly legitimate to tell school #1 that you are a finalist elsewhere and can't make an informed decision until that process is completed. Even though they want/need to get things wrapped up, I'm sure the last thing they want is to have someone accept the offer under pressure, then rescind after they've already cut their #2 and #3 candidates loose.

And I hope it goes without saying that if anyone from Doc C's institution reads this blog, now would be the time to keep quiet. A pox upon anyone who leaks this information!

February 1, 2009 at 12:27 AM
Dana said...

Congratulations! I agree with Notorious, let school #2 know your situation and they may be able to let you know your status with them. Either way good work!

February 1, 2009 at 7:40 AM
Calypso said...

I have no advice (haven't been in this situation yet...), but I'm delurking to congratulate, and to say that I really enjoy your blog (and its new look). Being new to the (rather tough) academic job market, it's encouraging to read about a successful job search. Congratulations!

February 1, 2009 at 7:53 AM
Dr. Curmudgeon said...

Welcome, Calypso! Thanks for delurking. And thanks to everyone for the advice.

Here's an attempt at answering all the other questions:

I told the second school while I was there that I had another offer but am interested in their position. They're bringing in the last candidate shortly. My guess is either was the first of two or the second of three, but I'm not sure.

The house question is an interesting one, because I've long assumed having a house simply wasn't a possibility for me because of how substantial my student loan debt is. It becomes less far-fetched some places than others, though. And the two positions would have some distinction there.

February 1, 2009 at 11:58 PM
kermitthefrog said...

Congratulations on the first offer! and fingers still crossed for #2.

February 2, 2009 at 11:28 AM
Phul Devi said...

Yay for you! Hope you get 2 for 2!

February 3, 2009 at 11:31 AM