Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lowered Expectations

Sigh.

While looking around for any sort of staff or office job openings in places I'd be willing to live, I'm also going through college and university web sites for any sort of admin type of position that might possibly look survivable. Development is out, because I would drop dead of a heart attack from the thought of cold-calling for money, and schmoozing warm contacts for money doesn't sound any easier. But, you know, anything that might recognize me as a candidate, or just even be familiar with the idea of someone who has advanced degrees on the resume, I'm thinking that they will be more likely to not toss my app immediately. So, you know, admissions, undergrad advisors, department manager or the MSO's staff --- secretaries, whatever.

I was going through this one university employment web page because I thought I had seen a posting for a staff position --- and I had. It was for coordinating a new interdisciplinary program. I don't know if they'd hire someone straight in at the supervisory level. Anyway, when I finally found it I saw they were hiring a lot of faculty in addition to the staff positions. Including one interdisciplinary position that pulls on my area of expertise, although they might want a different discipline name on the cv.

Sigh. Would it look weird if I applied for the faculty position and the secretarial one? It would look strange, wouldn't it. I'm putting in for just the secretary slot. And I don't want to hear about how I have even less chance at it than the slim chance for the faculty position.

:(

10 comments:

Anastasia said...

Would the same people even see the application for faculty and for secretary?

Also :(

auto ethnographer said...

In my department, the same person applying for both faculty and staff would be noticed as all of our staff position search committees include at least a couple faculty members; and any staff already in the program (or helping to populate a staff search committee for a new program) would likely also be helping with the organization of faculty hires. But why not apply for the faculty position that is interdisciplinary?

annieem said...

Yes, Sis, can't you try for the faculty position?

Lucky Jane said...

+3 or 4 on applying for both. And :(

A faculty search this late in the season may be a little more wide ranging, especially in an interdisciplinary program. And even if someone noticed you were applying for both positions (at my shop, that someone would be the departmental office manager and eventually some data entry person in HR), that knowledge is unlikely to hurt you. Depending on the institution, a staff position coordinating a program will require pretty advanced skills and possibly even involve some teaching.

Feminist Avatar said...

I would apply for both- in this economic climate, many people would understand such a strategy.

squadratomagico said...

Here's another sort-of vote for trying for both. I would say you definitely should try for both *if* you have the skills required for the admin. position. I've been on one admin., search at OPU, and there's basically a checklist for qualifications -- ability to use certain software programs, for example -- and that's how the first cut is made. So, if you have most of the skills specified by the ad, go for it. If you're not sure what skills are required, talk to an equivalent person on your campus (probably not a bad idea in any case, actually, to help prepare your application). But, if you don't have most of the skills, then I'd say, focus on the faculty position.

I do think it's likely that the search committees will know you've applied for both, so if you get a call or an interview for either, be prepared for a question about that.

Good luck!

Academic, Hopeful said...

Good luck! This post is a little too raw for me to say anything constructive. : (

Prof. Koshary said...

I also say apply to both. I don't recommend ignoring any faculty position that you could fit, unless there's some qualifying factor so horrible that it seems to outweigh the benefits of having the job. I don't think this situation fits that bill, so apply away! Like Feminist Avatar said, the committee should not be shocked in this economic milieu that applicants will hedge their bets with anything that seems reasonable. The trick will be to demonstrate in your cover letters that you really are qualified to hold each position, rather than look like you're spamming apps; with a little concentration and clear thinking, I am sure you can gin up appropriate letters.

Susan said...

I agree with everyone -- go for both. If you are interviewed and asked, you can be honest: in this economic climate jobs that engage your interests are few, and you can see yourself using different parts of your skill set in either position.

I mean, the hiring committees are not dumb, and in fact I've heard people say, "In this climate we can get really good candidates".

Also -- while I'm with you on development, the communications end of development is a place where your writing skills would shine...

medieval woman said...

I say go for both or the faculty position - I"m thinking about you, Sis.

((Sis))