Monday, April 30, 2012

Last ditch, hail-Mary job advice?

Ok, I suck so bad at football that all my passes are Hail Mary passes. But anyway, some last minute stuff is coming up on the job boards and I wonder if it is worth my time to apply.

Remember how I got a rejection letter that I was not qualified within an hour of submitting my application and I was peeved? Especially because it wanted a specialist in 18th-century nose picking with teaching experience in Fruit Studies and I consider that to be a totally accurate description of myself as a scholar*? Well it turns out that when all the searches for that school were frozen, some idiot in HR sent the wrong mass email out to everyone who had applied. And now they have turned all those into one-year visiting positions. And sent a nice note saying I am welcome to apply.

Hmm. Is it worth it? Do you think there would be any advantage to be the visiting person there if they managed to re-open it as a tenure-track thingy? Because I don't think that it is worth it, per se, to move randomly across country again for a visiting position when I can just as easily be exploited in this visiting position here ... UNLESS it really could give me an edge up on moving into a permanent gig there.

The second thing is that the place I interviewed with at MLA (which hasn't made any postings about the search on their web site, making me wonder if they actually ended up hiring one of their campus visit people or not, but anyway) has an opening for a postdoc. Also temporary, but less teaching, so possibly worth it. I can't dig up any salary numbers, but it can't be less than I'm making here. But, it is a "new scholars" postdoc and they want someone who has defended in the last couple years or will have by fall, so that puts me out. Do you think I should bother to apply? To contact my contact person from the search committee and ask if I should apply? Hmm.

We are coming up on the end of the job listings for the year, as they get increasingly stranger and/or sketchy sounding. Also, I am very tired and have lots of final exam week grading to do. As well as plan my friggin' summer, since I don't know what I'm doing next year and want to do whatever would actually be useful for future stuff. Oh, and I learned last minute that I had to officially re-submit my application to the postdoc committee through the campus HR site, which was stupid and sucky, as per usual. I had to check all the stupid anti nepotism boxes, too, which amused me ---- I already work here; if I try to get myself the same job again, am I being nepotistic? Heh. It depends if you think of me as me, or as me, myself and I.

And with that little De la Soul reference, I'm out.

*except for the whole pseudonymous nature of the description, of course.


Maude said...

Wow. For the visiting gig, if you have the same job where you are, why not stay (suck as it might) because then you have the expense of moving and new deposits and all that stuff that seems like it would be a waste if it was a lateral move for the same amount of time, work, $.

The other one with less teaching, hmmmm. I don't know.

Maybe the main questions should be: are either of these new postings going to help make you more attractive for the market next year? and are the expenses you'll incur from moving again worth it to make these moves if you got the job?

I have no idea if that helps. I offer you hugs and support though.

Susan said...

The question about a VAP is tricky, becausevit can cut both ways - if they have a decent number of applicants and choose you, they may decide that they like you and you are doing well, etc. But being "inside" doesn't always help. I think sometimes inside candidates arevtreated like a safety: if the others bomb, Cog is pretty good. That's a long way of saying "it depends". So I'd say, if it's a place you would like to be, you've already got your application.

The post doc thing is worth a brief email, but there are often strict eligibility rules for real postdocs.

Shedding Khawatir said...

Several schools I applied to hired their Visiting Professors this year. Of course, at least one didn't, so I guess it depends, which isn't very helpful advice.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

A one-year VAP that turns into a TT job is basically a semester-long (at least) job interview. Our VAP didn't get the job this year, and I'm sure the reason why is because of the students' perception of her after the fall semester. If everyone loves the VAP, then the job is a cinch. If there are small complaints, I think that there is an unfair disadvantage to the VAP.

As for what you should do -- if I were you, I'd apply for anything that would seem like a better position. If less teaching is what you're after, go for it. I don't really understand these "post-docs" that expect you to teach 4/4 and then do research, too. I'm sure that people do it, but I don't know how.