Hi friends! I’m happy to announce that I’ve officially signed the deal and will have a full time job starting July 13th!
Holding my signed contract
Yikes, that’s sneaking up quick! I’ve signed a short-term 1 month contract to work on course preparation from mid-July through mid-August. Then my full-time contract (where the benefits kick in) begins mid-August. Not a lot of time between now and then to tend to things such as: moving girls to full time preschool, buying some work-appropriate attire (I’ll sure miss lounging in my yoga pants all day!), and any other household odds and ends that need to be wrapped up before beginning full-time employment.
I had a handful of commenters ask me to expand on what, exactly, this job is. I’ve mentioned a couple different jobs and I think people were getting confused so I’ll take a moment to give some additional details.
- The job I have accepted is for a large public university in Tucson (betcha can’t guess where – wink, wink, nudge, nudge) in a department I’ll call Department A. This job is for a non-tenure track position. It’s part lecturer and part online program coordinator. As time moves on and the online bachelors program really gets going, it will turn into more coordinating and less instructing. Although my dream used to be the traditional tenure-track position, in recent years as I’ve gained experience with online teaching I really see this as the future of academia and I’m excited to have a portion of my salary be administrative (the coordination) while still having the ability to do what I love in the classroom (the lecturing). Plus, there tends to be more money in administration than in the traditional tenure-track career path (at least in my field, may not be true in all fields).
- Back in January I had applied for a job at the same university, but in a different department that I’ll call Department B. I did not get that job. BUT, they are the ones that called me a couple weeks ago. I spoke with the department head and she wanted me to teach a couple classes this Fall. She also said that they were trying to get approval (from the college level) to hire a full-time lecturer/undergraduate coordinator but wasn’t sure if it would be approved in time for the fall semester. I got an email on Monday from the dean stating that the position was approved, would be posted soon, and to please apply because they wanted to do a quick (7-10 day) turnaround. This is academic lingo for “we legally have to post the job, but the position is yours.” This is similar to job #1, above, in that it is also non-tenure-track; one part lecturer and one part administrative. The main reason why I prefer job #1 over job #2 is that job #1 pays better. My starting salary (in Department A) is more than many of the assistant professors are making in Department B.
- The last potential job lead was/is the most up-in-the-air. It’s for the position that I flew out of state for this past March where I did the whole “not-an-interview” thing. At the time I was told that funding for the position they’d advertised was no longer available, but I was encouraged to apply for next year (starting in the 2016-2017 academic year). I recently received an email from them notifying me that the position has been posted. Applications are not due until September, and interviewing/hiring will likely take place in the November-February time frame for the August 2016 start date. This is the only job of the three that is a traditional tenure-track position.
So where are we at?
I’ve officially accepted job #1. Taking job #1 meant that job #2 was out. There is still a possibility I could apply for (and eventually be offered) job #3 for next year, but I’m pretty unsure about it at this point. With all the family turmoil going on, I don’t like the idea of having to move my family cross-country, have my hubs find a new job (or re-start his business in a new state), and basically start all over again. I like the stability of staying where we currently live and starting to really put down roots. I’m also having a hard time with the actual job descriptions. In my mind, I’d always really wanted a tenure-track position. But now that I’m facing a different option, I’m realizing how excited I am about it. I’ve always loved project management (I have some experience with that in the past), and that’s basically what the online coordination is, but on a larger level. Instead of “project” management its “program” management. Also, research is stressful. I still like it and I often incorporate it into my lectures (and I love teaching!), but do I really love research? I don’t know. If given the option, I think I’d select the administrative side (i.e., online program coordination) over the research side. In terms of long-term growth, I also see additional opportunities for the administrative side. Online programs: it’s the way of the future! Getting this experience early on could help me have a competitive edge over others in the future and maybe, just maybe, land me an awesome position back by family at some point. The big downside is the lack of tenure, itself. Tenure is the best job security in the world! But I don’t worry about it too much. I think my work will speak for itself and I’ll make myself an indispensable asset of the program. So hopefully I’ll have job-security that way.
I have so much more I want to say and some advice I’d like to gather from readers regarding retirement options, but I’m out of time now so that will have to wait until Monday.
Thanks for your encouragement and support along the way. I’m still a little nervous about the transition back into full-time employment (this will be my first full-time position in the past 3 years since my kids were born), but I’m also very excited for this next chapter of our lives and the implications for our debt reduction!