:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: academic interview

Financial Ups and Downs

by

We already know that this month is tough – emotionally and financially!

Here are the latest happenings in this roller-coaster called life…

Good: I got called to do a campus visit interview for the job I recently talked about. It’s really kind of odd. They told me to pencil in 1-4 on a couple different days and they’d get back to let me know which day works for the committee. Very different than my other interview experiences where I’ve had a full day worth of meetings and activities, complete with detailed itinerary and dinner with faculty. I’m hoping this has more to do with the last-minute nature of this job posting and is not a red flag of a potentially low salary (no salary range was listed in the job posting, it just said DOE. I’m very nervous about a surprise super low salary offer, where we might be too far apart to even negotiate).

Bad: Hubs’ truck was making a super scary noise and not braking correctly so he took it into the shop. We were hoping brakes were the issue (they were recently replaced and are still under warranty), but nope. It was related to power steering (he told me more specifics, but I can’t recount the issues here because I’ve already forgotten the names of the leaking/broken parts). Price tag = $1350. Could not have come at a worse time.

Good: We had nearly $900 in our car repairs saving account! I’m going to pay for the repairs on a credit card so I can buy myself an extra month until it has to be paid (note: I still use the credit card for large purchases for the extra assurances and to earn some credit card rewards points, but I always pay it in full when the bill is due). I’ll be able to put $900 toward it from the money we already currently have and the other $450 will come from next month’s budget (since the bill won’t be due until next month). Wiping my brow, thankful we have that savings to cover the majority of the expense!

Bad: I cannot get my husband into the dentist. Cannot do it. Does anyone have any tips on this? From a logical perspective, he totally agrees he needs to go and should really have better oral hygiene – taking more preventative measures instead of waiting until things hit “crisis” level (aka: root canal) and being hit with a much larger bill. So – that’s not the issue. He “gets” it and he agrees. Part of the issue is work-related. Especially with the lower income he’s been drawing he really wants to focus 100% of his energy on work and not take time off for dental appointments. The other part is more psychological. He hates the dentist. I want him to go to a new dentist (an awesome local family-run office who has cut me deals for paying cash and works with me on price), but he refuses to get another dental x-ray. After his health scare in late 2013 when he had a million medical procedures performed, he’s very aversive to any additional procedures. He’s especially reluctant to have new x-rays done because he thinks he’s going to get cancer from all the exposure. He did try to call and have his dental x-rays transferred from his old office, but they send some file format that can’t be opened by the new dentist. The new dentist would even do it for FREE, so it’s really not a cost thing. It’s all about hubs’ fear of dentist/x-ray/dental work and his reluctance to take any time off work. Suggestions? I’m at a loss.

Good: We were officially accepted to a new preschool starting in mid-August! I will be very sad to leave the JCC. They truly have an incredible program! But I really like the new school too and I will LOVE the close proximity to our house and the lower cost! One caveat is it only operates during the school year (not year-round), so I may still enroll the girls in summer camp at the JCC next summer (which, of course, means summer months will be more costly for childcare since JCC costs more). I do like that as a possible compromise though.

What are some good (or bad) things that have impacted your finances lately?


Don’t Jinx Me, But…..

by

Remember when I shared my last interview with you all?

It had gone so well and I was SO SURE I would get offered the position! Well, not only was I not offered a position, I never even heard back from them. (imagine in Full House‘s Stephanie Tanner voice:  How Rude!) I emailed them a week after the interview to ask if a hiring decision had been made and was told they expected a decision by the end of the week. The week came and went and…..(crickets)….nothing.

So I was almost reluctant to share this with you guys, but I’m sure you’ll be pulling for me and I’m not superstitious so here goes….

I’ve scored my first interview of the season.

What’s better?

It’s a campus visit interview. 

Yes.

I’ve had a couple of phone interviews before (for jobs from last year’s academic hiring season) and had a couple places request additional information from me (e.g., additional writing samples or teaching/research statements that weren’t part of the original application packet), but this will be my FIRST campus visit interview!

I am so excited! And nervous! And excited!

I have absolutely no idea what to expect! Luckily, I’ve got some time to figure it all out. Generally when places do campus visit interviews its pretty short notice (e.g., “Can you be on a plane by this Wednesday?”) but this place is a little different. They’re hiring for two positions:  a full professor position and an assistant professor position. The interviews for the full professor position are going to be in November/December, and the interviews for the assistant professor position will be in February/March. As a new graduate, I had applied to the assistant professor position, so my campus visit won’t be for a few months.

When I last spoke with the committee chair, he seemed very excited. Like, almost unnatural-excited to have me come visit. He sounded genuinely upset that the visit wouldn’t be until February/March because he was worried I’d already be scooped up by another university and he relayed that the committee was very impressed with my stuff and really wants to meet me.

What the heck?

As a graduate student I have sat on hiring committees before and NEVER have I EVER seen anyone so excited for an applicant! I mean, even if they are, they don’t make it this obvious when they speak to him/her!

So, naturally, I’m trying not to get my hopes up. I also don’t want to divulge many details right now but I will say that if I land this position it will necessitate an out-of-state move. Lots to think about on that front (e.g., loss of husband’s job, job prospects in new place, cost-of-living versus offered salary, etc.) So many factors that I just have to put out of my mind right now until I know one way or another. All of these issues are moot if I don’t get an offer, so no point in stressing about the unknown.

One positive thing to come from this, though, is that it has really boosted my confidence.

I have to admit that being out of academia for over a year now with no job offers, my confidence has really been shaken. I worry about what happens if I don’t land a job this year. What it means on the long-term for my career. And, of course, the impact it has on our family’s income (not to mention my outrageous student loan debt situation). I’ve had a couple of employment-related hits in the past few months:  rejected manuscripts, no job offer, reduced contractor pay, etc.  There’s something about someone fawning all over you that really makes you feel better about yourself. Not in a big-headed I’m-so-awesome way, but more in an I-am-worthy-and-I-deserve-this way.

I know a few of you have experiences in academia – any tips on preparing for a campus visit interview (Even if you’re not in academia, if you have some advice or suggestions feel free to chime in!)