Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Is this also Irony?

Is this also Irony?



I have been offered another interview!! It's at Religious College, where the people seem incredibly cool and the entire philosophy and mission are teaching-based. For someone like me, it seems like a wonderful fit. But I have to let them know whether I want the interview after reading the disclaimers. This was a bit worrying. Then I saw them. Nothing scary in terms of pledges or teaching load per se, but I'm stuck. Financially, it may be a deal breaker. The salary is low (or so it seems -- about $15k less than I make now). I can deal with that, because it's a small religious school. But the moving expenses they advertise would sink us into a small financial pit, in that they offer next to nothing. I really would like to interview and I really think the other stumbling blocks are surmountable, but how do I tell them that, as much as I would like the job, and as much as we know the job market sucks, I'm not sure I could afford to take the job, even if they offered it to me?

16 comments:

Ancarett said...

15k drop? That's a killer. Ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch.

drhistory said...

Don't tell them. At least don't tell them until after you get the offer. I know at my school, they are pretty touchy about the money subject at least until you get the offer. I don't know why. Maybe it's a Southern thing and seems rude. However, once they've invested in you (argued for you, choosen you, WANT you), then you can talk about how you are willing to take a pay cut, but you'll need more help with moving expenses. They might be able to help you out and dig some extra cash up then... but don't do it before you get the offer.

Rebecca said...

ADM--congratulations! may I offer you the advice the big H gives us--ask questions, offer quid pro quos, and bargain AFTER you get a job offer. A 15K drop is a big deal, but so's job security...and maybe you can swing some moving expenses, that sort of thing, once you can gauge their level of desperation!

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Thanks! That's kind of what I thought. I really am interested in the position, and want to interview, but was afraid that the disclaimer was in the way of something that would implicitly bind me to their terms. I can honestly say that none of it makes me want to drop the process, and it's not like they've offered a job -- just an interview. I just want to behave in an ethical manner.

Cheeky Prof said...

Hey, first of all congrats! I agree with everyone else here. See what happens, where it goes. And if they offer you the position then start bargaining. And don't underestimate what you're worth!

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I meant to comment on this before (but got caught up in talking about history and philosophy) - congrats!! That's great!

I would definitely go for the interview - you're never committed to taking the job. But it does sound as though there may be limited opportunities for future negotiations - if they're showing these disclaimers to candidates BEFORE the interview, they've probably been burned before by bringing in candidates who've turned them down over the money. I don't think at all that agreeing to the interview legally binds you to those terms, should they offer you the job, but I do think it will take quite a bit of tact on your part. Which doesn't mean there won't be more wiggle room after a job offer, especially like dr. history says.

But the dilemma of not being able to afford to take a job is such a horrible (and ridiculous) one - I have a friend who turned down what sounds like a similar job, because once the numbers became clear, she came to precisely that conclusion (she's a less-traditional student who has a lot of experience outside of academia and is closer to retirement than most new PhDs, and she just couldn't justify making so little and not being able to save more for retirement).

But congrats on getting the interview anyway!!

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Thanks! I think the other interview went well. I'm going to send my thank-you note tomorrow with some bits and pieces I either forgot to ask or forgot to tell them.

Jonathan Dresner said...

Salary is something you negotiate at the end. Unless by committing to the interviews you're forgoing your right to negotiate at the end (in which case, I'd skip it), the interviews are going to be worthwhile for you (strategically, at the very least) and for them (everyone should interview you, at least once). And if it comes down to money, they need to know that they're not going to get the candidates they want for what they are offering to pay.

Emma Goldman said...

I would also be prepared to talk about this subject at the interview. If they're bringing it up now, then you need to have your answers ready. what I really hope is that you bunches of actual offers and you can pick and choose the one you want!

What Now? said...

ADM--I'm late to the discussion (I'm catching up on blogs this weekend), so let me offer my congratulations on the interviews belatedly. I'm glad your phone interview went well this week, and good luck on the next interview. And I'm so sorry to hear about ADH's lay-off. Stressful times indeed. Hang in there--maybe something better is right around the corner!

~profgrrrrl~ said...

Congratulations on the interview. Regardless of outcome, it is wonderful to be wanted.

Rana said...

Yes, congrats! :)

I agree that you should think about what it would take to permit you to accept an offer should it be made, and prepare your arguments accordingly. (The moving costs, being a one-off deal, would probably be easier to get than a salary increase. You can also ask about getting advances on your salary that are later taken out of subsequent paychecks -- you don't have to go in the hole all at once, as the pain is spread out over the next few months. Think too about other goodies that might be used to sweeten the pot, like research funds and travel money and sabbatical time, if they can't budge on the salary.)

That said, I recommend that you do _NOT_ bring this up in the interview yourself. That's just giving them a reason to not pick you. Wait until they've committed to bringing you, then bring this up. If you're worried about seeming dishonest (because you put yourself in a position to get an offer you can't accept as is), you can always make the argument that, at the time of the interview, you believed/hoped that you could make it work. Then you crunched the numbers, and nope.

Also, don't buy any arguments about lesser costs of living unless you've crunched the numbers yourself. If you've been living on an adjunct's salary or equivalent, and if you have student loans or other debt, you're not spending much now on the kinds of things affected by cost of living (like clothes and rent and food), and the things that are known expenses (like loan payments) aren't going to go down just because you now pay a little less in rent, and some things (like travel costs) are going to increase.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Thanks,everybody! I'll keep you posted. Two more apps off over the weekend. One in express mail Tuesday, the other will be hand delivered, as it's local.

Michael Tinkler said...

I agree with the "don't bring up moving expenses in the interview" people. Among other things, I doubt the departmental folks have ANY control over that sort of budget. Taht's at the job offer stage from the Dean/Provost (whatever they call said person). By the way, in THAT conversation DO ask. I didn't and had to settle for the pittance offered. I found out that other people "just asked" and got double and triple the pittance offered.

Good luck!

Umm - email me about it.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

I will -- hope College Art is fun. I also really hope the other job comes through, since it would put me within a couple of hours of several of my Northeastern-living friends.

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