Moving Forward (While Standing Still)

I didn’t get a job this week.

I applied for a job two weeks ago.

I interviewed for a job last week.

And yesterday I got the email telling me that the hiring committee was moving forward with other candidates.

I am a little bit disappointed, but I am also quite a large bit relieved.

I’m disappointed because I was excited about the opportunity. I’m disappointed because I know I could have been good at it, that it would have been meaningful work, that it would have been a way to contribute to my university beyond my teaching and my research. I’m disappointed because I know it would have led to more opportunities.

I’m relieved because I’m not really sure I could have handled that particular job at this particular time. It’s not exactly a low-stress point in my life, and adding a new job (even a part-time job that would have been done entirely remotely) would have definitely complicated things.

When I was first invited to apply, my gut instinct was to refuse outright. But after talking about it with Q., I recognized that I needed to at least put my hat in the ring. One of the factors that has prevented me from applying for more university administration positions (alt-ac jobs) is their inflexibility. You have to be in the office for your set work hours, all the time, no exceptions. No working remotely, no flexible hours, nothing that would make it attractive to someone like me. COVID has changed everything. My entire university has committed to working from home until at least September. It was a golden opportunity to build some experience without having to conform to the narrow working conditions in the collective agreement.

So instead I will keep teaching my course and finishing my book project with Q. and prepping for my two courses in the fall (which will both have to be online), without having to find an extra twenty-four hours for work in my week (because I would have still had to do all of those things even if I got the job).

Nothing’s changed.

But I feel like I’ve made progress.

I flubbed the interview. I was caught off-guard by some of the questions (and I shouldn’t have been) and I know I didn’t do myself justice. I haven’t had a job interview in well over a decade. I’m out of practice.

The position I applied for is in a growth area. There will certainly be more jobs like it in the future. I have a much better sense of what I need to do to present myself as a strong candidate. I have a better sense of what questions I might be asked.

I know my experience and my educational background are good enough to get me an interview. And now I’ll be ready for an interview.

1 Comment

Filed under A (Good) Day's Work, Life after the PhD, Who am I really? (Career Angst)

One response to “Moving Forward (While Standing Still)

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t get the job, but I’m glad you were able to find some silver linings in the experience. The idea of going for job interviews again after 25+ years with the same company/same department — when I never thought I’d have to worry about that stuff again — was terrifying to me! I’m sure the experience will be really helpful if/when you do this again!

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