banner
You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Firefox
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2017 (0)2011 (2)
January (2)

*sigh*
Friday, January 7, 2011

Update on crazy
Monday, January 3, 2011
2010 (45)
December (9)

In need of a break...
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Finding the "Merry" in Christmas
Thursday, December 23, 2010

Down time
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The pump and science juggling act
Monday, December 20, 2010

But I don't wanna go to work
Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rejections
Thursday, December 16, 2010

In reverse
Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in the lab, sort of...
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12 months of blogging...easy enough
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
November (7)

Open letter to committee head
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

By popular demand - The Arrival
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to do it all
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cabin Fever
Friday, November 19, 2010

Donation reward - new pics!
Friday, November 12, 2010

Totally non-science news
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why am I doing this?
Saturday, November 6, 2010
October (12)

Bribe time
Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the market - what to do with a priority score
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DonorsChoose - more projects to support
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh, the guilt...
Monday, October 25, 2010

Priority Score Confusion
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Working from home sucks; aka "Preeclampsia for Dummies"
Monday, October 18, 2010

Editor's choice
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let the obsessing begin
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DonorChoose - start giving!
Monday, October 11, 2010

Careful what I say...
Friday, October 8, 2010

To dance or teach...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tailspin
Sunday, October 3, 2010
September (6)

Challenges at the bench
Monday, September 27, 2010

What am I really?
Monday, September 20, 2010

A double standard
Friday, September 17, 2010

The Little Lab Bench That Could
Saturday, September 11, 2010

What I'm glad I didn't know before...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Round Up: 8/29 - 9/4
Sunday, September 5, 2010
August (11)

Procrastinators beware...
Friday, August 27, 2010

You don't need no stinkin' permission
Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm still alive, just buried
Saturday, August 21, 2010

NanoKids!
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dr. O's advice to new grad students
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Open Letter
Monday, August 9, 2010

What you should know as a new TT faculty
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tagged?!?
Friday, August 6, 2010

A little professionalism, please
Thursday, August 5, 2010

How picky is too picky?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hello LabSpaces!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Rate This Post
Total votes: 0
Blogger Profile

Dr. O

After a frustrating year on the tenure-track job hunt, my eyes are still on the prize, and I've learned that sheer will might be the most important quality required for this career track.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Recent Comments
Comment by Lab Mom in *sigh*

I'll miss you!  But I will definitely catch your other blog! . . .Read More
Jan 09, 2011, 1:53am
Comment by Dr Becca, Ph.D. in *sigh*

Updating my blogroll! See you (and Monkey!) back at blogspot! . . .Read More
Jan 07, 2011, 10:42pm
Comment by Suzy in *sigh*

I am looking forward to reading more about Monkey too. Take care! . . .Read More
Jan 07, 2011, 7:44pm
Awesome Stuff


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"You can't turn down a job that hasn't been offered."

I've heard this statement a gazillion times during my tenure-track job search, and, for the most part, I agree with its sentiment. After a fruitless year on the market, it's clear that I can't be too picky about the jobs for which I apply right now. As a result, I've started applying for positions that aren't completely ideal, in that the institution 1) might not be able to provide the start-up package of my dreams, 2) won't have the kinds of collaborators I've imagined working with, and/or 3) doesn't carry the same prestige that other big Us would. These are all things that I can live without, to a certain degree, and my application portfolio has reflected this.

However, there are some things I just can't live without; with a baby on the way, one of these is a happily-employed husband. Hubby makes much more money than I doing a job he loves, yet he's willing to leave his home and jeopardize his career for me. As a compromise, I've granted him full veto power over any job I'm interested in. If he looks at the destination and finds that he will have a difficult time finding gainful employment, I don't apply...and that's that. We can't afford to have one of us out of work for a year or longer, especially with a baby on the way, no matter how great my job might be. Hubby and I also have no intention of doing the long-distance thing for any length of time, so living in two different cities to make my career work just isn't gonna happen. Enough stress occurs during a "two-body" career transition, and this agreement has worked for our marriage, eliminating what I'm sure could have resulted in countless arguments.

On the other hand, I've been told time and time again that I should be applying for absolutely everything out there, even those jobs I have no intention of ever taking. ("You can't turn down a job you haven't been offered.") And I can't help but suspect the sentiment is that I should be considering every job out there, even if it would be bad for my marriage...that somehow I'm not as dedicated of a scientist because I'm not willing to put my personal life on the line for my career. But I've always believed that being a good scientist, or even a fantastic scientist, does not require sacrificing your personal life. As a postdoc, I've regularly worked 9-10 hour days, taking time in the morning to blog or work out and getting home in time to cook/eat dinner with Hubby. I've enjoyed most of my weekends, making Saturdays and Sundays in the lab short unless a grant deadline is looming or I have an experiment that requires an extra day of the week to complete. I may not have a two-page-long list of publications, but my CV is strong and I have a well-developed project that will come with me when I start my own lab. So why should I start compromising my personal life, especially my marriage, now?

So okay, let's play devil's advocate for a moment. Say I apply for one of these jobs that I have no intention of taking. Maybe nothing comes from it, so no big deal, but maybe I get an interview. I take the interview, "just for practice", the interview goes well, there's a second interview, and suddenly I'm confronted with an offer I can't refuse. Hubby begins feeling guilty about wanting me to say no and starts looking for jobs near the university. In many of these places, this likely includes a part-time clerk position at the local map store - not really a stimulating job for a guy with a masters in engineering. Or we start considering living apart for a while, with an infant in the picture. Or I turn down the job, but always wonder what it might be like to work at Forbidden U. Just about any way the scenario plays out, our marriage takes a hit.

Hubby hasn't asked for much in this process...only 2 or 3 jobs have been taken off the list at his request. This seems a small sacrifice for a girl who has gotten so much out of her life already, and I don't mind it at all.

So why can't others mind their own business?

This post has been viewed: 539 time(s)

Blog Comments

Genomic Repairman
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
The two or in your case 2.5 body problem is an issue that requires folks to be flexible and creative to solve. I don't envy being in your shoes when you have to make the decision but I wish you the best of luck.
Alyssa

Guest Comment
I think the fact that you have made these decisions in advance puts you in a good position. That way, you won't be stuck wondering "what if" about a position, because you won't apply for it in the first place.

When DH was searching for a job, we had the same requirements: he would only apply to areas where I could also get a decent job, and we would not do the long-distance thing. Those are the rules we set up in order to make both of us happy, and we ended up staying right where we were because he got a great job offer, I have a few options as well, and we both (now) like the city.

So, just go with your plan and tell everyone else to stick it. It's none of their damn business anyway!

Silver Fox
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
I think that *sometimes* it can be worthwhile to apply for jobs one has no intention of taking - for the contacts or practise (like you said) - but usually extra applications and interviews can take up too much time. I think the times I'd consider it would be when I'd really like to explore the company or institution for possible connections or jobs down the line, or when I think my evaluation of whether I'd want or would take the job might turn out to be faulty. That being said, I've definitely not applied for some jobs I thought I wouldn't take!

Lady Scientist
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
I get infuriated by that (the suggestion that I'm limiting myself too much). Why should I waste my time or someone else's time? Also, why is it a bad thing that I make sure that I'm happy. Life is just too short to do otherwise.

Lab Mom
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Don't do it! Don't interview for stuff you don't want. It is a waste of time and energy and you open yourself up to a bunch of "what-ifs" which is the last thing you need when you are on the search for the right job. The red-herring job search is just a distraction.

Right after his dissertation defense, LabDad was offered and interview in North Dakota. (now no offensive to anyone living in the great frozen tundra of ND) but there was no way in HELL I was moving to ND. So I vetoed it. (It takes 2 yeses and 1 no in this family) Anyhow.. he hemmed and hawed about how he should at least look at it. But i was adamant. Even if they promised him double rainbows and fairy dust, I would forever be unhappy living in ND. (And if mama ain't happy, nobody is happy) No matter how good the job was it wouldn't fit our family. So by not even testing those waters, he was able to get re-focused and put it out of his mind.

I KNOW if he had gone and it had been a decent package he would have tried to talk me into it, and his drive to find something better would have been gone. (and yes, clearly we found something better)

So my advice as someone who has been on the side of your Hubby is DON'T DO IT. That time/energy is best spent looking for the right job, not just "a" job.

Dr. O
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Thanks for all the comments, and reassurance, guys. LM - I can see things going down that exact path...it just seems best that I don't go there in the first place. I see the value in practice interviews, but I have several chances to give invited talks at conferences/other universities' seminars. That will just need to be enough, and hopefully I don't totally blow the first interview I get!! ;)

Gerty-Z
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Interviewing is A LOT of work, especially if you have to travel with a little one in the picture. Just to play devil's advocate, though...interviews in academia can be a great way to meet people. Folks that you might never have a chance to talk to will sit down for 20-30 m and give you (and your work!) their undivided attention. This can pay off big in the future. Not mention that negotiating is always easier if you have multiple offers. I don't think you should apply to anywhere that there is NO CHANCE IN HELL I WILL EVER GO THERE. But there could be places that surprise you, too.

That being said, you should never feel that you are being asked to choose between your family and a job. That is just lame.

Good luck!

Dr. O
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Thanks Gerty! Hubby has actually been pretty open to me applying for places we're not sure of...the "sounds interesting, but it's not really clear how that will work" kind of place. I've actually applied for several that we're not sure about, for the same reasons you've pointed out. I just couldn't figure why I should apply when he said "absolutely no"...seems like a recipe for disaster.
styleygeek

Guest Comment
And I can\'t help but suspect the sentiment is that I should be considering every job out there, even if it would be bad for my marriage...that somehow I\'m not as dedicated of a scientist because I\'m not willing to put my personal life on the line for my career.

It\'s not just a suspicion, at least in my case. I have been told that almost word-for-word, completely explicitly. I was flabbergasted.
Add Comment?
Comments are closed 2 weeks after initial post.
Friends