Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Dilemma

Want a peek inside my head? -- well, one of the issues on my mind right now is the question of applying for a new teaching position.  I am almost sorry that I saw the posting in the first place because now all I can think about is whether I should try applying for the job (or not).  The job is at a nearby university and is a FT, tenured position, just like the type of job that I have right now.

It is not that I am "unhappy" with my present job (I love, love, love the students I work with -- and the fabulous people on my campus who are all so dedicated to helping students succeed) but ... I think I am up for a new challenge (and  maybe the fact that I feel so "not sure" about this opportunity reflects that I am not content where I am).  Like many folks who work on an "outer" campus, I don't get to see colleagues much and this results in not getting many opportunities to help shape and mold our department as a whole.  If you know me, then you surely know that I have tons of energy and I love using that enthusiasm and passion for helping -- sorry if this sounds cheesy -- to make the world a better place.


But then there are the cons, of course, to consider -- you never know if the new place is "worse" than the old place.  What happens if the department over there is filled with folks (faculty and staff) who are not dedicated like the great people here?  What about seniority? (I have been on my campus/ school for almost 14 years)  Could I succeed at another tenure process?  What if the job is harder and I can't handle it?  What happens if I screw up?  Maybe I am not cut out to work at a university and help create and coordinate a program?  Do I have enough knowledge to do this?  What would happen if this new place would "close" and then I am out of a FT job?  What if I regret leaving?

A wise co-worker just told me yesterday that I need to understand that I have two DIFFERENT questions here -- (1) Should I apply for a new position?  (2) Should I take the position if it is offered to me?  This is true -- I am already thinking ahead about something that may potentially not happen (FYI:  My present position was obtained after experiencing one FT interview so I guess I was wondering if that will remain my track record?)  And I am not 100% convinced that this should happen.  So bear with me for a moment while I think about weighing both sides ...

Pros:


  • I would not have to move.  This school is just down the road from my present school.
  • I would be able to help shape a new Basic Writing Program (so lots of the kind of "stuff" that I don't get right now)
  • I would get the chance to possibly teach a graduate seminar in composition studies.
  • A new campus situation could equal = an actual office (not a cubicle) or even access to a gym (and it might be quieter as my present office is impacted by the karaoke and other student activities going on in the Commons right next door to me).
  • Change is good; it keeps us alive.


Cons:


  • I love my present job.
  • This new job might include a paycheck with less money
  • I "know" my job here and have been doing it for 14 years.
  • I have seniority (tenure)
  • Jim and I have been thinking about moving far, far away.
  • I am a big chicken.


So there you go (and technically, if you are keeping count, that are more cons than pros!) -- I am beginning to think that applying might be a good thing to do regardless.  I haven't been out on the job market for a long time and it might be interesting to see if I get a nibble.  If I commit to applying for the position, I would need to use some time and energy to get my application packet together (and this, of course, is a resource in limited supply!).  These folks are asking for a teaching philosophy statement and this is something I haven't put together in awhile.

So any thoughts?  What would you do?

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