• October 25, 2014

Rejection, Resilience, Renaissance

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Brian Taylor

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Brian Taylor

"Success," said Winston Churchill, "is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm." My last failure on the job market was more than a year ago, when I was an unsuccessful candidate for a provost's position at a small, religious college in the Northeast. It's taken that long for the deep wounds of rejection to heal.

Approximately three and a half years before that search, I had decided to enter the frenetic and grueling world of administrative recruiting in higher education. As a dean at a state institution, I was seeking to move up the ranks into a position as provost and vice president for academic affairs. At some point in our lives, we've all heard the phrase "everything happens for a reason." However, I heard it far too many times throughout the long journey of myriad searches, and it fully lost its ability to be consolatory in the face of rejection.

During that time, I thought often about writing this essay, while working diligently to revive various leadership talents I actually thought I possessed.

Career consultants who write about dealing with rejection tell us to remind ourselves that "it's a numbers game" and that we all need to encounter a certain amount of failure before reaching success in a job search. What they don't tell us: Exactly how many failures should we endure before ending the quest?

Here are some hugely depressing numbers that chronicle my experience and seem to defy that sage career advice: 71 applications prepared and processed; 32 telephone interviews, both with search consultants and hiring committees; 21 neutral site (airport) interviews; and 15 finalist interviews completed on college campuses.

Some institutions never got back to me at all. Of my 60-odd rejection notices I did receive, some came via regular mail, while other curt messages arrived in my e-mail in box. An analysis of their content would be another study in itself. On more than one occasion, I received a verbal rejection via cell phone, while en route to another job interview. You can imagine the impact of that inopportune news on my self-esteem and confidence.

Regardless of rejection, I put all of my efforts into being resilient in my search. I wrote countless essays, completed search-firm questionnaires, developed and delivered PowerPoint presentations, and endured numerous demanding interview sessions. Over the course of the process, I met one on one with 20 different college and university presidents, as well as with faculty members, staff members, student leaders, and trustees.

For the positions in which I was a finalist, from what I can tell, I finished second or third, marginally behind people who: were already vice presidents and were, thus, making a lateral move; had previous experience at a similar institution; possessed more-impressive academic credentials; or were fortunate to be internal candidates. In a few cases, the institution decided to suspend the search and retain the interim candidate for another year.

Each time, my colleagues calmly assured me that the rejection had probably happened for a very good reason.

Being resilient generally means that one is able to bounce back, cope with disappointment, and revitalize in the face of difficult challenges. But when it became apparent that my earnest efforts were not going to reap a vice-presidential post, I found myself constantly questioning my own leadership abilities as dean. My resilience was jeopardized each time I failed to land the position at XYZ University—that magical place where all of my interviews had seemingly gone well, personalities had meshed, and my capabilities appeared to align perfectly with the institution's needs.

Closing the door on the search process, while demoralizing at first, was a huge positive step. It forced me to stop dwelling on rejections and focus on resilience. I found it intensely cathartic to acknowledge each and every one of my professional references for their undying support and constant encouragement. Then I spent the next year directing my energies toward creating a renaissance within the deanship I have held for more than a decade.

My decision to seek a provostship was never based on a lack of joy or satisfaction with my job as a dean. I simply wanted an opportunity to help shape institutional direction and culture at a higher administrative level in a new leadership environment. Fortunately, your resilience as a leader is enhanced when you work with good colleagues, as I do. After all of the failed searches, those colleagues helped me to emerge unscathed, fully charged to focus on succeeding at the job I already have.

The most important aspect of resilience in leadership is being able to accept the boundaries of your position and find the resolve to expand and invigorate your mission within those boundaries. If, for whatever reason, I was not meant to land an administrative appointment at the next level up the hierarchy, I wanted to be able to figure out what it would take to breathe new life into my own work and the education school I oversee.

Accepting the limits of your role and then figuring out how to succeed within those limits is the only way that veteran administrators can revive their leadership skills. It's how we can demonstrate to faculty and staff members that we are still growing, learning, and improving as academic leaders.

The months I spent reflecting on my failed search ultimately helped fuel the renaissance I have experienced in my deanship. I took on a variety of new assignments and challenges: establishment of a new revenue-generating institute in my school of educational leadership; acquisition of a major grant from the Wallace Foundation; complete restructuring and reconfiguring of duties and responsibilities within the dean's office; appointment of both a new assistant dean for accreditation and assessment and a new associate dean; and creation of additional partnerships with external agencies.

So when people tell you that you probably did not get the job at XYZ University "for a very good reason," don't regard the comment as a feeble excuse for condolence. Instead, respond with enthusiasm: "Why, of course, the entire process inspired me to revive my leadership talents and recreate the job I am already doing quite well!"

Linda Rae Markert is a professor and dean of the education school at the State University of New York at Oswego.

Comments

1. kymac - May 26, 2010 at 03:46 am

Things don't happen for a reason. You didn't get those jobs because you did not have the proper qualifications. 71 applications? Are you serious?

With 71 applications you do not seem to be selecting the colleges carefully enough - you're just casting a wide net and hoping you get something - anything! This will come through in interviews.

You are not getting jobs not because there is some mystical reason for it - you are not getting jobs because you aren't searching correctly.

Only apply to jobs that you think you can do well. I was just on a hiring committee and there were a number of applications where we just wondered why the application had even been submitted - they had no applicable experience. Sometimes people think, "maybe they'll consider me" but no, we say, "what is wrong with you?!"


And the amount?! Again, 71?! I do 20 at most. My colleagues that I've spoken to do 30 at most. If I don't get a nibble from those 20 (though I always have) I would just wait another year if I had a job. I obviously don't have the skills wanted for that post. I should spend a year getting them.

Colleges want you to know about them. How do you keep 71 colleges straight?

2. zionmassai - May 26, 2010 at 06:19 am

I totally disagree. You assume that she randomly leaped at every job opportunity that crossed her desk. 71 apps over 3.5 years, as she notes, is precisely the 20 you require if you do the math. Even less if it was over 4.5 years, but I am unsure which from the article's wording. Moreover the rate of responses (i.e., interviews, finalist interviews, etc.,) quite clearly show that there was a great deal of interest in her as a candidate. There was a search recently at my current institution. The internal candidate got the position and there was little doubt--despite a fair process--that the internal candidate would be promoted from Dean to Provost. Lets be clear, the entire academic search process--faculty or administrative--is often political, ideological, idiosyncratic--and arbitrary. I would venture to think that most of the large number (45% telephone; 29% face to face; 21% on campus finalist interviews) of the searches which led to actual interviews, were as arbitrary as a bird crapping on one's head while walking down the street on a rainy day; ok, on one's umbrella. But the point is, it is often not personal. It is more often overworked colleagues and staff, with their own proclivities (personal, emotional, intellectual, pedigree, religious, etc.) and biases trying to evaluate the best fit for a job--at 71 sites that either fired, retired, stressed to death, or people wanted to leave--based on judging a stranger who they have to get to know on paper, through on-line background checks, personal references, or gossip from colleagues in the field(s), all in one day or two. It is simply as arbitrary as whether one should limit the number of apps to 71, 30, or 20. What would be more interesting is whether her Pedigree was Harvard, etc., or some other overrated IVY; a R-1 or R-2, etc., because most apps are based on Pedigree--first. If you went to IVY, no matter how mediocre--you make the short list. Just look at the U.S. Supremer Court and Clarence Thomas and Antonine Scalia for examples of Superior-mediocrity. If Winston Churchill were ever on an academic search committee, he would have to add, "your failure may have NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU!


3. thornwhistle - May 26, 2010 at 08:46 am

Thanks for such an honest and courageous article. Few leaders are this transparent.The key thing to remember is that when looking for another leadership position, it is helpful to differentiate between your appetites and your aspirations. Aspirations will carry you far... I hope that you continue to seek a better position for the right reasons... we need good, dedicated leaders now more than ever.

4. 11182967 - May 26, 2010 at 09:14 am

Markert's blog is not about the "reason" she didn't get an offer for a position but about her response to what she takes to be rejection. Because 71 places didn't hire her, she feels rejected. But if one place had hired her and 70 had not she would have still have been 70/71s rejected. This is simply the wrong way to think about a job search. Unless you're Gordon Gee, nearly all of your applications will be unsuccessful. Even for someone with strong credentials (ie, most of the applicants for a particular job) getting a particular position is wonderfully contingent--on who else is in the applicant pool, who is on the committee, what has just been happening (or not happening) at that institution, what the last provost was like ("We want/don't want someone just like old Dr. Scholar"), who is the president (his wife doesn't want him to hire a female provost, you say?), etc. Not being selected is personal, in the sense that some other person got the job, but it should not be taken personally.

In these days of the word processor (I typed 100+ letters by hand for my first job search in the early 70's) why not apply at as many places as possible?--narrowing the search merely reduces the odds (the Internet enables the candidate to take a cram course on the institution if an interview looms). So Linda Rae, have at it--if you want that provost position, keep on applying. Rededication to your present position--your reaction to what you take to be rejection--is apparently therapeutic for you, and that's a healthy response for the moment, but it should also better prepare you for the next round of applications for that VP position. Remember that the world is full of those contingencies which affect your success in attaining any particular position (don't reify them by turning them into "reasons"). You can't control these contingencies, but you can control your own responses and initiative. You just haven't succeeded yet--you haven't failed until you give up.

5. academicentrepreneur - May 26, 2010 at 09:14 am

Kymac's comments are spot-on. The sheer number of applications hint that (1) you're not spending adequate time preparing compelling and customized support materials that clearly demonstrate how well you fit the needs of each job, and (2) your approach is more scattershot than it should be.

I applied for four academic/nonprofit president/executive director positions within 18 months, made it to the finals in three and landed the job in one of those three. One of the positions, I later discovered, was clearly "wired"--it was given to the recently retired chairman of the board.

The key is focus, not quantity.

I'm currently conducting a search for a senior management position reporting directly to me. The vast majority of applicants are clearly applying for many jobs. Their attitude and approach are reflected in generic quality of their support materials. Those who do a thoughtful job of applying stand out dramatically.

6. roro1618 - May 26, 2010 at 09:36 am

It took you over a year to get over not getting hired for a job?? Really? Unless you are Gordon Gee or Michelle Obama, getting rejected for a job is the nature of the competitive job market. Had you gotten the job, that means someone else would have been rejected. Grow up, deal with it. I find it astounding that at your professional level, you would be so immature about not getting a job. Get over yourself.

7. lost_in_the_stacks - May 26, 2010 at 09:39 am

What bothers me about the author's actions is that over the course of 3.5 years, she had 36 airport and on-campus interviews. Guesstimating that each of these on average took 2 days, we get about 70 days, or 20 days a year that she spent away from her own campus looking for a different job. Unless her home institution was in serious turmoil, and sh had to look for something else, this indicates a serious lack of loyalty to her own institution, from a dean who should be setting a tone at her school. Most non-academic employers would look askance at one of their employees who spent so much time on a job search while still employed.

Too often it seems academic adminstrators act as if they are in the business world, where getting the next promotion is their goal, rather than making their own institution better. As a faculty member it's hard to take a dean/department head seriously when you know he/she may be gone in a year. I am glad the author seems to have decided to focus on making her current institution its best. Continued success at that may make for a more fruitful job search later, if she still decides she must move up the ladder.

8. fdarnell - May 26, 2010 at 10:25 am

i feel little sympathy due to the fact that i've been on the academic job market for over three years and only one campus visit. if it's quality based on papers in front of them rather than quality based on actual interaction, then they're overlooking an ideal candidate in me. and yes, i was focused in my search on not just applying to anything and anywhere.

9. nellig - May 26, 2010 at 10:50 am

Sometimes the best candidate, the one that could really lead the institution to the next level, does not get the job. I have a colleague in business school administration in the Northeast who has 20+ years of great reviews, successful AACSB and board experience at several b-schools, did a dissertation under a leadership rock stat at one of the top rated OB programs in the world, better research publications than most on the selection committee(s) and has been the finalist in 3-5 cases only to have vindictive, sociopathic, small-minded "people" at former institutiion nix the appointment. Academic mobbing at its best.

10. formerprof05 - May 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

Well, kymac and academicentrepreneur, you're empathetic souls, aren't you? You both make several unfounded assumptions, always negative, that zionmassai's analysis exposes. That Markert has garnered 15 campus interviews demonstrates that her preparation and application materials are quite good.

Given your responses, I'm glad that I don't work for/with you.

11. drj50 - May 26, 2010 at 01:03 pm

Wow! Just when the author thought she were getting over the rejection of the job search, she gets hammered here. I hope that she doesn't pay too much attention to the detractors.

kymac writes: "You didn't get those jobs because you did not have the proper qualifications." Not so. The number of interviews shows that many schools believed that she had the qualifications. Every job search turns away many who have "proper qualifications."

academicentrepreneur writes "The sheer number of applications hint that (1) you're not spending adequate time preparing compelling and customized support materials that clearly demonstrate how well you fit the needs of each job." Again, not so. The number (and percentage) of interviews received indicates that the written materials were quite effective -- their purpose is to get you the interview.

Of course, it is always wise to debrief after an unsuccessful job search. How could my written materials be strengthened ? I find things to improve in my CV every few months -- more concise, more informative, etc. How can I do better in the interview? Prepare (and review) answers to likely questions, review your performance in each interview and prepare better answers for those to which you gave weaker answers, and, especially, ask experienced friends to conduct mock interviews and offer a critique (in my experience, most people have no idea how much their actual interview performance could improve with such practice). I've even asked some who didn't hire me what I might be able to do to improve either my qualifications or application/interview performance -- they tend to be reserved (don't want to say anything that could be the basis of a lawsuit), but some are willing to offer really helpful feedback. The best help I have received has been from volunteer groups in many cities that support (non-academic) professionals in job transitions; the help with resumes, interview skills, and search strategies has been invaluable.

12. zingale - May 26, 2010 at 01:53 pm

drj50 is on the right track here. my experience and approach to all the jobs that eventually landed me the three last jobs (including my current presidency) was that the actual interviews were the key spots (phone or video or in-person). this aspiring provost needs a mentor or coach who is expert at interviewing to help develop a portfolio of responses and an engaging style even if it is not the usual m.o.. techniques as simple as excusing oneself for a bathroom break after each interview session and then writing down names of indviduals to thank with e-mails later can make all the differeence. remember too, that all of the short listers can probably do the job with different strengths/differences and it most likeley will come down to how well you click with your future supervisor in that interview.

13. andrewbonamici - May 26, 2010 at 03:28 pm

Prof. Markert (et al.):

I've worked in library administration for approx 25 years and have chaired &/or served on *many* search committees, both in the library and in other campus departments. Please be assured in such a competitive environment, fifteen campus interviews in 71 searches is a phenomenal rate of success. If this were the Olympics, you'd have won all of the qualifying meets to make the team, scored high in the initial heats, made it to the finals, and walked away with a silver or bronze. OK, it isn't the gold, and that is disappointing, but it isn't failure and rejection either.

Question/suggestion: Were any of your more successful searches managed by search firms, aka headhunters? If so, consider contacting the rep(s) from time to time to keep in touch. These firms can play an important role in making sure of a good fit for all concerned.


14. 11182967 - May 26, 2010 at 04:07 pm

If I may add one note to my earlier one (#4) above: As #13 says, 15 interviews of one sort of another from 71 apps is far better than average, but if none has yielded an offer this suggests that there is something that needs working on at this stage. Landing an administrative position at a new institution requires (1) a strong resume, (2) good recommendations, and (3) a strong interview. Markert clearly has (1) and (2) or she wouldn't get to the interviews, but she seems to get stuch at that point. I found it useful to get feedback after interviews. Headhunters will usually provide this since they have a vested interest in your success--once you're in their database you become a known prospect for other searches they run. If no headhunter is involved, it's often possible to establish enough of a connection with someone involved in the search at the institution to provide some insight. There's usually someone on the committee who becomes your advocate, if for no other reason than that they didn't like the other candidates. When it's over, that person will often provide unofficial information or insight. Or debrief the interview with a wise old head who can provide some guidance.

15. mxims - May 26, 2010 at 04:52 pm

I can see where headhunters -- who are supposed to be in your corner -- would be instrumental in getting feedback on your credentials/performance. On the other hand, I've found most search committees very hesitant to give me helpful feedback. Most have just said something nebulous, like "You were wonderful" or "There really wasn't much difference between you and the person we hired." When pressed for details -- and I make it clear that I'm looking to improve my future performance, not to initiate any legal proceedings -- most simply clam up and won't add anything more or they say that all searches are different and the information wouldn't help me in approaching the next position. An honest, detailed critique would likely help both me and Dr. Markert.

16. peggybloom - May 26, 2010 at 05:50 pm

First,thank you Dr. Markert for your honest reflections. I too have often been second choice in searches and had multiple interviews before I landed the desired position. I agree with zionmassi that all sorts of hidden agendas and biases cloud the final interviews and ultimate choice. My favorite saying is that searches are a crap shoot!
However no one has mentioned what I believe are two very important biases that she has run up against...gender and her academic discipline.
While there are many successful women Provosts today and in fact search committees like to have one woman or a minority person come for interviews to demonstrate a diverse pool, the woman has to have more credentials (and in the case of Marquette University, not research in feminist topics) to overcome the propensity of what is usually a male dominated committee to see the male as having more leadership ability. It is even more difficult if the President is a woman or if the previous Provost was a women...while there is rarely a concern of having too many males on the executive team...the issue of too many women is just under the surface at best, or made as sort of a "joke" during the committee meeting or as stated directly to me by a male President during an interview that some Trustees thought the institution was getting too many women Deans.

Second is the bias against Education as a substantial discipline. Deans of Education rarely become Provosts even at institutions whose initial history was as a normal school! Same for Deans of Nursing and Human Development/Family Studies.

17. bikehler - May 26, 2010 at 11:40 pm

As a former provost/AVP in a small comprehensive college, I can say that I'm much happier (after seven years in the position) having returned to teaching full time. Though two changes of presidents and numerous other factors led to my return to teaching, I was happy to do so. The position of provost/AVP is the most difficult one in academe. You are between the president/board and the faculty, and you usually take the fall for the president. You make enemies with every decision, and despite your best efforts, you are always in the midst of some major personnel debacle. If you want to become a provost, despite knowing these facts, then you will persevere and eventually land a position. There is good to be done as a provost, and someone needs to do the job.

As for head hunter firms--beware. Not candidates, but colleges. Our college had a firm that promoted (in two searches) people who should never have been candidates for our positions.The firm discouraged the people we should have considered and hid the real facts about candidates they promoted. Result: we ended up with a president whom the board fired and paid over $600,000 to leave before he destroyed the college, and a provost who was incompentent and was fired by the next president. Beware of head hunter firms.

I believe provosts and AVPs are essential to colleges/universities, but they must be aware of their major responsibilities to the communities they serve.

18. marka - May 27, 2010 at 12:49 am

Hmmm ... I generally concur with the author & those posts supporting her. Its a tougher-than-usual market, and not every applicant is rewarded with the position.

And yes, there might be some reason personal to the author that leads to such rejections, but it is much, much more likely that all those other reasons articulated by commenters such as 2, 9 & 16.

The false assumption made by others, including 1 & 5, is that we are operating in a pure meritocracy. They clearly don't have enough experience in the real world to understand the myriad of factors going into hiring decisions -- all one has to do is review the employment & legal literature to discover the wide variety of not just unethical or unprofessional or simply petty, but illegal activity that occurs during hiring -- such activity gives the labor law industry plenty of grist for the mill.

And speaking of 1 & 5, personal attacks & comments are inappropriate - the anonymity of the blogosphere brings out the worst in some. Please refrain from these public personal attacks in the future - they are not helpful to anyone -- please respect our public fora.

19. richardtaborgreene - May 27, 2010 at 09:14 am

A LONG LONG time ago a nasty uncle whom I never liked and who never liked me told me to pursue job (for money role), lifework (done for love with or without money) profession (same job as you but other institutions), and hobby (done for relaxation) ALL at the same time trying to get some income from all all the time. I shloughed this advice off as more crap from someone I disliked but decade by decade I have come around to he was right all along. As a result of having robust professional assocation ties, events, roles, leadership, meetings, I have always been offered jobs and never had to apply for one yet, in academia. Keeping one's professional activities up and running has that side-effect. If you are so into one place and role that your professional work atrophies, the price you pay is being unknown and having to convince-as-a-stranger other strangers. THAT is a low win ratio situation, typically hundreds of losing interviews to each winning one. You are too local in the way you live and act---get social!!!!!

20. richardtaborgreene - May 27, 2010 at 09:18 am

I forgot to mention, I DO apply for academic jobs, approximately 200 every year, just to get my credentials before utter strangers whom I will never meet face to face at the conferences I like and venues I attend. ALSO I do email one paper every 3 years to 12,000 who do research in my approximate area, getting 1100 perfunctory thank yous and 990 detailed ones, on average with each mailing. This is not face to face profession work by a kind of background general "here I am, a stranger you may one day make into a non-stranger" sort of work. I am not suggesting this is great---just that it is the kind of ballpark profession nurturing and manure-ing composting that grows career/job fruit without one having to apply for such fruit.

21. honore - May 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

Linda, I commend you on your candor and courage to write this article. THAT fact alone, should get you some interviews from here on out. If our academic/administrative ranks had more professionals with your guts we wouldn't be the underworlds of cowardice and mediocrity that we are today.

And "NO!", you did not apply to too many jobs!
In a job market as distressed as the current one, only a self-satisfied and probably tenured cretan would advise you to apply to as few jobs as possible.

And don't be too hard on yourself either. The job application dynamic today (and probably in the past) is replete with personal, political and even psychic agendas and the ever-present factor of "axes to grind" on the back of a job applicant's skull. And that last factor is NOT one you have any control over or knowledge of. Check out Marquette's recent hiring debacle.

Please know that you offer hope to those out there who despite experience, professional credentials and demonstrated commitment to the task at hand and those of the future post, DO get passed by because there are simply WAY too many fish swimming upstream with them.

Take heart, do something really good for yourself (run, meditate, get a massage) nd get back to your laptop.

Check on those references and really ask yourself if they are the best for each position you apply to and be sure to qualify each letter specifically to the job prospect and don't dwell too much on the wonders of each magical job you've held in the past. Nothing brings on a search committe yawn faster that a letter filled with cheery prose about that job you once held as "3rd Assistant to the Associate of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Cosmic Quality of Life Experience Quotient".

There is a thin line between gushing enthusiastically about a prospective job and going overboard with endless flowery praise..."if you hire me, I will...(balance the red-lined budgets, cure campus apathy or single-handedly drive multi-billion dollar campaign drives to build yet another monument to some fat, old, drunk alum".

All the best wishes for you...You really earned my respect.


22. molly78128 - May 27, 2010 at 11:51 am

I read this at just the right time in my life. Having just completed an all-consuming and ultimately unsuccessful academic job search, it feels good to read that those in administration experience the same feelings and find ways to redirect them. Thanks for your honesty and motivation to move forward. Don't give up!

23. tvmillington - May 27, 2010 at 02:45 pm

Most of the people here making snide comments clearly have not had to deal with job loss during a recession. I just recently ended an 11-month lay off and I entirely sympathize with what the writer is feeling, even if our circumstances were a bit different. A job search, regardless of its motive, is stressful enough, especially since our very identities and sense of self worth are so deeply tied into our work. Those readers who scoff at Ms. Markert, clearly do not know what it is like to be looking for a job and encountering nothing but frustration for a very long time.

The way an institution/organization responds to a job applicant is pivotal. During my period of unemployment, I cannot tell you how important it was to receive a note informing me that I had not made it to the next round. Closure is so important. But then again, those who have jobs and feel like they have to take cheap shots at Ms. Markert miss this entirely. It must be nice to sit in a cozy job and be smug while someone else struggles with their very identity. I recommend you read "The Disposable American" by Louis Uchitelle and then let's see if you remain so cavalier (i.e. kymac). By the way, I applied for 200 jobs and received eight call backs and four on-site interview invitations. It is not easy to get a job these days, period, regardless of your motivation.

This was a courageous and heartfelt article. Kudos to Ms. Markert for writing it. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the school "in the northeast" that did not hire her, may have been the one that ignominiously laid me off. By any chance, is that school located in Boston, MA?

24. bjgeorge - May 29, 2010 at 04:55 pm

From my experience in currently searching for another position is that putting out a number of applications is acceptable to see if my applications get noticed. But, if my applications garner interest, I have learned not to accept telephone through in-person interviews for positions that I am not interested in. My lack of interest will betray me or I will be moved to the next stage of being asked for an interview, which in some cases has meant my references have been checked-checked unnecessarily for positions I do not want. Now I act on those positions I want if contacted about my application. I have had in-person interviews and one job offer that I turned down. Also, I have found in preparing for interviews problems with either the institution (i.e. audit showing financial and governance issues) or the search committee lacking skill in conducting the search. Knowing this and going into such interviews has proved wrong for me. When I see warning signs in preparing for an interview I back out of the interview. All this to say that in seeking a higher level position for the sake of wanting the position regardless of context and/or one's own skills and desires may be counter productive.

25. gloriawalker - June 02, 2010 at 12:01 pm

What are some warning signs that should cause one to back off?

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