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Author Topic: delaying response to an offer?  (Read 3956 times)
lameusername
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« on: February 15, 2012, 1:11:37 PM »

I've recently been tenured at School 1. I just finished my campus visit with School 2. I'm off to another visit. The chair in School 2 just told me that the department will be making the decision this afternoon and, if I'm selected, I'd be getting a phone call later in the evening. Well, I'll be in transit, and it would be really awkward to negotiate while switching planes, running around at busy airports, or visiting another school and not knowing the whole picture yet. Any advice on what to say if I do get that phone call to delay any serious discussion for two days? (I am serious about School 2, but I do want to negotiate only when I know if I like School 3 and at least after I spend some time discussing my campus visits with my family. I also want to communicate that I'm excited about School 2.)

Thanks! 
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msparticularity
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 1:27:24 PM »

I don't think you need to feel as if you have to pick up the phone when they call tonight if you're not in a convenient spot; let it go through to voice mail. You should also remember that you don't need to negotiate right away; you can just listen, write down everything they're planning to offer, and tell the Dean (or chair, or whomever) that you would like to sit down and think about your questions, talk to a partner if that's relevant, and arrange a time to call back in a day or two to actually discuss any questions and requests.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
onthefringe
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 1:38:37 PM »

Yes, you need to control your desire to immediately say yes or no.

My favorite negotiation story is the time I negotiated by accident. My husband and I were doing a job search and had one place where we had interviews within 40 miles of each other. He got an offer, and I got an interview in the choice spot. Shortly after I interviewed at choice spot, one of the other schools that had made me an offer called to check up on me. For some reason, I spilled my guts about having had this interview at top choice and not knowing what the response would be and, and, and. I got off the phone, had a heart attack and told myself "Dear fringy, you idiot. Next time a school calls about an offer, say "That's very exciting, I need to think it over and I'll get back to you."

Next call was top choice school, with an offer. I went on autopilot and said "That's very exciting, I need to think it over and I'll get back to you." Then I bounced around the lab and called my husband to rejoice. He said "You said WHAT! Of COURSE we're going! What if they think you are not interested?"

Two hours later, top choice school called with a salary bump...
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lameusername
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 11:28:56 PM »

Thanks for the advice. I hope they won't think I'm not interested. I really am. onthefringe, I like your story. I did say to one faculty member during the visit that I was going to another interview, even though I promised myself not to tell them. But you know how it is--you chat, you feel comfortable, they ask, and you tell them.
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scampster
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 3:20:58 AM »

Thanks for the advice. I hope they won't think I'm not interested. I really am. onthefringe, I like your story. I did say to one faculty member during the visit that I was going to another interview, even though I promised myself not to tell them. But you know how it is--you chat, you feel comfortable, they ask, and you tell them.

Heh. That's funny. I will chat about all sorts of things (probably some I shouldn't), but the one thing I have managed to not do in all my interviews is show my hand. I figure it is kind of like mentioning to one date that you have another date that weekend.

So...did you get the call?
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whenwilitend
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 3:51:47 AM »

just curious, how could sharing that I have been invited to another interview/school visit hurt my candidacy at current interview? If anything, does it not convey that I am a desirable candidate to more than one institution?
During my interviews, I did not try hard to either conceal or reveal my other interview prospects, and at both places, the issue came up I did reveal that I had another visit scheduled immediately before / after.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2012, 2:31:36 PM »

just curious, how could sharing that I have been invited to another interview/school visit hurt my candidacy at current interview? If anything, does it not convey that I am a desirable candidate to more than one institution?
During my interviews, I did not try hard to either conceal or reveal my other interview prospects, and at both places, the issue came up I did reveal that I had another visit scheduled immediately before / after.

This is another one of those issues about which there's disagreement here. The major concern, I believe, is that mentioning other interviews can come across as an attempt to impress the SC with one's desirability. We have had posters here who are strategizing over when and how to bring this up, so they let the SC know that they are in demand. That is most definitely not a good idea. I do think, though, that there are times when it can come up quite naturally, and I'm not in favor of endless self-censorship, either. It sounds as if in your case it was a natural part of the conversation, so I really wouldn't worry about it.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
seniorscholar
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2012, 8:10:43 PM »

just curious, how could sharing that I have been invited to another interview/school visit hurt my candidacy at current interview? If anything, does it not convey that I am a desirable candidate to more than one institution?

Well, for one thing, "desirable" is not an identical category from one department to another one; we have individual requirements, students, curricula, and so forth. And in addition, since it would be very unprofessional to tell us where you have another interview, the suspicious among us will assume it's in a far lesser place and you're simply trying to impress us, and if we imagine your other interview is a very high-ranked place, we'll assume you would not stay here long even if you did become our "most desirable" candidate and not theirs, because you're probably a climber.
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tortugaphd
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012, 8:23:01 AM »

Congratulations on your tenure decision!  This is a wonderful dilemma for you to be in.  I have only once been in the position of juggling multiple offers from schools, and I find that some can pressure as a tactic for you to come to a decision.  However, I've also seen it from the other side at my current institution where everyone takes it in stride that many candidates do find themselves in a situation where they are considering other schools, and we just need to be patient while waiting for a candidate to make up their mind.  Waiting for candidates to--as we say--"close out their other options" is simply part of the process if an institution is hiring.

As a grad student, I was told by my mentors that having an offer to which you have not yet accepted will put you in the position with the most leverage with an institution that you will ever have once you decide to join it.  I have to say that this is true, lol.  I got all of the "extras" I asked for during that negotiation period, but--several years into my TT position--I can't even get them to replace my old, rickety office chair.

Again, congratulations!  And enjoy what you have now.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 8:24:47 AM by tortugaphd » Logged
lameusername
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 10:10:56 PM »

Yes, I did get that phone call with an offer. No other offers, though, so the decision was between staying in School 1 and leaving for School 2. With a heavy heart, I decided to stay, mostly because the salary and benefits School 2 offered would cut my family income by 40%. (School 2 didn't extend any serious job options to my academic spouse.) The decision was very hard because I truly loved School 2: the location, the department, and the proximity to family.
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clean
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 10:17:55 PM »

Tenure has a way of easing the pain. If you can work with your spouse (if they are happy there and you can be together), then there is a benefit in the current job.  Besides, the reduced stress from tenure may make it better. 

A position where one of you is underemployed or has  a long commute is not worth it.  Pains in one area offset the gains in the other.

Congrats on knowing that you are still marketable, and on tenure. Those should make you happy. 
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"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader
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