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Author Topic: The End of the Affair article  (Read 9535 times)
weathered
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« on: April 18, 2012, 2:59:11 PM »

I had to bring this article to the fora job seeking section. I know this is a time for either celebration or mourning (I am still waiting for one last response), but I don't quite appreciate this kind of article. It's insensitive in its disguised sensitivity. What do you think?

http://chronicle.com/blogs/onhiring/the-end-of-the-affair/31048
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traductio
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 3:49:34 PM »

I don't know -- it's a bit over-the-top in its metaphor (really, it takes the metaphor right to the breaking point), but the emotion rings true with me. I turned down a similar job last year, and it was one of the most gut-wrenching experiences I can imagine. I realize it might sound like I'm overselling it, but I'm not. I hadn't expected the intensity of the emotions, nor the overwhelming feeling of letting down people whom I would have dearly loved to call colleagues.
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"alors comment disposer de ce qui est mort en vous désormais? Tout simplement en s'accommodant de l'irréversible constat de décès. Ensuite prendre ce qui reste, lui fixer un itinéraire" Daniel Bélanger, "Round 8"
tinyzombie
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2012, 3:50:24 PM »

Yeah, I really don't see how OP thinks it's being insensitive.
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cranefly
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2012, 5:24:03 PM »

Sorry, but I agree that it's not insensitive as well. I still feel guilty about a job I turned down 5 years ago.
I know when people are looking for work they must think it's the dream scenario, but sometimes getting two offers from places and people you really like is tricky. You feel like you're letting down the school you turn down, because you know it might screw up their entire search.
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anon_questions
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2012, 5:46:23 PM »

Not to be too cynical, but I suspect that what we might think is guilt is actually sometimes a much more self-interested fear that we have closed a door to what might have been a very good life/career.  Often the choice between 2 jobs is really a very difficult one to make, and the choice is inevitably a bit of a gamble. 

Since the job you do choose, in this market, may be the only job you have for the rest of your life, how could you not agonize about the road not taken?
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kunsthistorikerin
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2012, 9:04:15 PM »

Not to be too cynical, but I suspect that what we might think is guilt is actually sometimes a much more self-interested fear that we have closed a door to what might have been a very good life/career. 



I can say that, at least in my case, this wasn't true.  I was offered two jobs this year, and I felt really, really sad about the one I turned down.  That said, it really was obvious (both to me and my mentors) that the job I took is the perfect job for me.  The one I turned down is in a location that many people in my field would not find attractive, and there are certain limitations to the position that I suspected might make it hard for them to find the right person.  During the campus visit I emphasized over and over how much I would love to be there - which would have been true, if I hadn't been offered the other job! - and so it felt awful calling the Very Nice Dean and letting her know I just couldn't accept the offer.  Indeed, she called me about three days after I got the other offer, and my heart really did sink when I recognized the area code.

During the weeks after I turned them down, I checked the job wiki every single day to see if anything was happening over there.  It took about three weeks before some anonymous person posted "offer made and accepted" - during that three weeks I felt really bad for them.  When I finally saw the post I was relieved, but it also gave me a weird feeling, like an ex had gotten married to someone else...and that's where I do sympathize with the article, even if I do agree that the writing is a bit over-the-top.

So, anyway, I don't think it was at all self-interested in my case - I don't doubt my choice in the slightest, and it really felt awful to say no to a very good job.  It's not insensitive either - indeed, knowing that so many people would have loved to get that offer was a big part of why it was so hard to say no; in this climate I really, really did not want that search to fail, and I am really glad that it did not.


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marigolds
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 9:25:38 PM »

I don't quite appreciate this kind of article. It's insensitive in its disguised sensitivity.

I think you're being kind of a weenie. 

Just because you didn't get a job, you think nobody should talk about getting a job? (or, heaven forfend, TWO jobs. Greedy bastards.)
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aysecik
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 9:40:10 PM »

I think it is not insensitive at all, and it is very difficult to make the call when you know that the people there would be great colleagues. It is especially hard when you make connections with people during a campus visit, and when you know that the dean and/or department head made a case for you to others. It is not about doors closed, but about disappointing people that you like, and who genuinely worked (eventually, I admit) to get you there. I am supposed to make that call tomorrow - and I really dread it.
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zengazenga
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 10:08:26 PM »

I think it is not insensitive at all, and it is very difficult to make the call when you know that the people there would be great colleagues. It is especially hard when you make connections with people during a campus visit, and when you know that the dean and/or department head made a case for you to others. It is not about doors closed, but about disappointing people that you like, and who genuinely worked (eventually, I admit) to get you there. I am supposed to make that call tomorrow - and I really dread it.

This.

I feel this way toward a department that hasn't even offered me anything. Two months out and no word, I will need to withdraw from their search tomorrow as I have just accepted a position elsewhere I'm absolutely thrilled about.

The campus visit was glorious and I would have loved to work there. While the position I've accepted is my top choice and I should be happy that I get to do the "rejecting" this time around, it doesn't feel good at all cutting off even the possibility of working with great people in a great place.


« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 10:09:20 PM by zengazenga » Logged
weathered
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 10:09:33 PM »

Yeah yeah yeah. I prefer to be called something else than weenie (nitpicker, whiner, meanie, grumpy old man etc). Kinda strange word choice.

I think you're being kind of a weenie.  

Just because you didn't get a job, you think nobody should talk about getting a job? (or, heaven forfend, TWO jobs. Greedy bastards.)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 10:10:07 PM by weather123 » Logged
ejb_123
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 10:13:28 PM »

Not to be too cynical, but I suspect that what we might think is guilt is actually sometimes a much more self-interested fear that we have closed a door to what might have been a very good life/career.  Often the choice between 2 jobs is really a very difficult one to make, and the choice is inevitably a bit of a gamble. 

Since the job you do choose, in this market, may be the only job you have for the rest of your life, how could you not agonize about the road not taken?

Sometimes it's just guilt, regardless of the situation. I once turned down a full-time teaching job on a Native American reservation. The only house available had no heat or running water, and I would have had to have lived there for the entire winter. Instead, I took a part-time teaching job and lived with my parents. I felt guilty for turning down that full-time job, especially since I knew I was the only person who had applied for that position, but I just couldn't see myself spending a winter living in that tiny little town in a house without heat or running water. Yes, I knew that by making that decision I was a pathetic soft weakling who was rejecting a good job merely because the available housing was not to my liking, but I also knew I would have to live with my decision. And I did live with that decision, and felt guilty for years afterwards.
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bcohlan1
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2012, 10:16:59 PM »

It's hard for me to imagine feeling this way, but maybe I would.  I doubt I'll ever be in a position to choose between two jobs.
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weathered
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2012, 10:19:38 PM »

ejb, where is that, if you don't mind telling us? I didn't know such a place existed. I once interviewed at a tiny school with three buildings (was it 3 and 1/2?) contained in one block and sighed for fear of being stuck there for the rest of my life. I didn't get the job and feel OK about it.
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ejb_123
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2012, 10:23:36 PM »

ejb, where is that, if you don't mind telling us? I didn't know such a place existed. I once interviewed at a tiny school with three buildings (was it 3 and 1/2?) contained in one block and sighed for fear of being stuck there for the rest of my life. I didn't get the job and feel OK about it.


South Dakota!!!
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traductio
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 10:27:32 PM »

Not to be too cynical, but I suspect that what we might think is guilt is actually sometimes a much more self-interested fear that we have closed a door to what might have been a very good life/career.  Often the choice between 2 jobs is really a very difficult one to make, and the choice is inevitably a bit of a gamble. 

Since the job you do choose, in this market, may be the only job you have for the rest of your life, how could you not agonize about the road not taken?


Sometimes it's just guilt, regardless of the situation.

These are both certainly true. Part of my regret is certainly the idea that life would have been better at the other place. It was a better job and a better city, but the job I took was closer to family.

I revisit that decision almost every day. I'm grateful for what I have, and I think I made the right decision. But that doesn't mean I don't think about what I gave up.
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"alors comment disposer de ce qui est mort en vous désormais? Tout simplement en s'accommodant de l'irréversible constat de décès. Ensuite prendre ce qui reste, lui fixer un itinéraire" Daniel Bélanger, "Round 8"
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