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Author Topic: ethical dilemma - AFTDJ or not?  (Read 1374 times)
postphd
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« on: January 07, 2013, 8:12:23 AM »

I recently posted about whether or not to apply for a job after just having started a different job that is an imperfect fit professionally. The situation is a bit more complicated now. I've been in job A for a few months after having withdrawn from job B because I had some concerns about location and also didn't think I could wait for B to make a decision without losing A. I was desperate for a job, any job, at the time. Now job B has been reposted. The position is much more closely aligned with my skills, interests, and professional goals. I think it would be a perfect fit in many ways. Location is still not as good as job A, but I now feel that trade-off is less important than I thought. I've pretty much ruled out reapplying for job B out of fear that it would mark me forever as a problematic, indecisive, unethical person in a fairly small field. I guess I'm just posting to see if anyone has thoughts to the contrary, or if this really is off limits. Thanks in advance.
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polly_mer
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Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 9:48:55 AM »

When did you withdraw from the job B search and what reasons did you give?

If you declined an interview because you had a job in hand, then I would look at you as an ethical person who would be worth trying again, assuming you matched the new job qualifications.

If you declined our offer and told us that you hated our location, then I would be less inclined to interview you again.
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postphd
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 10:21:12 AM »

I withdrew just prior to the campus interview at B. I called the search chair and apologized profusely for the inconvenience of cancelling travel/lodging arrangements. He asked what the position was, but did not really ask reasons. I simply said I received another offer.

Job A made an offer and was a very solid option that I was afraid of losing if I dragged my feet. I realize now that I was probably the last finalist, but didn't know that then. To be honest, as a recent PhD with very little advising, I was naive and didn't know enough to negotiate for more time. I was terrified of being unemployed and jumped at A. My biggest fear now is that I would be blacklisted for life if I reapply.
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janewales
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 10:34:53 AM »


There's nothing wrong or unusual about cancelling an interview because you have another offer in hand, and it sounds as though you handled it appropriately. From what you say, position B is now somewhat differently configured than it was, and that makes it a better fit, yes? So you could reapply with a cover letter that emphasized that aspect of the advertisement.

It's also always important, when you're applying from another position, to make clear why you wish to move. You need to do that without trashing your current employer. The fact that you've been in place at job A for only a short time could indeed raise some eyebrows, but in this job market, most people will understand that you must take opportunities when they arise.

It's important to remember, though, that you haven't been in job A long enough to be certain what it is going to be like, and since you didn't go to the campus interview for job B, you also don't know that it would in fact be as a good a fit as it appears to be on paper. So whatever you do, don't burn any bridges. The grass may not in fact be greener.
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tuxthepenguin
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 11:12:24 AM »

I always tell new assistant profs not to go on the market in the first year, but I still think you should AFTDJ. You wouldn't be going on the market. You had a shot with them before and took your current job because you ran out of time. I see nothing unethical about applying.
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macaroon
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 11:18:08 AM »



Job A made an offer and was a very solid option that I was afraid of losing if I dragged my feet.

You won't be blacklisted.  You did something completely understandable.  The SC committee for school B knew what kind of situation you were up against - School A offered you a job, School B was only at the interview stage. 

Absolutely apply for the new job - but don't read anything into it if you're not offered an interview.  Their needs and candidate pool may change this time around.  You didn't get blacklisted.  Your behavior has been normal and ethical. 
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postphd
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 2:00:12 PM »

Thanks very much for all of your input. I'm kind of surprised so many seem to think reapplying would not be viewed in a negative light and will reconsider doing so.
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systeme_d_
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 9:42:44 PM »

AFTDJ, for goodness' sake!
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lucyr
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 6:38:41 PM »

Definitely apply - your actions were perfectly reasonable and ethical when you withdrew from B's search the first time around.

BUT - if you're going back on the market after less than a year at A, have an excellent reason why you're leaving, which doesn't disparage your colleagues or the department in any way.

And, perhaps most importantly, keep it VERY quiet at A. Don't tell anyone. Not even the so-friendly colleague you have lunch with every week and trade teaching stories with. Info like that gets around fast, and it could lead to a nasty situation for you at A. Where you may still be staying for quite some time.
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offthemarket
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 6:15:58 PM »

I don't see anything potentially unethical here.
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