In the comments section of our most recent "How can we help you?" post, a reader ('Amanda') writes:
So this post comes in response to a number of conversations I've had with friends on the market, as well as various faculty members, as well as reading Allen Wood's job search advice on the APA blog. So Wood suggests that you should not take a TT job just because you have been on the market for some time and it is all you got. Rather, you should see if the job is a good fit. Now from almost everyone else I've talked with, they would disagree. The job market is horrible, and anyone should be happy with any job. (Maybe those at the top 5 schools are different, but I am not even sure then).
So what happens if you are offered a TT job and the location is awful, the department members appear disagreeable, and the general environment is not one of your liking? (FYI I am NOT in this position myself. I currently have no TT offers...) If this is your only offer, should you take it? Basically everyone I've talked to says yes. (perhaps assuming you would choose this rather than leave academia). Does anybody disagree? Does anyone think it would ever make sense to turn down a TT offer in the hopes that you find a better fit in a year or two. (Or would the rule be take the job and then apply out?)
It might be helpful, therefore, to hear from people that have been down either road:
- People who accepted an offer for an undesirable job.
- People who rejected such an offer (when it was the only offer they had).
For people in both groups, how did things turn out? Do you wish you had made a different decision? Why/why not? I will be very curious to hear about people's experiences.