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« How many applicants do jobs receive by AOS? | Main | Predicting fly-outs on the basis of interviews? »

12/21/2021

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Daniel Weltman

I might just be too blinkered and ignorant about this topic, but for my part I find it hard to make any generalizations about this. Are people going to increasingly be less willing to move to various places in search of jobs, because of the pandemic? Or are they going to be more willing to move to various places, because the market will get even worse and because we're now all much more comfortable with online meetings and being geographically distant is perhaps not going to rule out staying connected with people? I at least don't feel at all confident in making any sort of predictions one way or another, but I'm also not a placement director (we don't even have a grad program) so it's hard for me to gather any data on this.

Helen De Cruz

Daniel: I don't know it either. It maybe as you say people are more willing to move, or less willing. It could even make no difference.
But already before the pandemic, I was hesitant to advise "Be willing to move anywhere."--I received that advice myself from people who basically told me a version of "buyer's market job candidates can't be choosers", and I didn't think the advice helpful at the time. It's important to be frank with candidates that if they have geographic constraints, it will diminish their prospects on finding a job, but it's also important to recognize the importance of geography for happiness and wellbeing, and so now I advise ac job candidates who want to stay local or who want to move to a particular area to invest extra in a good plan-B. For instance, one job candidate recently found a wonderful TT job in a local community college, which probably would not have been an option had they wanted to move anywhere.

RJM

Just to add that one reason why you can't move "just anywhere" is that your medical needs might not be met, or only be met at extortionate cost, in certain countries. I personally couldn't take a job in the US with a standard salary and health insurance because I would find it too difficult to pay for essential medication.

Rosa

I think this is basically right - the advice should always be conditional: *if* you care only about getting a TT job, you should be willing to move anywhere. *If* you are not willing to move anywhere, have a strong Plan B. But I also want to reemphasize the point about still applying really broadly - I ended up spending 6 years in a TT job in a place I dreaded living before the fly-out, and ended up being surprisingly happy there.

best of luck everyone

I think Covid has motivated people to reassess (at least temporarily) their values--or at least I have been. We should respect people who decide friends and family are more important than career prestige. I think people should investigate local options and, more importantly, I think placement committees should not treat those options as disappointments--candidates should be encouraged to pursue all avenues. That said, I think schools are already screening applicants for willingness to move and be better than miserable about it. I work at a perfectly respectable university in a region of the country that is beautiful but, for sometimes very good reason, unpopular. At a certain point, we can't help looking at cover letters to determine whether the person would find it a total bummer to move to our region. So in some ways, schools are already trying to screen for 'perfectly happy to move here and give it a try' and 'I can't wait to get my second job in California.'

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