Friday, October 16, 2015

Moving On, Explained

I received this comment on an old post about moving from my old job to my new job:
Hi Sadie,
This is job season. If you are so inclined, could you take us down memory lane and walk us through what convinced you to get out of TTU and McGill? How (un)sure were you about that decision as it was happening.
Many thanks,
-an associate professor updating his ol’ CV
I left McGill in 2012, but had been trying to do since roughly 2007.  Why?  In 2007, it was mostly about seeking to get out of Quebec.  There were far fewer jobs that I considered desirable when I sought to leave McGill than when I tried to leave Texas Tech--there were simply fewer places that would be either a professional improvement or a personal improvement without declining on the other dimension.

In 2008 and then again in 2009, I received a clear signal from McGill that many of the senior faculty and the chair did not respect my work as much I thought--they refused to forward to my application for promotion to full professor.  This made the job search quite a bit more serious.  I still loved teaching at McGill and had much respect and affection for the Associate and Assistant Professors, but the lack of support I received from those above me (including the Dean) meant it was time to go.

After some near misses, including one job that disappeared just before a committee was about to meet, I got the Carleton offer.  It was an improvement in pretty much every possible way:

  • more money in both salary and research support, 
  • an endowed chair to replace my expiring Canada Research Chair), 
  • moving to a city that I quite liked without all of the nationalist politics and broken infrastructure of Quebec, 
  • a national capital meant better access to those doing foreign/defence policy
  • less guilt and pressure since there would be far fewer Phd students that I would have to worry about placing
What was I losing by leaving?  
  • Excellent undergrads.  I loved teaching McG's undergrads.  No undergrad teaching for me at Carleton.
  • Proximity to good skiing
  • Hanging with the associate professors (but we still have facebook...)
So, the question of how sure I was?  Very, very sure.  Once I got the offer, I had no doubts.   None at all.  When I moved from TTU to McGill, I did pause a bit because it involved a paycut thanks to exchange rates.  If I had realized how complicated a move across the invisible border might be, I might have hesitated some more.  But this move?  No doubts at all.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks. That was helpful.