The Suspense is Killing Me

OK, I’ve hinted around the edge of this here before, but tried to be discreet, but it’s time to be open with you… and if someone from the University of Queensland reads it, so be it.

I was approached in April by a recruiting (aka ‘headhunting’) firm about applying for a job at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). It’s in Toowoomba, a bit over an hour’s drive west of Brisbane. Initially I wasn’t keen, since I’d just moved to the University of Queensland (UQ), and since the family had settled in in Brisbane. Then I realised that, although it’d be a long commute, it would be a managable one, though I’d have to buy a more touring-oriented bike than I have now.

The job was also very attractive because it was at Full Professor rank… and it’s becoming clearer by the moment that getting back to even Associate Professor, the rank I held in Canada, at UQ is going to be a long, difficult and uncertain road. Not sure if the job title is attractive or not: I’d be Research Professor of Flexible Delivery and Director of the Centre for Research in Transformative Pedagogies (yep, need a largish business card or a tiny font!) But it’s a field my experiences over the past 10 years have uniquely fitted me to fill, and at a significantly higher rank (and pay) than my current job, and I think I could do a pretty fantastic job in this role. I’d also be a bigger fish in a smaller pond than at UQ…

I applied in mid-April, applications closed in mid-May, and the selection committee was supposed to meet this week, the first week of June. I just got an e-mail saying they will now be meeting later this month and I’ll hear whether I make the short-list and get an interview toward the end of June. There’s no real rush, but it’s kind of unsettling to be in the position of having two quite different imaginary paths ahead that my life could take, and waiting for months and months to see which of them will eventuate. Ah well, I guess it’s teaching me patience…

In related news, we have been very close to getting several rental houses closer to Sue’s new job, but on Friday they told her they won’t be continuing her position with them after this week. (There are several reasons for that amd I think they’re making a big mistake, but that’s another story.) So I guess whoever is guiding us knew it wouldn’t be good for us to get a house in that area… and as frustrating as it was to miss out several times, it has worked out for the best. Suzie is upset – any situation like that is going to feel a bit like rejection – but we’re looking for something even better for her over the next little while… and also hatching some investment plans to help her realise some longer term aspirations. But it means we’re both in a bit of flux at the moment.

7 replies on “The Suspense is Killing Me”

Here’s hoping you get it – even though the rank isn’t the most important thing for some, for others (and right now they are the ones who count – being funding people and the like) it does.

Being a bigger fish is also fun as well – more ability to splash 🙂

As an ex-employee of the USQ, let me tell you that it is an extremely good place to work. Well, it was up until 1998 when I left to head north to the US.
I do hope you get the opportunity to show your wares.

You know…its funny that in all the leadership seminars and books that I have read, the title is not the most important thing. It is the role and your feeling toward that role that makes you happy. But, it is becoming obvious that in your profession the title is what counts and not whether you can do the job. Good luck on getting the new one.

Hehe, not so much – I’m more playing with the title thing, ‘cos it’s so long and perhaps a little silly. Apparently there was a fair bit of politics in naming the role.

For me, the rank is not so much a goal in itself as it is two other things: (1) a significant pay rise – like maybe 30-50% (whereas if I stay where I am I hit the top of the pay scale for my present rank next year then am stuck for 5 years or so and (2) something that I believe I deserve for the work I do and the skills I have. So the rank thing is shorthand for a few other things…

And I will enjoy the new job more and be better at it, because it’s in the area I’m really excited about and have done a lot of work in, and will be more focused and have more autonomy.

Good luck on getting it. The pay rise and the better job opportunity makes it all worthwhile. My comment on the title was a comment on your profession, not you. Being in the engineering field I’m not so sure that the title means as much as having that degree. However, there are certain positions that must have a certain degree, but there are a lot that don’t. You don’t necessarily have to have a degree to lead in our company. It helps I’m sure, but there are leaders who don’t have a degree but have taken training in their discipline.

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