Contacted by a recruiter - WWYD

(20 Posts)
Marasme Sat 16-Sep-17 19:24:02

I've been at my institution for more than a decade. It has its issues (my fuckwit immediate colleagues, for example), but it is rather prestigious, in a lovely city, and I think I have good facilities and freedom compared to other colleagues. I like my subject, my students, my research (not the admin shit or our corporate administrators).

My main concerns are:
1- my immediate colleagues: a mix of passive abusive people vs super driven people - there is also no clear succession planning or true leadership in the unit
2 - the fact that I have been there for a long time without moving (2 postdocs, then FT post)
3 - the prospect that after my last promotion, I'll have to wait on to move up more
4 - the fact that I am somewhat taken for granted as "the solver" - I know systems and people, and I am solution / goal oriented - if you have a crisis, I can sort it.

I have been approached by a recruiter for a position they would like me to consider. It is in a small specialist up and coming uni in a different part of the country - the position is a senior management one ahead of REF, with some research dimension. I am not sure what to do - it sure is flattering, but I don t know

While it could be a great opportunity
1 - I'd have to uproot my family
2 - there is always the prospect of the new team being as fucked up as my current one
3 - I am not sure what brexit will do to this small uni (my current one is old and rich, so we are not so worried)
4 - the subject is quite narrow and it could blinker a bit my rather wide current focus
5 - I am not sure I'd be happy in a management position (although I'm good in challenging roles)
6 - i don t want to send the wrong signals here or there by considering the offer not seriously

so... WWYD?

OP’s posts: |
JellyMouldJnr Sat 16-Sep-17 20:14:39

I've been in a similar position, and I did follow it up and apply. I didn't get the post but it did get me thinking about different options and I now have a job I like a lot more. There's nothing to be lost by applying - even if it goes nowhere it might just be a reminder to your current dept that you're not part of the furniture.

Marasme Sun 17-Sep-17 15:31:53

Thanks Jelly...
My uni has a reputation for calling people's bluff though, so not sure whether it'd be a little precarious - this said, there is no guarantee i'd get it or would even play the bargaining chip game with my uni.

The few people I have spoken to have so far told me to "be prepared to follow through" :/

OP’s posts: |
Yogafire Sun 17-Sep-17 21:06:34

I'd be reluctant tbh. It sounds like you have a good set up and I'd be nervous about moving to a less established uni. I also suspect many academic dpts are dysfunctional so I wouldn't include that as a factor, unless you have a specifically difficult situation to want to escape. I know this sounds like the boring option and a bit unambitious and it doesnt feel quite right not to be encouraging new challenges but I'm just thinking "if it were me..."
I am kind of in a similar position, although not being headhunted. I'm at a good uni and comfortable. I have considered moving as it could make logistics easier, but I've got the sense recently (including from academics corner mumsnet!) that my dpt may be exceptional in its pleasantness, plus being settled gives me more freedom for research. So I would only move to a similar or better university nearer where I want to be, or for a promotion, or for a move I was really sure was for the best. But yeah i feel like I have been in the same place a while now and that plays on my mind a bit

Yogafire Sun 17-Sep-17 21:09:39

Reading your post again, a senior management position is a major draw. It's a difficult one!

Yogafire Sun 17-Sep-17 21:10:15

And no harm in applying as jelly says

burninghigh Sun 17-Sep-17 21:12:46

I'm not in academia. But you have nothing to lose by applying and if nothing else as the pp said it may open your eyes.

Ttbb Sun 17-Sep-17 21:16:53

I wouldn't move away to a less established uni if I were you. Crap unis tend to have crap students. Hit your head against a wall repeatedly to cope with the stupidity type students.

burninghigh Sun 17-Sep-17 21:18:53

I agree with Ttbb though. Surely the aim of the game is to be at the most respected institution for your field?

RandomMess Sun 17-Sep-17 21:20:24

I'm at a crap uni, I'd be worried about it's financial viability...

Marasme Tue 19-Sep-17 06:34:57

Taking all your points onboard. Student quality is an unknown - it is specialist. Not sure if this help or not - however, my line manager is being obtuse at the mo - not sure i can take 10 more years of her splendid leadership...

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Tue 19-Sep-17 07:44:10

If you're not happy where you are, why not go for it?

Yogafire Tue 19-Sep-17 08:24:12

Flag the job up to your line manager so she goes for it ... ; )

misshannah Tue 19-Sep-17 08:51:24

They are all the same, I've fallen for the grass is greener several times. I am now on my 6th uni in 12 years. I have climbed my way up to a senior (admin) position but i have to say i feel like its the same poop just a different day. The issues are all the same, the people are all the same, the only difference is i'm in a different location. I've worked at big and small, independent and up and coming. I've also worked across several faculties and being centralised.

VeryPunny Tue 19-Sep-17 08:55:33

Echo PP who said that all academic departments are dysfunctional, like that quote from Anna Karenina.

geekaMaxima Tue 19-Sep-17 09:19:04

I see your Anna Karenina and raise you George Orwell grin
All academic departments are dysfunctional but some are more dysfunctional than others...

I've worked in truly awful and pretty good depts and there's a gulf between them. However, OP, the bad things you mention in your current dept don't sound truly awful, just run-of-the-mill poor management/leadership.

And given that Brexit is quite likely to put all universities under financial stress, I'd be reluctant to move from a financially stable institution to potentially rocky one until the smoke clears. Can you suss out how financially stable the new place is? (It's not necessarily related to size - look at what Manchester is doing at the moment).

Marasme Sat 23-Sep-17 12:07:33

thanks for the reply - random, I am not happiest, but also weary of the "grass greener" aspect.
There is a lot of shit at my uni, but I understand that we are not doing too badly in the context of the wider sector.
I am also worried about the implications of uprooting kids and DH (who does have a career of his own local to us in HE).

I will look into their financial stability, just in case!

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Sat 23-Sep-17 12:29:15

Any chance of something coming up at a commutable uni so worth waiting it out?

I think it would be good to apply in terms of brushing up your CV etc. If you were offered you could ask lots and lots of pertinent questions...

Hedgehoghogger Mon 25-Sep-17 08:47:54

Applying never hurts ...it is nice to get all your achievements on paper. Is the role the change you want?

Hedgehoghogger Mon 25-Sep-17 14:52:54

Also whilst I think most if not all places have aspects that will drive you crazy, it's a case of pick your poison. What crazy can you put up with best or will drive you the least crazy?

Do you particularly want a leadership position? If so sounds a good move, but with being prepared to move again if it all goes wrong. Men do it all the time ...

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