Ups and Downs

Another interview tomorrow. This group took me hiking today; that was cool. Someone noted my interest in geocaching and put GPS coordinates along with the building and room numbers on my schedule for tomorrow. That was a nice touch. I laughed out loud. I sent a thank you.

All the photos in this post are from the hike.

* * *

At dinner tonight we were talking about the interview process and who to ask which questions. The first thing that came up was that when I meet with the Dean. That’s the person to ask if I have questions about pay, promotion, etc.. I do have some concerns about this; I think I have qualifications beyond entry level assistant professor. How do they intend to handle this? How do I intend to handle this?

Immediately, I can feel my anxiety level rising.

spiny seedpod

All of a sudden, I am acutely aware of all of the spiky things, and scared I will get hurt.

Breathe, breathe, breathe. (Yes, those breaths were taken that fast!) No right answer. No wrong answer. You get information about who you are dealing with (and they, likewise, get information on me).

With all the oh-so-encouraging information on women and negotiating, this thought is giving me a high stress moment. I want to win at this, but I don’t have a strategy for handling the conversation.

Picture of thin ice.

Negotiating can feel like skating on thin ice.

But. But. One of the secrets to negotiating jiu jitsu is to establish your worth and the benefit to the organization in giving you what you want. Maybe I don’t have to know how I’m going to handle this. At least, not yet. One of my big questions for the Dean — in fact, for everyone — is what could I do that would really make them happy if they hired me for the position? What can I do to knock the ball out of the ballpark in this job?

My first order of business is to find out what that is, and whether this is something I want to and can deliver. My second order of business is to get the offer. My third order of business is to negotiate the package that gets me out to the position that I want to accept.

Birch trees

There are many trees and many facets to this process and negotiation. Don’t lose sight of the forest, which is, ultimately, everyone’s satisfaction.

One step at a time. One step at a time, I can walk around the world. Watch me. But sometimes the secret is in knowing which step to take, and which direction to take it in.

I’ve negotiated in my past life. Sometimes I think I’ve been punished for it. That can definitely happen again. I can’t control what other people do. When I know more about these people, I will be better able to predict what they do. Regardless, I can only control me. Sometimes not even that! And the best job I can, right now, is to find out about this job, this university, this community, and how I would fit into it. What I can do to make it better. How I think I can become better in it.




leaf in a nest of thorns

Even in a nest of thorns, you may find one perfect leaf.