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Rehab for (recovering) academics.
Negotiating job offers 
29th-Jul-2014 08:58 am
AA, I'd like some advice. I'm in the process of interviewing for jobs at the moment, and had an interview for a two year post at a very good university yesterday, and for a permanent lectureship at a less stellar (but up and coming) place this morning. I've just been offered the first one, and the second one say they'll let me know early next week.
So now I need a tactful way of saying to the second place "I need an answer sooner than early next week so I can decide whether or not to take the shorter-term post" and/or a tactful way of saying to the first place "I need a few days before I can confirm so I can hear back from the place with the permanent post on offer".
Suggestions please?
29th-Jul-2014 01:04 pm (UTC) - Just be honest
It is entirely acceptable to inform the place with the later decision that you have received an offer with a decision deadline of x. Given that, you would appreciate a response as soon as possible, or at least information on when you could expect a decision from them, so that you can negotiate with the offering school or request a decision extension from them. Just be honest. They understand the market and (usually) won't try to make your life more difficult than possible.

Edited at 2014-07-29 01:06 pm (UTC)
30th-Jul-2014 04:59 pm (UTC) - Re: Just be honest
That's basically what I was going to say.
29th-Jul-2014 02:53 pm (UTC)
Both of the statements you say you'll make to those potential employers sound reasonable. You might do well to change 'I need' to 'Please may I have' but otherwise, this sounds like a chance to show how fabulous and sought-after you are. Then if the choice ends up being yours, I say choose the one that feels right.

You might also ask yourself how realistic it will be to build relationships with people at Univ A while working at Univ B or vice versa. In these days of good roads and Internet, perhaps you can collaborate with whoever doesn't end up being your boss.

Edited at 2014-07-29 05:44 pm (UTC)
29th-Jul-2014 05:20 pm (UTC)
Straight honesty is the tactful way to go here. It is understood that candidates may have competing offers, and I've served on search committees where we actually appreciated a candidate telling us they needed our decision soon, because it allowed us to put pressure on a slow-moving dean because we wanted to move the process along too. Obviously things don't always happen like that, but just tell the search committee chair that you have another offer and need to decide by X, and is there any way they can make a decision sooner.

For the other school, I wouldn't say that the other position is permanent and that's why you want to wait, but you can certainly ask if they can give you more time to decide.
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