DH’s company is ending a month early and I decide to stop putting off going up for full

DH’s job was supposed to end in December, but they lost a small contract (recession-related), so it is ending at the end of November (they are still paying for health insurance for another month).

DH has been baking a lot of bread.  But for the most part he seems fine.  I keep reminding him that he could actually just never work again and we will still be ok.  But I assume he’ll probably want to, knowing him.  And I can’t lie– I really really liked being high income and just not having to think about money AT ALL.

Having looked over our finances, I want more wiggle room.  I want to not have to draw down savings at all until DC1 is in college, even though we could go through quite a bit of savings and still be fine long-term.  I also want to do that without having to worry about cutting expenditures.

So what that means is that I need to make more money.

There will be no raises in the foreseeable future.  Except the 10% raise people get with promotion.  I sure could use another 10% raise.

I have been putting off going up for full for YEARS at this point.  Mainly I wanted an equity bump first (that finally came last year) because I figured it would be harder to get at full since there’s so much more variation in full professor salaries than associate professor (some people do just stop researching and are fine with that).  And then second mainly is that there are a LOT of committees that I am wanted on and a lot of committee leadership positions I will be tapped for once I’m a full professor.  I’m fresh meat and I actually get things done.  Specifically I’ve been avoiding heading the P/T committee because I wanted to wait until we were done with a likable junior faculty member who wasn’t doing great’s case.  But Covid has put that off another year.  I can’t wait hir out forever.  PLUS zie is doing a LOT better– after the dismal third year review, zie actually started getting new work done instead of shipping the same dissertation papers, and everything has been hitting, so it’s a less depressing (but potentially more contentious) case.  And at this point I’ve been put on so many committees that don’t require being full professor that it might be nice to swap out some of those.

I’m hoping not to head the curriculum committee because that involves a lot of herding cats.  The curriculum committee head very much wants me to take over.  One of the things I absolutely hate is trying to get other faculty members to answer emails for service reasons.  If I have to do something, I’d rather head P/T, mainly because I have been on SO MANY of these that I think I know how to write the letters at this point and I like the mentoring aspects.  I don’t think I would do as good a job as the current head who is a brilliant writer for these kinds of reports, but his three year term will soon be up again so someone would replace him anyway.

Another reason I delayed was because I had a little gap in my publications… not technically a gap, but I did a bunch of invited things that got easy pubs at second tier journals (literally 5 in one year, though it’s more spread out on my cv), and some other servicey stuff for a grant in higher education journals, and then a bunch of grant proposals and new work of opportunity including lengthy data collection, which meant … basically I hadn’t had a top field pub in like 3 years, which is embarrassing.  [And WAY too much service for the department, but that’s another post.] But I have a solid pub forthcoming (even though it should have published better than it did, but what can you do), I have 3 little papers under review, and I have one paper that just needs about a month more work and it should place in a top field journal (I may send it higher first)… and some other papers.  Basically what I’m saying is my pipeline was unbalanced but I’ve gotten through the clog, so I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have people look at my body of work and write letters at this point.  And my google scholar page looks impressive– all my highest cited works are single-authored.

Anyhow… money is not the stupidest reason to go up for full.  And presumably with DH at home I will not have to worry about what is for dinner or if the laundry needs to be done at all.

I should also work on some more grants, I guess.  If it weren’t for money, I would wait until I was done with my current backlog.  But I have two big grants coming to a close this year and only one small grant starting up.  So…

I guess DH being unemployed is theoretically good for my career?


17 Responses to “DH’s company is ending a month early and I decide to stop putting off going up for full”

  1. Anonymath Says:

    Money was the primary reason I went up for full (departmental politics was the other), and it eventually all worked out, and I even received a small equity raise as well.

  2. mnitabach Says:

    From your descriptions here, sounds like you’d be a slam dunk for promotion to full Professor!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, I’m not worried about it. I’m at an R1 but not like, Michigan or anything. The one concern is that I’m a bit of a dilettante, but since I am still one of the leading experts on two separate topics I think I’ll be forgiven all the cruft I’ve been doing in addition. If I’d gone up like 3 years ago there would be less random stuff and it would be easier for the poor letter writers. But the longer I put it off the worse it’s going to get for letter writers having to get papers they have zero interest in.

      • mnitabach Says:

        Letter writers who are supportive & savvy can/do definitely seize on the fox/hedgehog bsns as a positive. As another fox, it definitely was deployed to my advantage.

    • pyrope Says:

      I don’t know what a fox vs. hedgehog means, but I want to be a fox :)

  3. revanche @ a gai shan life Says:

    Since he’s actually supportive and does stuff around the house, his being unemployed probably would be good for your ability to handle the work that comes with the promotion. PiC is similarly supportive, his job isn’t as big as mine (though it pays more which irks) so he takes the lion’s share of the household burden. It frees me to handle my more than full time work, money management and the childbearing bit.

  4. omdg Says:

    Rooting for you over here! Money is NOT a stupid reason, and frankly, it sounds like a reasonable thing for you to do. So glad there is a miniature silver lining to DH’s unemployment.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

  6. First Gen American Says:

    Good luck. It’s hard to do it all when the kids are small. Seems like everything is falling into place as this being the right time to go for it.

  7. Julia Says:

    How does it work if you get full and then switch institutions? Or if you got full does that mean that you wouldn’t move?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      If I get full here that doesn’t mean I would be hired with full elsewhere. I could still apply to associate professor positions, and if I were willing to forgo tenure, assistant professor positions, though that’s a harder sell.

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