When to let your school know of a potential lateral move?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader asks:

Suppose you are in a TT position and you are shortlisted for another. Assuming that you would remain in your current school if they offered you more, when should you talk with the head of your department? Once you have been shortlisted (offering not to go to the interview)? Once you have been selected?

Good questions. My sense is that you should only let your department chair/school know once you have an actual outside offer in hand. Up until that point, you don’t actually have any bargaining power, and if you go to your department head any earlier, there’s a risk that you could alienate people at your university but end up stuck there anyway (if, for example, they know that you want to leave but you don’t get any offers). In fact, I was always told that you should only let an employer know about an outside offer if you would be willing to accept the offer and actually leave–as there is always some risk that if you let your employer know, your employer will say (in essence), “Goodbye and good luck!” And indeed, I know of some universities that basically don’t make counteroffers in cases like these to retain people. 

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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