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Dh job offer. Can this work?


1bassoon
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So. My dh has been offered a 1-year, temporary position at a college that's about 1100 miles from our home.

 

Background: Some of you may remember, dh moved us 1100 miles 7.5 years ago for a teaching job that turned out to be a bust. For 5 years, he's been under- or un-employed. This January, he was hired to work at a private school, full time, finally.

 

Enter this opportunity.

 

It is a temporary position. Dh does not have a doctorate, so he's not gotten any traction from colleges/unis he's applied to. It is his dream to teach at college.

 

The salary is about what he makes now. They're throwing in a $3000 travel allowance for him to fly back and forth maybe 6-7 times during the year.

 

Our only son will be a senior (homeschooled) next year. We have an older daughter entering her jr. year at a LAC here in town. Other younger daughters are 14, 12, and 8 - 14 and 12 heavily involved in a wonderful ballet studio.

 

We have struggled here mightily, but are rooted and have an amazing support network. My parents are 4 hrs. away in FL. His family is 1100 miles away in CT.

 

Option 1:

He takes the job. Lives away while ds finishes up his sr. year and looks at colleges. Comes home when he can, maybe once every 6 weeks.

 

Option 2:

He takes the job. We liquidate everything and move with dh. Hope something turns up after job is over.

 

Option 3:

He turns down the job. Stays put here, and either is content teaching h.s. music or tries to work on a online doctorate.

 

We've got about 2 weeks to decide. And we haven't told the kids yet.

 

Thoughts? Advice? Virtual hugs and/or chocolate?

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We own our house. . . .and no, he can't work on his doctorate where he'll be teaching. It's a one year, in-and-done, job.

 

When he's done, he'll have 1 year of college teaching at an "Instructor" level, not professor.

 

And. . . .then what?

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He will not get a full time job at a U long term that has job security w/o phd. If that is what he wants, he needs the degree. Otherwise he'll end up semesterly or yearly contract adjunct. I guess I'm not much of a risk taker. Can he take a leave of absence and get his current job back after 1 yr.? If so, I'd take option 1. Otherwise, I say stay where you are and figure out a long range plan for the degree.

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He will not get a full time job at a U long term that has job security w/o phd. If that is what he wants, he needs the degree. Otherwise he'll end up semesterly or yearly contract adjunct. I guess I'm not much of a risk taker. Can he take a leave of absence and get his current job back after 1 yr.? If so, I'd take option 1. Otherwise, I say stay where you are and figure out a long range plan for the degree.

 

This. OK, thank you. THIS puts in words what I need to say to him.

 

Here's the deal - he's about to turn 47, and I think he thinks this may be his last chance. But we can't figure out how he can get his PhD and we can still eat and keep a roof over our heads.

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Well, given that he doesn't have a phd and won't be closer to it, I wouldn't give up the security of the current job, let alone disrupt the family structure, for the one year job.

 

So, if it were my call, he'd turn down the job, keep at what he's doing, and not uproot the family (or leave us!) for a short-term gig.

 

So, I vote for option 3. If dh were not willing to do option 3, then option 1 if we own a house or option 2 if we rent.

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That's what I think.

 

*but*

 

It is going to be very, VERY hard for dh.

 

Like, soul-crushingly hard.

 

:bored:

 

Well, I have extremely old-fashioned opinions about the immeasurable importance of job satisfaction for the sole breadwinner. It is incredibly important to me that my DH is happy and satisfied with his work. However, my concern would be what happens when that year is up? There is potential for him to be worse off than now. After 5 years of struggling, how demoralizing would it be to be back to square one in a new place without the connections you have now?

 

Can he work on his PhD where you are now? I would make that the priority. In your shoes, I would set a short term goal of him starting a program, even if a loan is necessary. I would set a long term goal of working at a college. Surely his teaching experience at the high school paired with a PhD would make him a more competitive candidate for a prof position later than teaching for one year without a PhD?

 

I would focus on the positives and real, achievable goals. :grouphug:

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He will not get a full time job at a U long term that has job security w/o phd. If that is what he wants, he needs the degree. Otherwise he'll end up semesterly or yearly contract adjunct. I guess I'm not much of a risk taker. Can he take a leave of absence and get his current job back after 1 yr.? If so, I'd take option 1. Otherwise, I say stay where you are and figure out a long range plan for the degree.

 

:iagree: Even people with PhD's frequently don't make it in academia (at the college-level) and either go to industry or lower-level teaching. It might be possible for your DH to go back for his PhD...he'll receive a stipend (which isn't much) but he can try to supplement with part-time work. I would vote for option 3. I know it's your Dh's dream to teach at the college-level, but I'm not sure how the experience of a year teaching in an adjunct position will help him get a tenured position w/o a PhD.

 

ETA: We've been able to go back to graduate school even with 4 kids, but it will depend on your personal circumstances.

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I hate this for your dh, but I think option 3 is best. Having done the separation thing for a job, I can tell you that it is NOT easy. We were not cut out for it at all. If he were younger with no kids, it would be completely different. However, if he can't get the degree he needs, he'll never make it long at a college. Even with a phd, I've read that it's not easy to find and keep a position. I do feel badly for your dh though.

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That's the thing: if this were a full-time position, if they'd hire him even with just a Master's, I'd really think about option 1.

 

But for 1-year? And the prof leaving is VERY popular, his wife is on faculty at the college, and his family lives there? It just doesn't look like there is a possibility of him staying on. (Which I know does happen sometimes at these places)

 

I really like what Alte Veste said: we need to focus on short- and long-term, and find a way for him to get his PhD.

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If there WAS some way he could work towards his PhD at the same time, then Option 1 might work brilliantly - he would have extra time available without normal family responsibilities. Otherwise, I'd probably opt for Option 3. I wouldn't move a family for a 1 year contract, unless it provided the opportunity to live somewhere really exciting.

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I'm sorry (for your husband's sake) to say that I would go with #3 as well. I think it's a time where doing what benefits the whole family should win out over the fulfillment of a dream. There's just too much uncertainty to quit the current job or to uproot everyone. What a hard decision for him to make! :grouphug:

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Do I understand correctly that your husband teaches music? I teach at a university, but not music. However, looking at the website for our well-regarded university music school, I see that the faculty structure seems to be a bit different than in the arts and sciences, with many more additional 'lines' (adjunct artist, adjunct lecturer, etc.). The tenure-track faculty all appear to have Ph.Ds or D.M.As, but most of the others, even those who have been here a long time and are surely on some kind of long-term contract, do not, although they have other serious musical accomplishments.

 

All that is to say, if this is indeed a job in music, I think that your husband should talk to someone who really knows the academic music world before making a decision. Does he know anyone who teaches in this same department? If not, then someone else who teaches in a music department at another, preferably similar school? This situation strikes me as highly context-specific and I have to think that it would be extremely useful for him to get honest feedback and advice about the array of choices before him from someone in that same world. Even if this particular job isn't the right one to justify uprooting you all, it sounds like he could use some help formulating a long-term plan.

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Do I understand correctly that your husband teaches music? I teach at a university, but not music. However, looking at the website for our well-regarded university music school, I see that the faculty structure seems to be a bit different than in the arts and sciences, with many more additional 'lines' (adjunct artist, adjunct lecturer, etc.). The tenure-track faculty all appear to have Ph.Ds or D.M.As, but most of the others, even those who have been here a long time and are surely on some kind of long-term contract, do not, although they have other serious musical accomplishments.

 

All that is to say, if this is indeed a job in music, I think that your husband should talk to someone who really knows the academic music world before making a decision. Does he know anyone who teaches in this same department? If not, then someone else who teaches in a music department at another, preferably similar school? This situation strikes me as highly context-specific and I have to think that it would be extremely useful for him to get honest feedback and advice about the array of choices before him from someone in that same world.

 

It is music, yes.

 

Many music schools hire adjuncts, etc quite a bit b/c of financial and time constraints. My bassoon professor, for example, was an adjunct. He taught at 2 different unis and gigged out of NYC. Right now, my dh is an adjunct at two local LACs. But he has been advised that he needs to get a doctorate - either a PhD or an EdD - if he wants to be a professor. He doesn't have the professional playing experience to qualify him at just the Master's level.

 

He's been talking with other music faculty at his current school, and they are pretty encouraging. But the head of the music school basically said, "Too bad you don't have a doctorate. Then we could actually DO something with you." Even for him to be ABD would be helpful. . . . .

 

ETA: Boston University has an online music doctorate program. Dh applied about 2-3 years ago, and was not accepted.

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It is music, yes.

 

Many music schools hire adjuncts, etc quite a bit b/c of financial and time constraints. My bassoon professor, for example, was an adjunct. He taught at 2 different unis and gigged out of NYC. Right now, my dh is an adjunct at two local LACs. But he has been advised that he needs to get a doctorate - either a PhD or an EdD - if he wants to be a professor. He doesn't have the professional playing experience to qualify him at just the Master's level.

 

He's been talking with other music faculty at his current school, and they are pretty encouraging. But the head of the music school basically said, "Too bad you don't have a doctorate. Then we could actually DO something with you." Even for him to be ABD would be helpful. . . . .

 

ETA: Boston University has an online music doctorate program. Dh applied about 2-3 years ago, and was not accepted.

 

Ah, I see. He must feel terribly frustrated.

 

I agree that quitting his current job for a one-year job filling in for an established professor whose spouse is also on faculty seems like a bad idea. Is there anything else he can do to get on track for a doctorate? Is focusing on getting more professional playing experience even an option at this stage, or does it just really have to be a degree?

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Ah, I see. He must feel terribly frustrated.

 

I agree that quitting his current job for a one-year job filling in for an established professor whose spouse is also on faculty seems like a bad idea. Is there anything else he can do to get on track for a doctorate? Is focusing on getting more professional playing experience even an option at this stage, or does it just really have to be a degree?

 

I think it's just the degree: his theory (ha - no pun intended) was that the BU program had so many qualified applicants, he didn't make the cut (his GRE score was atrocious - he took it many years ago)

 

He could do 1-year residency at the state uni about an hour from here; but honestly I don't know how we'd survive financially. We're already reeling from his long bout of unemployment (lots of consumer debt and no savings).

 

You're right; "terribly frustrated" is the appropriate term here.

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That's what I think.

 

*but*

 

It is going to be very, VERY hard for dh.

 

Like, soul-crushingly hard.

 

:bored:

 

Well, the fact is, he doesn't know that he will love the new job; he just thinks he will love it.

 

And if he really and truly does love it, it will be even more soul-crushingly hard for him to leave it after a year.

 

I wish I could say I thought he should take the job, but to give up a steady position for a temporary one seems entirely foolish to me, even if the temporary position was right around the corner from where you live right now -- and this is even worse, because he'd have to move away from your family to do it.

 

And FWIW, if my dh ever told me he was thinking about taking a temporary position that would require him to quit his current job and move away from home, I would be incredibly angry about it. Dreams are nice to have, but you don't leave your family to chase them, especially when this particular dream has absolutely no long-term benefit for either your dh or the family. If anything, it will be harmful on both an emotional level and a financial level if he can't get another job when the year is up.

 

Why would he even consider doing this? :confused:

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I'm she'll shocked from our 16 month layoff, even though dh has had a job for 2 years now. So, please take that into consideration.

 

#3 is the option I would choose. I need the stability. But,bthat's my personality too. I'm not adventurous at all. I understand it's your dh's dream. That would be hard to give up. It would be very hard on our marriage. And I would hate for my dh to miss out so much on the kids' lives. JMO, please don't take offense, if it were my husband, I'd be resentful and feel he's being selfish. I don't know, it's a tough line to draw between following one's dreams and being selfish. At this time in our lives, i'd have a very hard time.

 

If you're okay with it and want a change then #2.

If you're okay with it and don't want to move, #1.

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Are there any other on-line options for a phD? Or is there some way during the year away he could study to increase his chances of getting accepted. He would have to end the year with a year of work experience plus something else to justify choice 1, choice 2 sounds too much. Moving is very expensive and you don't need more debt.

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In such a terrible job market I would advise your dh to hold on to his current job with both fists and thank the Almighty that he has one. No way no how would my dh be working that far away from me for a year if he had a job, a mortgage, and a family who needs him.

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I vote for Option #3, PLUS, if you can afford it, he begins a Ph.D. program, via "Distance Learning".

I personally know at least three (3) people who have received a Ph.D., in Education, via Distance Learning. One, many years ago, was a colleague, with an M.S. in Math, who got fed up with the instability of working in industry. I believe he got his Ph.D. from Nova University in Florida and he worked for years, for a Junior College District in Texas. I believe he began working there, when he had the M.S. degree, but one does need a Ph.D., at the Jr. College/College/University level.

 

The two (2) others work for Private Secondary schools here in Colombia. They participated in a Distance Learning program, from Western Carolina University. This was a few years ago. Even at the Secondary level, if one wants to be in Management, a Ph.D. is a big "plus". They are both Directors of their schools here.

 

If he gets a Ph.D., it will make him more marketable. Also, in the academic world, writing a book is a big plus. My friend with the Math degree wrote a book about Calculus or something, with a colleague.

 

GL to your family and I am sending you virtual hugs and virtual Chocolate.

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No don't do it. There is no benefit long term.

 

-keep teaching and work online to get degree to get to dream job

 

-talk to kids, they may surprise you but at their age their opinion matters

 

-you have a home. No way to leaving unless you could sell without loss.

 

-It's contract, aim big for permanent job.

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My dh is a contractor and the last several years has work 6-8 month jobs. We have travelled with him (only 1 dc and 1 dog) for all but 1 job. That job had him changing locations every few days and dd was extremely young then. The job lasted 3-4 months and it was hard for all of us. He came home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

Being away from home as much as we are can be hard, but dh makes good money and doesn't have trouble getting the next contract job even if he takes a few months off after her completes a job. I think it would be a no go if it was a 1 time thing and then it would be difficult to get work after that.

 

My SIL is a professor not of music, but a professor none the less. I would agree with having your dh talk to other profs about having his PhD and teaching at a college. It has many challenges, also find out how difficult to end up teaching in the type of college that he wants to teach at. The "good" colleges may have very few slots for profs open and can be very competitive.

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As the sole breadwinner, he has to take his entire family into consideration. Giving up a permanent job for a 1-year temp job 1100 miles away is not a good idea, especially since it is clear that he will not be able to finish his degree anytime soon. A permanent job is not likely given his qualifications.

 

I would stay put and look into PhD programs in Education.

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That's what I think.

 

*but*

 

It is going to be very, VERY hard for dh.

 

Like, soul-crushingly hard.

 

:bored:

I am from a similar background and age as your husband. I did not finish the dissertation. Granted, I am not the breadwinner. We have many friends who are academics, all with Ph.Ds. I'll be honest, if you don't have a Ph.D., a full time job is hard to come by. Does he teach part-time? Around here many people teach at three universities/colleges part-time when they don't have a Ph.D. Many have done it for years. One year appointments come up here and there and these people take them and then they go back to the driving between schools. They have no benefits. However, it is not enough to support a family. Even with a Ph.D., many don't get their dream jobs. While he may be crushed, the reality is it isn't going to work.

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I would most likely do 3. You're settled there, your son is a senior -- last year at home, your husband finally has a full-time job (maybe not the dream job but hopefully he can keep plugging away at his doctorate).

 

UNLESS

 

Does he think taking the job for a year would help him get his dream job? Would that experience benefit him?

 

If so, and if you could get a leave of absence for a year (so he would get his present job back when he returns), you find someone to watch your house for you -- maybe rent it to a friend, and your family joins him for the year with the attitude of it being a fun year away.

 

We did that for a year about 6 years ago, when my husband was considering opening a branch office in a different city. We found a rental and all moved there for about 8 months. We kept our house here, and in the end returned.

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Thank you all so, so much. You are so encouraging to me!

 

He almost didn't even go for the interview, b/c he knew that the likelihood of him being able to swing this was so low.

 

It has been GOOD for his ego to be "wanted" by someone. . . . . and it really is a great school for his skill set.

 

But. I am so blessed, that he really does understand that he has a responsibility to the entire family, just not himself. In the end, I think he will turn the job down. But it hurts my heart for him.

 

The advice I have gotten from everyone is helping me to know how to encourage him: towards working on his PhD or Ed D from right here, and moving on towards there. If you are a praying type, I would appreciate prayers for me, that I have great wisdom to speak the truth in love.

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Yes, I'd stay put. At first I thought "maybe," but if he is teaching music at the college level, his chances are going to be slim. As you know, music departments are not doing at all well these days, so his long-term prospects teaching at the college level are going to be tough with or without a PhD.

 

I teach a STEM field at the college level, and it is tough enough for me to consistently get adjunct contracts with so many displaced professionals. I have almost no chance of going full-time in the next five years because of that and the overall budget cuts in higher education. But I'm not the breadwinner either, and have other contract work with better prospects.

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This. OK, thank you. THIS puts in words what I need to say to him.

 

Here's the deal - he's about to turn 47, and I think he thinks this may be his last chance. But we can't figure out how he can get his PhD and we can still eat and keep a roof over our heads.

 

 

I'm speaking as one who just has been through a big, heaping dose of reality because I waited too long to make a move back into my career--either getting by getting back into the work force or pursuing another advanced degree. In my state, 45+ year-old educators are not high in demand because younger (aka inexpensive, trained in up-to-date methods, not soon to draw from the pension system) candidates are a dime a dozen.

 

Unless your husband has a truly impressive performance, teaching, or publishing background that would raise him to the top of a list of candidates, in this economic climate I'd be encouraging sticking with the more stable path in a location where he can pick up adjunct positions. I'd also be prepared for him to dig in and give it that one more try, but I wouldn't relocate the family unless the new region was very desirable.

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As the sole breadwinner in my household, I have to agree with those that say Option 3 is the best choice. However, I would encourage him to keep looking at alternative ways to pursue his dream job. As Napoleon Hill said in Think and Grow Rich, "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." I don't know your spiritual situation, but I believe that reliance on God combined with self confidence and determination can take anyone a long way.

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Option 3. I know you said he's 47, but he could conceivably teach part time at a university until he's really old. I had some teachers in their 70s when I was in college. My DH would like to get his Masters/PhD when he retires and teach. But for right now, he took a job that's not in his chosen profession just because it pays the bills. Not that he hates it, but it's not his dream job either. That's got to wait.

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fwiw, three things:

 

1) in our experience, instructors rarely become faculty. dfil was a professor, and was hired "tenure track". he had many instructors who were just always instructors until they moved on.

2) oldest dd is a professor. she was hired tenure track. she is in canada, because most universities in the u.s.a. have a faculty hiring freeze, which is why they are hiring instructors to fill in the gaps.

3) dh did a phd in his 40s, working full time, attending school part time. we had our last two babies while this chaos was happening. it was nuts. he is NOT a professor, having grown up in the household of one and seeing the stresses of doing research and teaching and bringing in money. dd went to a teaching university rather than a research university because of this, although she is currently chomping at the bit to do research. go figure.....

 

so given what little i know, i'd say this isn't his last chance to become staff of a university. it may be his last chance to teach at one for one year, or maybe two. how are you with uncertainty?

 

hugs,

ann

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I would encourage him to focus on what his current position (which he's only had for two months after five years of looking, correct?) has in common with his dream job. He's still teaching music, and he can make a meaningful contribution to his students' lives. He just isn't teaching music at a college. Bloom where you're planted, etc. He can still look into getting his Ph.D.

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Yep. My only exception would be if my husband was absolutely miserable.

 

 

Yes. . . .and when he applied for this job (back in October), he was still cleaning carpets full time, with nothing on the horizon. But now that he's working full-time in music, things are looking up a bit; that makes this a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

 

But even if he were cleaning carpets, it would still be a hard decision.

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This. OK, thank you. THIS puts in words what I need to say to him.

 

Here's the deal - he's about to turn 47, and I think he thinks this may be his last chance. But we can't figure out how he can get his PhD and we can still eat and keep a roof over our heads.

 

 

Even with a PhD these days it is quite difficult to get any tenure positions in colleges. I have read plenty of articles saying that people cannot count on being more than an adjunct at universities which is a part time, non-tenured position.

 

I would look at the job prospects in the 2 cities. I would look at the prospects of a PhD paying off in his field since often PhDs do not pay off these days. I would think long and hard before I gave up a full time job unless there were a lot more good job prospects in the new city.

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