ADVICE PLEASE! dream job - post-viva, but should I apply?


I'm in a rather depressed state :-( - if I had the luxury of choosing any job in the world, it'd be the lectureship recently advertised. But I don't suppose I stand a cat in hell's chance - I'm only in the process of completing my minor corrections (hope to have them signed of in a couple of weeks).

This is the job I've been working towards - basically I've been waiting for my old tutor to retire to have a crack at this post (I now specialise in his field). But it's taken me longer than anticipated to complete my PhD, due to family / financial / health problems a few years back. It's where I was encouraged to do a PhD (though I moved on to another uni), which I began with the hope that one day I could work there. I LOVE the uni - it's my 'spiritual' home - and am still friends with many of the staff.

On a more practical side, I have disability issues, and frankly chasing a job away from home is not an option - this job is 1/2 hr. away on the bus. And this job is open to job share, and so even better (I would certainly cope better with a part-time post). And I could work it around supporting my family

I don't know if I fulfil the criteria - specifies PhD (or close to completion), ability to contribute to research (I intend to publish several articles over the next year, but only have one publication, have done many conferences), need to show excellence in teaching & research (I've been teaching in HE for many years, but only Cont. Ed., have been a Res. Assoc. for many years, working independently, getting ready to publish a book of my findings)

I'm sure there'll be so many people applying for this - & I'm about as early career as it gets. But I feel that if I don't apply, I'll regret it (I'm now weeping at the thought of losing this chance!).

But then if I do, would I be a laughing stock (especially as I know staff, and have research links with the uni)?! My examiner works there - the up-coming job was mentioned, but it was not suggested that I should apply

I'm so gutted about the timing - in another year I could've had a batch of publications under my belt. Given my difficulties, it feels as this is my one and only chance at continuing in the field I love.

Should I apply? Or is such a move too risky? Would it prejudice me for the future? Do people ever get lectureships at this stage (it's a good uni, BTW!)? I'm far from brilliant (though my examiners said there were some good ideas in my thesis, that would inform their own studies).

Any advice?


I don't see why you shouldn't apply. You seem to be coming up with an awful lot of reasons against which I wouldn't have thought would occur to the other people concerned at all. For example looking like a laughing stock - sheesh!

Just apply. If you get it, brill. If not, move on and look for something else.

And as for the lack of publications do you know what your next ones will be about? I've applied for an Honorary Research Fellowship at my uni (I'm severely disabled, progressive neurological disease, and working in any form - even part-time - is totally not an option) and I listed the articles I was working on in my CV as well as those already published. I had titles for them and everything. Though it helped they were near to submission :)

Just apply. If all else fails it will be experience you can chalk up for the next job application. What have you got to lose? Nothing I think. Think positive!


Cheers for the encouragement, BilboBaggins.

I need to find some guts from somewhere! (I am rather 'backwards at coming forwards', as my grandmother used to say!)

I recently contacted the dept. in question (before the job add came out), to see if there was any teaching going (I directed my enquiry to the person dealing with this job), but have had no reply. I may wait and see what happens there. I also requested an official Hon. Res. Asst. position in order to continue a research project that has links with this uni. So I'm worried that I'm going to come across as the pushy-ist (or desperate) so-and-so ever if I apply for this job!

I guess I ought to start growing thicker skin if I want to enter academia!

Thanks for the comments


You do need a thick skin in academia, certainly! But I would definitely encourage you to apply.

The only job I've ever applied for - before the neurological disease got too bad - was a half-time Research Assistant post. And given my underlying disease and disability it took a lot of guts to go for it. But I thought what did I have to lose. I carefully crafted the CV to make me look in the strongest possible light. And I was short-listed for interview out of 60+ candidates, and I got it :) Only lasted a year (RA post), but that was enough. Was my sort of dream job. Ah. Memories!

But go for it!


Your experience is really, really encouraging! Good luck with your Hon. Res. Fellowship application!

I have often considered myself a lost cause, due to my disabilities & learning difficulties, so it's comforting that it can be done.

I'll perhaps talk to my sup. - he's one of my refs. (but I know he'll not be encouraging).

Thanks bilboBaggins



What, other than a little potential (and probably unjustified) embarrassment, have you got to lose. Reach for the stars and all that. You said yourself that you will regret not having tried. I think your reservations are completely understandable and I would feel exactly the same way in your shoes. But ask yourself how you'll feel if you don't apply and you find that the successful applicant is not much more experienced than you. I've let other people take opportunities from me without a fight because I was afraid to try so I mean this in the best possible way: grow a pair!

Good luck (up)


Thanks, Bleebles!

I'm in the process of writing a couple of module proposals etc., just in case I do apply. I may also write a covering letter - laying out why I think I'd be 'perfect' for the job might give me a confidence boost

I may also try to get some interest in a few papers (though doubt I have sufficient time for this, really), to organise 'in prep' publications. I'm also sorting out some conference paper applications, too.

But I musn't neglect my thesis corrections - need that PhD done & dusted!


go for it! :-). There is absolutely no reason why you should not apply, and you never know they might be expecting it, given that you will be the expert in the area. Make sure you get the paper work (C.V.) etc. as good as you can get it, and follow the rules about additional information if you are going to add any - some positions just want a cv to start with and then they send you the forms etc. . Talk yourself up and accentuate the positives, and I bet there are loads of those. You have to apply, otherwise you will always regret that you didn't do so, dream jobs don't come often.


Thanks Joyce - I'm drafting my covering letter now, and will tweek my CV to suite, over the weekend

Sending it all will be the problem - but the beauty (or downside) of online applications is the immediate push of the button (might get my boyfriend to actually do that - coward that I am!)


Glad to see that it looks as if you're going for it - you have everything to gain and nothing to lose except maybe a bit of hurt pride and some sleepless nights :-) Someone has to get that job and it may well be you, if it isn't, well, there'll be others and I'm a firm believer in things happening for a reason, if this isn't the one then its not right for you and something else will come along even better.
See it as experience and an opportunity to push yourself forward and hone your interviewing skills. I went for an RO position last year, was in the final two, didn't get it - darned good job actually, seeing the job in practice now I'd never have managed it but it hurt - within a month I'd been offered a perfect RA position on the same project, perfect hours to go with my PhD (if there is such a thing) on a s/t contract that has been extended three times now :-) If I'd got the RO my PhD would have been blown out of the water seeing the reality of the position, it just didn't suit although it looked perfect on paper - my RA is just great :-) (and there are times I feel sorry for the RO lol lol)
Just go for it, you're your own worst enemy, you have a PhD in the bag, you can do it, you have a future, go grab it :-)


Thanks Stressed!

As you say, it's all good practice. And, although the timing might in one way seem quite lousy, I could actually look at it in another way, and see it as pretty good!

I may re-write to the Dept. Head anyhow, telling him that I'm applying, but asking him to let me know, should he be interested in any support teaching before he engages someone permanently. (As I used to be on nodding terms with the man years ago, I'm tempted to drop in a sentence saying that I have no expectations about the job due to my early career status & the expected competition, to cover my embarrassment :$, but I suppose that's not particularly politic?!)


No I wouldn't say that! I would be totally the same as you in that I'd be nervous about applying if I thought it was a slim chance, but you can't ever let them know that before the application process! They have to think you are perfect for the job, so you have to seem confident and act as if you are the absolute most perfect person for it. Surely ask about some extra experience in the meantime, but do it to enhance your already glowing CV, to show how dedicated and enthusiastic you are about teaching etc. You've got to sell yourself the whole way, as cringeworthy as it feels!! ;-)


Yes don't say that: are you trying to lose yourself the job? :) Honestly, you have to start selling yourself more. And stuff embarrassment, and develop a thicker skin as we discussed!


======= Date Modified 27 Aug 2010 21:51:15 =======
Arggghhhhh *slaps Nearly...Finished with a fish* don't do that!! You are wonderful, you've achieved something amazing, of course you have expectations, and if you don't then fake it til its real :-) You are the flipping expert, its your specialisation, BELIEVE IT!!!! If you go in there saying basically 'sorry for applying, don't worry about my application cos I dont' think you'll want me' then they won't - go in there saying hey, I'm the person you're looking for, I'm the one that knows this work backwards, I'm perfect for the dept and the students YOU NEED ME - its enough to make your hair fall out with embarrassment (I have serious self confidence issues myself lol) but you've gotta show them (as my sup puts it) that you're a player and you're what they need - not the other way around... ;-) You don't need them!(sprout)

Now get out there, put on your professional persona and self yourself, don't offer yourself up bargain basement :-) Yes, offer them your teaching skills, they may well need that in the interim, but quit this negative chat 'I don't suppose I stand a cat in hell's chance', 'I don't know if I fulfil the criteria', 'would I be a laughing stock', 'I'm far from brilliant' - all putting yourself down - come on, get out there and do it, you've worked damned hard for many years through all sorts of unmitigated sh*t for this chance - you do stand a chance, you do fulfil the criteria, who the heck's gonna laugh at you, and yes, you are brilliant Dr!!!!!

Here endeth the lecture ;-) *puts down the fish*:p


Just have to agree with the strong reaction you've had in response to your idea. In a word: DON'T!!!

Again, I understand and have empathy for this tendency to play yourself down so you don't suffer the embarrassment of being shot down and having people believe that you think too much of yourself. It's your way of saying "I'm not getting above my station. Please don't laugh at me for being so foolish as to think I deserve this job". But what you actually would be saying is: "I lack experience, I doubt I'm the right person for the job and my application is simply me trying my luck". If you're going to brave this application, you've got to give it your best shot, which means put it all out there and risk the embarrassment. Ultimately, you have to have a convincing argument as to why you are the best person for the job (and, ideally, you should believe that argument - work on that). If you're the best person for the job, why would you tell them that you're probably not? Look at it from their point of view; why would you expect to have no chance?

Being aware of weaknesses in your application is important but only so you know how to address and compensate for those weaknesses. So forget this list of reasons you think you're not quite what they're looking for. Your job is to tell them that you ARE what they're looking for. Start that list!