Monday, January 2, 2012

Best-laid plans

Speaking of which (which what?  Huh?  Whatever!), I'm on the job hunt again.  My part-time contract expires at the end of June, and I like the idea of working where I live too much to give up on the university completely (although I'd like it much more if the benefits kicked in full-force and the paycheck were, well, commensurate with my skills--despite the, you know, shameful Ay-Bee-Dee).  So, I'm determined to do three things:

1.  Make myself indispensable internally.

2.  Make myself indispensable to the boss's boss's office.

3.  Check out what else is open in the 'hood.

The trick with #1 and #2 is, though, to act not as if I'm worried about not finding a job (Hello, Dale Carnegie, I may already have made that mistake, so there may be an impression to correct), but as if I'm getting ready to wrap up a 10-month consulting gig by contract end.  In other words, I'm delivering my deliverables--and then some, since "overdelivering" (one of those classic marketing terms I picked up along the way) is a biggie when it comes to creating customer loyalty.  Take today, for example, when a simple email conversation with the legal folks all of a sudden had the boss's boss on the cc line because hey, there was an idea, and then there was light and the light was good and probably pretty impressive, most likely setting the upper echelon's hearts aflutter because, hey, it looked like I knew what I was talking about.

That and the prospect of money.  Which is why I am about to create and not one, but two separate job descriptions for what I think needs to be accomplished to "move the institution forward."

Of course, said job descriptions need to be shopped around--which means networking, working through TBIK to get audiences with Teh Important People, and "accidentally" leaking these documents, along with an updated resume, to the powers-that-be.  I mean, who hasn't had an unintended name on the cc list ever in her or his life, right?  Or who could ever completely control the forward trail for documents sent out for confidential (*cough cough*) review?  These are the things I will need to work in the coming couple of days and next week, before all budget decisions are made.

Speaking of which (again?), a good third strategy might be to create competition, both internally and externally.  So, after doing all the working and networking in the previous paragraphs, then some, and then some more, waltzing in with an external offer in hand and ask how much they are prepared to counteroffer should seal the deal--aka the old academic game.  Now, given the short timeframe and the complete overabundance of Supreme Ruler of the Universe jobs in this town, that might not happen in the next week.

But it may need to happen, anyway, since academia has the annoying habit of getting sh*t done at the eleventh hour, and I'm getting too old for these shenanigans.  Plan B, you see.  Or, in this case, Plan C.

Plan D will, as always, be to cry hot salty tears into my nonexistent mousepad.