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« Vegetarianism Open Thread (CBD) | Main | New Series: The Home Improvement/DIY Thread - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse and Countrysquire] »
March 22, 2014

#WarOnWomen Strikes Again! - [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

The Wall Street Journal tweeted the following this morning:

Since I am presently seeking employment, I thought the article might be helpful. Alas, it was not. Well, perhaps, but only in the sense that it was instructive as to how quick some are to jump to the conclusion that, since the subject is a woman, obviously sexism must be at play.

The academic, who was referred to as “W” in the original post on the blog Philosophy Smoker, asked in a brief email for five sweeteners, including a salary bump to $65,000 (it’s not clear what the original offer was), a pre-tenure sabbatical, and a semester of maternity leave.

Her would-be employer, Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, responded by withdrawing its offer, noting that her requests indicated the philosopher would be happier at a larger and less “student centered” university.

What went wrong?

Many observers suggest that, even in the age of Lean In, sexism was at play, especially given the request for maternity leave. Indeed, if W were a man and had asked for all the same sweeteners, minus the maternity leave, would he have been so handily dismissed? We’ll never know in this specific case, though plenty of research suggests that women negotiate less, and are viewed as too aggressive when they do play the game.

You see... I look at her demands, listed more specifically at The Philosophy Smoker blog, and I see a potential candidate more interested in negotiating the time spent NOT doing her job: A sabbatical prior to tenure, a full semester of maternity leave, and a start date in 2015.

These requests of her employer lead me to believe that this woman is so far removed from the condition of the jobs market that she thinks she, alone, might fill their vacancy. It leads me to believe that she believes that she possesses some magically glowing aura that makes her simply irresistible to employers. Or... perhaps. in the world of academia, these types of requests are considered par for the course, in which case.... Are you kidding me?!

Let's assume a man had asked for the same concessions that this female candidate had requested. After all, men are entitled to FMLA leave as well. Do you suppose the results would have been different? I do not. And, I find it incredible that anyone would.

You know those houses you see which are perpetually for sale, year after year? The ones which, every few months or so, have a sign for a different realtor in the front yard?

That's what happens when someone (I'm looking at you, my next-door neighbor) has determined herself/himself to be the one magical unicorn that will sell her/his house for top dollar at a time when the market has tanked by 50%.

Nied's Simple Tip For Assessing Your Market Value: Is the unemployment rate above 6%? Can anyone else perform the job you are applying for?

If the answer to these two questions is "Yes", then you are not a special snowflake.

I am a pretty good negotiator but I can tell you this, in this market, I am likely to accept any offer that isn't an outright insult with an enthusiastic "Thank you!" and be happy to put dinner on the table at night. Once I prove my value to the employer, then I might have a leg to stand on in negotiating a perk or two and, if not, I can continue to look for work elsewhere from the comfort of a paying job.

In summary, I am left to believe that despite her academic achievements, this particular candidate is lacking, at the very least, perspective. Worse, she seems to be lacking in common sense.

This is just my take, and I'm sure my opinion varies from some of yours.

What's your take? How far is too far in negotiating in the current job market?

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:20 PM

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