Knowing when to go on to the job market is just one of the challenges that tenure-track academics face. At Vitae, career coach and author Rena Seltzer tells Cornell University's John Cawley that beginning a job search can be tricky, especially if you're mostly interested in using any offer you may receive to re-negotiate with your current institution.
In that case, Seltzer says to first make sure you are familiar with the norms of your field so that you treat everyone you encounter with respect since you'll likely run into them again during the course of your career.
She further advises that candidates rely on more than one mentor. That way, you'll get a wider view of departmental politics, funding, managing work-life balance, and more. She also says to cultivate a wider network that also includes peers and more junior faculty who have the scoop on certain topics.
"People in your network can champion your candidacy, warn you off of scholars who are known to write negative letters, fill you in on the level of collegiality in a particular department, and advise you on the best strategy for negotiating your offer," Seltzer says.
She also offers some advice on how to sidestep questions about marital or parental status as well as ways that search committees themselves can try to avoid bias in their hiring practices.