Somewhat miraculously, two jobs have cropped up on the series of tubes that are perfectly suited to my expertise and professional desires. They’re at somewhat different institutions, but both offer what I am looking for in terms of teaching, research support, and work/life balance.

One is a no-brainer: Private, large endowment, liberal arts focus for undergrads, not too huge, in a great location, good college sports scene (yes, I actually get into that), tenure-track, teaching both grad and undergrad, and in my exact area of specialty. I applied for that position the same day that I learned of it. I am truly excited about the possibility of getting that job.

The other is a bit complicated. It’s in a decent location, at a SLAC, low teaching load, and also in my specialty. However, it’s a visiting position. I’m conflicted as to whether I should even apply. Do I really want to spend yet another year on the market? Do I want to move somewhere that has nothing for the Spouse? Do I want to move to as many as 3 states in less than 5 years? The answer to all of these is no, but yet…it seems that this job is a step up from my current gig. It could theoretically lead to bigger and better things.

Do I take that chance, or do I doggedly pursue the tenure track? Would yet another contingent position more or less kill my career before it even starts?

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