Career Transition

OK, this is just what I don't want to see in my email: information specifically directed to CAST (contract academic staff: teaching) about "career transitions." In other words: What to do when you are canned. Wow, how classy!

This document was prepared by Employee & Family Assistance Program (motto: "Healthy people, healthy workplace"), which is a part of the UofA's Human Resource Services. (The PDF document properties actually includes the name of the person who created it, but I don't want to embarrass her. That would not be classy.) It includes a lovely pastoral scene of a road stretching off far into the potential with opportunity trees providing gentle, sun-dappled prospect shade. Although I can't quite see what's off in the distance. Is it possibility? Promise?

Let's go through this document. Hmm, "Resume Writing, Interview Preparation." (I don't have a resume, I have a curriculum vitae, thank you very much. Sniff.) "Financial Consultation Service," "Career Consultation Service." Oooh, hey, lookit, "Counseling Services." I get to talk to a counselor about losing my job! That will help with my well-being! Er, but only for 3 months. (I guess after that, I will have gotten a job. Or I won't be depressed any more. Right?)

Now, to be fair (which I don't have to be, whyshouldI?), the Career Transition & Job Loss web page does have similar documents to this for other constituency groups: Career Transition Services for Support Staff, Career Transition Services for Administrative Professional Staff, Career Transition Services for Academic Staff. But somehow I doubt that anyone else got sent a blanket email distributing their career transition resources. Just contract academic staff.

Needless to say, getting this document freaked me out. A lot. Is this some sort of hint? Like showing the chicken the hatchet? Or was it a just-in-case sort of thing? Maybe HRS realizes that CAST will likely be the first choice in many departments to get cut. Despite my oft-demonstrated superior teaching skills (toot! tooting my own horn, toot!) when it comes down to money, sorry bub, you're the low man on the totem pole.

I did go and talk to some people about this. What I heard was reassuring: they don't want to get rid of me (or other contract staff in the Department), and they're trying to find other ways to save money--but, of course, nothing is guaranteed. So, I'm going to be a bit antsy until (if!?) my contract is renewed at the end of the summer. Yeah, I have to wait that long. Hey, look what's in my email. A notice that MacEwan University is hiring a lecturer in psychology. Excuse me while I go and prepare my resume...

Why aren't you studying?


Anonymous said...

Well with that long of a wait before you find out if you really will be canned, I guess there's no real point in worrying until then; whatever happens will happen regardless of how much worrying you do. I guess you could start planning for a 'career transition' just in case you don't get the contract renewal, assuming that helps with any anxiety you have.

amanda said...

I really hope they keep their word and keep you on board as a lecturer. You are one of the best lecturers in the psychology department! It will be a great loss for future UA Psych students if you're not there. =(

Needless to say, Grant Mac students will be lucky to have you, if worst comes to worst. Maybe you can make them do an exploration of the University of Alberta if you teach a 494-like lecture there! haha

Anastasia said...

Lovely. I love the pleasing picture most of all - I can almost hear them saying "Much like a relaxing walk in the park, getting canned is a wonderful experience with opportunities galore. Let us be the first to congratulate you on being a potential candidate who might be lucky enough to lose his job."

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