Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Maybe I don't have job security?

When I got this awesome job that I love, I wrote, "This is a place I can stay for a many years and hopefully make a career." Unfortunately, it doesn't feel nearly that secure anymore. The boat got rocked seriously last fall when my boss's boss got reorganized out of a job. It was happening at the same time we were doing budgeting for 2015. I realized I didn't write about it at all at the time, but by the end of the year things settled well.


It took a while to figure it all out, but in December we (meaning me and my boss) realized that instead of having organization support PLUS the remains of a grant, for 2015 we have ONLY the remains of the grant that created my job. For 100% of my salary & benefits and 50% of someone else's. My project does not currently have enough money to pay my salary for the second half of 2015. 

We have some prospects for other funding but nothing exactly on the way. There are people in other groups who help with stuff like this, so it's not just my responsibility, but clearly I've got the biggest stake in its success. One possibility that we thought might work out (and the 2015 budget was actually counting on it) probably won't. I mentioned that kind of casually somehow to our accounts person (mistake!) who mentioned it casually to my boss's boss's boss (eek). 

The timing could not have been worse. The organizational leadership has vaguely referred to making big cuts because of a budget shortfall, but we haven't been told what will be cut. Everyone is under pressure to save money and bring in more.

Shortly after that conversation, my boss's boss's boss suddenly appeared in my office (everyone between us was out of town) and asked if my project was going to be $X short in 2015. I think I managed to put out that fire because we still have some funding prospects, but she's definitely concerned and said we might have to make "hard decisions" if there's not more money coming in by mid-April (we're ok through June). 

My project has good longer-term funding potential, but it might need some kind of stopgap funding to get us through 2015. I have some meetings later this week about it. I am still optimistic that something will work out, but it's making me and the rest of my team sweat.

Sounds pretty much like I'm on soft money after all. I thought I'd dodged that bullet when I left academia!


jaxzwolf said...

Oh man, I really hope you can work something out! It sounds like a really great position and it would be a huge bummer to have to shift gears. My fingers are crossed on your behalf!

Karina said...

Thanks, jaxzwolf! I *think* now that we're ok for the rest of 2015. Maybe? I hope? Rumor has it.