I rarely discuss my personal life on this blog, mainly because I want to keep it focused on investing, but I have some relevant personal news that I would like to share with you.
For the past few years I have been working as a postdoctoral research fellow at a well-known university, with the ultimate career goal of becoming a professor. Despite being successful in my work, I have struggled to obtain a tenure-track faculty position, especially after the academic job market tanked in 2008-09. The job market has gradually improved over time, but there is an overabundance of highly qualified candidates for a small number of positions, resulting in fierce competition.
To give you some context, I applied to about 20 positions at various universities around the country in my current search, and each position received anywhere from 150 to 200+ applications (with only 3-6 people typically being invited for interviews). This put my base-level probability of getting a job at less than 1%, which was rather discouraging. Moreover, this is the final year I can remain in my current position (due to funding and other constraints), so the pressure was higher than ever.
In my previous two searches, I had zero interviews out of a combined total of 45 applications -- how's that for disappointing? Fortunately, this time around I was invited for five interviews. I did some of the interviews back in November and December; they were the important "work-related trips" I mentioned in previous posts. I thought I did fairly well at all the interviews, but I had to wait until other candidates were interviewed before I would find out the decisions of the search committees.
A few days before Christmas I received a very special gift by e-mail: A job offer! And it was from my favorite of all the places where I interviewed! Over the next two weeks I engaged in negotiations regarding the offer, which wrapped up last week. I received the formal offer in the mail this week, which I promptly signed and returned, so it is now a done deal! Starting this upcoming summer, I will be a professor at a good university, working in a department that is a great fit for my research program.
What is the relevance of all this to my investing? It has to do with saving new capital for investment. The salary at my new job will be 62% higher than what I am getting at my current job. While I anticipate some moving expenses (my new job is in a different state) and a moderate increase in my cost of living, they will be more than offset by my higher salary. Thus, starting in the second half of 2013, I expect to save much more new capital for investment than before. I will not know just how much until I get settled, but I am definitely looking forward to increased savings.
Given the difficulty in estimating how much I will be saving later this year, and how much those invested savings might reap in dividends, I have decided not to set specific saving and dividend goals for 2013. However, I will still keep track of my savings and dividends on a monthly basis, monitoring my progress throughout the year.
The main implication of having more new capital for investment is that I will be able to accelerate the growth of my dividend income stream. Earlier this week I posted a dividend income projection that involved a savings assumption based on what I achieved in 2012. I anticipate that I will be able to revise that assumption upward in the future.
What a great way to start off the new year!