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Asking the same professor for letter of recommendation and job reference?


lmw1496
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Basically the title. I’m applying to grad school right now and I plan to start my job search very soon. I’ve already asked my professors for letters of recommendation for grad school and they’ve said yes. Would it be asking too much if I also asked them to be a job reference for me? I don’t really have other people I can ask who can truly speak to my work.

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12 minutes ago, lmw1496 said:

Basically the title. I’m applying to grad school right now and I plan to start my job search very soon. I’ve already asked my professors for letters of recommendation for grad school and they’ve said yes. Would it be asking too much if I also asked them to be a job reference for me? I don’t really have other people I can ask who can truly speak to my work.

Even with COVID-19's impact on the Ivory Tower generally and this admission cycle in particular, professors may interpret your request for reference letters in support of job applications as a lack of commitment on your part. I recommend that you phrase the request as honestly as you can and that you understand that not all professional academics behave professionally at all times. 

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57 minutes ago, Sigaba said:

Even with COVID-19's impact on the Ivory Tower generally and this admission cycle in particular, professors may interpret your request for reference letters in support of job applications as a lack of commitment on your part. I recommend that you phrase the request as honestly as you can and that you understand that not all professional academics behave professionally at all times. 

Thanks for your reply! I see what you're saying, but I also realize that I should have been more clear about my situation. I will be finishing my final course of my undergrad in December which means from Jan 2021 to Aug 2021 (if I'm accepted to grad school) I hope to be working. So basically, I'm still committed to grad school! I'm just applying for jobs to fill that gap between the end of my undergrad and the start of my grad degree.

I'm just worried I may be asking too much if I ask them to be a job reference when they're already taking the time to help me by writing a letter of recommendation.

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34 minutes ago, lmw1496 said:

Thanks for your reply! I see what you're saying, but I also realize that I should have been more clear about my situation. I will be finishing my final course of my undergrad in December which means from Jan 2021 to Aug 2021 (if I'm accepted to grad school) I hope to be working. So basically, I'm still committed to grad school! I'm just applying for jobs to fill that gap between the end of my undergrad and the start of my grad degree.

I'm just worried I may be asking too much if I ask them to be a job reference when they're already taking the time to help me by writing a letter of recommendation.

I think that if you're clear on your time table and that you also indicate that between this December and next fall you will be working on your craft, you will be all right.

IRT your concern about asking for too much, do what you can to draw sustainable boundaries around your requests for reference letters. The boundaries can be defined by the number of requests you'll make or the time period.

If one or more professors really leans forward, send a thank you note and pay it forward. IME, it can ease the pressure on people receiving support when you tell them that you're glad to do it, and you're doing the same thing that was done for you.

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1 hour ago, Sigaba said:

I think that if you're clear on your time table and that you also indicate that between this December and next fall you will be working on your craft, you will be all right.

IRT your concern about asking for too much, do what you can to draw sustainable boundaries around your requests for reference letters. The boundaries can be defined by the number of requests you'll make or the time period.

If one or more professors really leans forward, send a thank you note and pay it forward. IME, it can ease the pressure on people receiving support when you tell them that you're glad to do it, and you're doing the same thing that was done for you.

Ok great, thank you so much for the advice, this was really helpful! 

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  • 5 months later...
On 10/12/2020 at 10:08 AM, lmw1496 said:

Basically the title. I’m applying to grad school right now and I plan to start my job search very soon. I’ve already asked my professors for letters of recommendation for grad school and they’ve said yes. Would it be asking too much if I also asked them to be a job reference for me? I don’t really have other people I can ask who can truly speak to my work.

Posting an update of what I ended up doing in case folks out there are in a similar boat! First, I tried to allow as much time to pass between talking with my referees about LORs and job references. To achieve this, what I didn't do was email my referees at the start of my job search to tell them that I was looking for jobs and was wondering if they could be references. Rather, I decided to wait until I was invited for job interviews to contact them, or if I knew that I was one of the final candidates. This way, by the time I was deep in the job search with interviews and applications etc. enough time had passed where I would have felt comfortable asking them to provide job references.

Now...if I had been invited for job interviews closer to when my referees had written LORs, I would have made it super clear that I was still 100% committed to grad school, as well as that I understood I was asking a huge favour of them and that they were under no obligation to say yes since they had already helped me immensely. 

Edited by lmw1496
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