Academics hired by a new institution should clarify their contract before beginning work, suggests David Perlmutter, dean of the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University. They also should use the time before the job starts to prepare for classes and send thank-you notes to new colleagues. "[M]ake sure the gratitude message is loud, clear, and repeated, and respond promptly to all procedural queries. The extra few hours a week that such activities may entail will be rewarded with [goodwill] when you start your new adventure," Perlmutter writes.

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