I am currently in a VAP at a selective liberal arts school for psychology, first year post-grad. I have five publications but probably won't get any offers for tenure track positions without an additional postdoc. I also am trying to find a position in which research is an element, but not the first priority of the job (which is a really narrow path, it seems).
I am situated in the Midwest and am trying to find a position on the east or west coast, which limits things somewhat but it has also pushed me to apply for positions I wouldn't have necessarily considered before if they are in a good location. For example, I know that I have been at least "moved up" in the hiring process for 2 lecturer positions at large, high-ranking universities on the east coast.
I haven't been able to find a lot of information specifically about "lecturer" positions in US universities. I know they can come with some security and focus mainly on a lot of teaching. I enjoy teaching and would be happy to make it the focus of my career, but I am still holding on to the ideal of the tenure-track line. If I did take a lecturer position at a high-ranking school, I figure I can depend on potentially a better starting salary than a tenure line at a smaller or lower-ranked school- while it would be at the cost of career growth, would it be incorrect to assume I could just make a living that way and possibly get some job security down the line? (For example, I know there have been "senior lecturer" designations and such that seem to indicate security of employment). Or even if there was stability but no growth?
Can anyone speak to maintaining a lecturer position as a kind of permanent position? I know that they are generally term to term, or are on some contract every x years (for example one of the positions I applied to is renewable on a 3 year contract). I know that lecturer positions are not really helpful to transition to tenure-track lines focused on research, but what about teaching-focused schools? Or, even, if one just stops at lecturer?
I feel at the moment that taking a lecturer position would sort of end my tenure-track aspirations on paper, but also I don't want to end up doing term positions or adjuncting for 10 years (true stories about this have been told to me). I could do a postdoc but the return rate on those is generally later in the year, which comes at the expense of current opportunities if I get any offers. Additionally, although I'm young in my career I am already feeling myself fatiguing and I don't want to go through years of moving, instability, financial insecurity, etc. I started grad school initially thinking of the classic tenure track position, focusing on research, etc. but I didn't really enjoy the research aspect as much as I thought, so I shifted my focus to teaching (apparently not a good move). Since I don't actually know anyone who's gone in for a lecturer position or what kind of growth there is there, can anyone weigh in on their stability, enjoyability, growth etc?? And if I take it and do want to try to pursue a tenure track line somewhere else, could it ever be useful?
Sorry for the length! Thank you for reading!!