Monday, February 05, 2007

Beyond the hurdles

Both of these posts -- here and here -- are worth reading because they are about what I think is a common feature in the careers of tenure-track professors, a sense of confusion once one has the job that one has been working so long towards. This may seem like a problem that is irrelevant to your graduate student careers, but I think that this is one of the reasons it's worth educating yourself about the profession now: So that you are thinking in terms of what kind of professional career you would like to have rather than just focusing on clearing the hurdles. Will this help you? I don't know, but I am applying my maxim that learning more about the profession can help one to carve out a sense of agency about career and professional matters.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for posting these. I occasionally give thought to what life will be like as a real faculty member (although I'm not sure all the time if that's what I want to do these days [damn dissertation]). But the thoughts normally revolve around having adequate health care and a little bit of money, and never center on the fact that we might be perceived as a grown-up.

I find it interesting that Flavia didn't mention instances of impostor syndrome. I would have thought that it afflicts junior faculty just as much as grad students. But then again, maybe having people assign you to committees and not having the curriculum committee change your course's title for you would really give you a different sense of who you are as a professional.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Michael Elliott said...

You've got it. One day you are trying to get your course title past the curriculum committee, then the next you are on the curriculum committee. That change is obviously a good one, but it can be a little disorienting. As for "impostor syndrome" and tenure-track faculty, there are depths and nuances to it far beyond what can be described in a comment box.

8:58 AM  

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