Different Roles in Academia

Sometimes I wonder how I should know where I am heading, and what I want to do when I grow up?? And I know that I am a grown up who should know by now…  But too many things seem to be interesting! Do you have the same feeling?

It’s soon been seven years since i defended my PhD. And now I have feeling like there are many different possible futures, much depending on what possibilities that show up but of course also depending on me. I have recently said no to several possible future avenues, and I have understood that this is necessary in Academia from listening to all the pods of this pod cast that I strongly  recommend:  Changing Academic Life.

Some of the things they say in the Changing Academic Life pod are:

  • “There is always another possibility coming up”,
  • “I celebrate saying no to things with champagne” and
  • “You cannot be on every committe that wants you”.

When I was a Phd student I did’t really understand what different possibilities were ahead of me as a reseracher. Instead I was very happy about the current situation and wrote papers in different areas with different people. I think I thought that things would be the same when I had my PhD. I sat in my chair as a Phd student and enjoyed the show in academia, just like the picture in this blog. I was a good co-worker always delivering on time, and with OK quality, but not the one in charge and in some way not a part of the chaos loop at work. Of course it was stressful at times, and problems occured, but mostly I rememer it as a good learning experience and that someone else took care of me.

It turns out I was wrong about the future being the same as the past, and there are indeed many different areas to explore as different kinds of reserachers. Being a reseracher really includes so many different jobs! I have a permanent ten-year-track position at the university, so I am not talking about changing employment, but about the possible things I could do as a part of this permanent position.

Where are you heading in your work life? Do you have a plan? Where do you want to in your carreer in five years, or in ten years? Please let me know!