Saturday, March 10, 2007

A New Beginning...

I recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor in the physical sciences at a small liberal arts college (SLAC) out west. Only a few more months and the frenzy will begin. Am I being overdramatic when assuming that these are the most important six years for the rest of my life? When judgement day comes and you don't make the cut, then so long sucker: you are out of a job, and nobody will hire you with the taint of failure! It is nerve-racking to feel Damocles' sword slowly swinging over you.

When I first applied for positions across the nation, I thought that landing at a decent SLAC with decent pay, research start-up, and a pretty science center was the big prize at the end of the Ph.D.-PostDoc-VisitingProf obstacle track. Now I realize that the real obstacle track, keeping this prize, is still ahead with the following major hurdles:

1. 3+ Publications
2. Making Your Students Like You
3. Not Losing the Game of Departmental and Institutional Politics

Oh, boy! I am scared!

No comments: