Soon-to-be Assistant Professor Alice

I’m moving to start a tenure track position this fall! I feel mostly relieved that I won’t need to reinvent myself and become someone outside of academia. I also feel very excited about the possibilities of the position, launching my career past the postdoc. I’m surrounded by boxes, wondering how so many objects in the world could possibly belong to a single human being. Cannot wait until this is all unpacked and I get settled in. So excited about this new job, yet I also have some impostor feelings coming up too. What do you wish you knew/did differently before you started your first position?


tracynicholrose said...

How wonderful. Congratulations!

Read Boice "Advice to New Faculty." It helps.

chicago foodie girl said...

Awesome! Congratulations! :-)

Mictlantecuhtli said...

First: congratulations!!!

Things I wish I, and some people I have hired, had known:
-- there are huge differences among institutions, huge. The reason people tell you to be quiet at your first job is not that your first job does not want you to voice opinions (they have hired you for your expertise, after all) but that you do not want to inadvertently challenge their values ... I did not realize, for instance, that people had chosen to work there because they wanted a suburban lifestyle, and that my hanging out in town on weekends was not well regarded even though where I was hanging out was the research library.
-- you are not an impostor. Just because people like Genette and Todorov taught the undergraduate surveys I took, does not mean one has to be them to teach that material.
-- people there may like you better than they like their more established colleagues, but they will be more loyal to those colleagues than to you: they have to be. Plus, you don't know that the doddering full professor you disdain, is the person who got your hire authorized and who will know how to file an effective grievance if you are not renewed / not tenured. Do not judge too quickly.