Sometimes we get caught up in the day to day business of being a lecturer or a researcher and life becomes so busy that we don’t have the opportunity to step back and look at the bigger picture. However, in the case of your career, it’s vitally important to do so. Having goals and plans can help us to progress. So where will you be in 10 years time?!
In an article in the Chronicle this week, Jeannine Carr wrote about her brief stint as head of a nursing department. For the full article, please click here. Carr argues that her time as head was both rewarding and challenging but that, in the end, she prioritised other aspects of her life (family, friends, health) over her career and stepped away from the role.
Although it is impossible to anticipate everything that life will throw at you, and flexibility is key, it is also important to decide what your goal is in terms of career development.
Perhaps like Carr you would like to lead your own department, or perhaps you hope to move down the research route and hold a research professorship. Perhaps you might attain either of those goals, only to find that you’ve had enough and so you retire and revert to part time teaching. That has happened to several colleagues of mine, turning upside down the usual aims of career progression to achieve the most senior (and best paid!) job possible. And that’s even before considering issues such as taking time off to have a family.
But the important thing is at least to try to plan ahead. At this time of year, a long way in to a busy term, it can feel as though you are just trying to keep your head above water until the Christmas break. So it might not be a bad time to remind yourself to take back control: you’re in charge of this rollercoaster ride, and yours is the next move!