One end of semester day during my own PhD study years, I went down to my local coffee shop and ordered a latte. The barista took one look at me and said, “An extra shot, then?”
Last fall, I defended my Ph.D. dissertation, and in May I attended my graduation at Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus. My studies were challenging, especially since I was changing my discipline, from engineering to Science and Technology Studies (STS), which is built around a core of history, sociology, and philosophy.
I’m not sure where you are on your academic path, but as a freshly graduated Ph.D., I am excited as I start a job as an Assistant Professor this year. It means I get to learn how to create my life schedule amongst a bunch of newness: new city, new home, new church, new university, new community (including new coffee shops!), new university, new colleagues, new students, and honestly, a new me.
As a young faculty person, with all the anxieties that are part of that identity, that quiet does tend to bring in some of its own challenges, however. It might even go to waste, slipping away into the voracious demands of the calendar. There’s a refrain of next-ness, for lack of a better phrase. What’s next, indeed?
Summary: Traces the career trajectory of a college professor, identifying the factors that mark the successful passage from one “cohort” to the next, the risks to be negotiated in each season of work, and key resources for career development.