I think I won the career lottery. This article gives great fodder for thought, bringing me to reflect on the year that has passed.
A year ago, having just interviewed for faculty positions, I was anxious about what the future would bring and whether I would find myself in a tenure-track position – the ultimate ‘dream job’. And in a few months began what I consider the most challenging transition to date – of relocating to a brand new city, in a brand new workplace, with brand new colleagues around me. I remember being overwhelmed that my colleagues were suddenly these people who were (mostly) so senior, that the students no longer counted me as one of them, that I had gone – overnight – from being “too old to be a student” to “too young to be a prof”. I did not know what I was in for. I have since learned that not many really do at that point.
Eight months later, I am surer than ever that this is far more wonderful than the ‘dream job’ I had imagined it would be. Not in my wildest dreams had I thought that every day would begin with an adrenalin rush and end with the complete and exhausting fulfillment that comes from a day well spent. The people are what make it so – the colleagues who bolster and support like nowhere else, and the students who never fail to inspire with their abundant intellectual capacity, energy, sincerity, and diligence. Everyone warned me that it would be stressful, that I was really taking on three jobs, not one. I have learned that I would really need eight of me to stay sane. But I’m not complaining. Grateful I am indeed to have a job that makes living so very worth its while.