Thriving in academia, “living in the middle”

Another great blog post from the Tenured Radical (hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education since last year).

Living In The Middle; Or, What I Learned At My First Job
December 31, 2011, 1:51 pm
By Claire Potter

There are moments when you wrestle with terrible self doubt and realize that mistakes have been made — and if you are fortunate, they are balanced out by the moments in which you get to look around you and compliment yourself for a job well done. That sensation also usually does not last, in my experience, and a great deal of life is lived in the middle. It is the business of making life in the middle worthwhile that matters most, I think.

The five tips offered are:

  1. If it isn’t right for you, no matter how good a job you have, you can always leave.
  2. If you leave your job, you don’t have to leave for a job that is “better” by all the conventional standards of the academy.
  3. If you figure out what work will make you happy and do it with integrity, you will probably succeed.
  4. Commit to whatever you are doing in such a way that you discover, or rediscover, your love for it.
  5. Plan.