to market, to market

As I said in the sidebar, I’ve been at Middleland long enough to get tenure, get comfortable, and get bitter. Funny how the bitterness just kind of crept up. One day I was fat and happy and the next I was gearing up for a job search. Nothing in particular has happened to inspire my job search, beyond the unsettling realization that I am bored in my job. In my opinion, there is almost nothing worse than a bored faculty member, so I have taken my boredom as a wake up call.

Given my entry onto the job market, I’ve been fascinated by the discussion over at Dr. Crazy’s about whether or not looking for a job when you already have one constitutes treason. I’ve been on my share of search committees and the hiring institution does invest a fair amount of resources in a search. But, come on, an institution would be insane to think that once a person is hired, the decision to sever the relationship can only be made by the institution. That’s not good for anyone, including the institution.

In my particular case, my institution has been generally good to me and I have mostly positive feelings about the place. I genuinely respect and admire my colleagues and students (admittedly, I have mostly negative feelings about the administration—just in case you thought I wasn’t actually the GripeDoctor). But as I said, I’m bored and that ain’t a good thing for either me or my institution. Not that I’m doing the institution a favor by looking for another job, but I think people like the insane senior faculty who are posting comments to Dr. Crazy about her being selfish to look for another job are missing the point. It isn’t good for an institution to have unhappy or unfulfilled faculty.

Is there a possibility my boredom will pass and I should stick it out with Middleland? I’ve considered this possibility. I have been happy here for many years. But in the last couple of years, I’ve been asked by my institution to turn down a few excellent professional opportunities, opportunities that would allow me to have a larger presence in the profession at large. These types of opportunities will dry up if I keep turning them down, and every time I turn one down I sink deeper into boredom and deeper into bitterness about the limits my current institution puts on my career. Is my attitude healthy for me? No. Is it beneficial to my institution? Again, the answer is no. Clearly, it’s time for me to move on.

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Published in: on November 7, 2007 at 9:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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