A reader of our blog, E, sent us this amazing article written by Prof. Radhika Nagpal, a junior faculty member at Harvard. I know that most of us aren’t academics, and the only reason we find ourselves connected to this world is due to the fact we’re supporting someone in it. I think the message Prof. Nagpal gives is universal, and a wonderful positive message that can be integrated into everyday life.
In her own words:
I’ve enjoyed my seven years as junior faculty tremendously, quietly playing the game the only way I knew how to. But recently I’ve seen several of my very talented friends become miserable in this job, and many more talented friends opt out. I feel that one of the culprits is our reluctance to openly acknowledge how we find balance. Or openly confront how we create a system that admires and rewards extreme imbalance. I’ve decided that I do not want to participate in encouraging such a world. In fact, I have to openly oppose it.
So with some humor to balance my fear, here’s goes my confession:
Seven things I did during my first seven years at Harvard. Or, how I loved being a tenure-track faculty member, by deliberately trying not to be one.
- I decided that this is a 7-year postdoc.
- I stopped taking advice.
- I created a “feelgood” email folder.
- I work fixed hours and in fixed amounts.
- I try to be the best “whole” person I can.
- I found real friends.
- I have fun “now”.
I decided that this is a 7-year postdoc.
I hope you enjoy it!