The new norm?

Dec 02 2011 Published by under Careers, Life

Of late I've had a hard time finding spare moments to blog. Life. It happens.

I have noticed that my professional life has been changing a lot over the past couple of years. It used to be I could spend days at a time not having to deal with anything other than my research. And the occasional bout of teaching. Now I find my time more fragmented. I'm attending more meetings. Running more meetings. Spending more time dealing with people outside my own lab group. Worrying about, and tending to, facilities that in the past were always just there for me to use. Learning to understand, and use, adminspeak*. I guess that's what happens when you get sucked in a minor leadership vacuum.

I do miss having longer, uninterrupted periods of time to devote to my research and lab**, but I can't say I dislike this "new norm".

Career advancement. It happens.

* Now that does get a little scary. Especially when you not only understand, but begin to use words like "incentivize".
** I'm not sure my lab peeps are too upset about me not being able to bug them as much.

6 responses so far

  • Do you see admincreep as the beginning of drawing you away from the research game into more of an administrative role or would you just like to keep it as complement to your research program?

    • odyssey says:

      Neither. It's become more of a necessity or even me being proactive. As in, if I don't do this many of the resources I (and others) rely on may disappear. And I don't mean that that was a threat from someone trying to make me do something. It's more a case of having to do the things that must be done to maintain, and hopefully even grow, what we have.

      I have absolutely no desire to go into admin.

  • Dr. O says:

    Career advancement. It happens.

    That sounds like the caption on one of those misgiven inspirational posters - like it should be underneath the picture of a salmon swimming upstream then getting eaten by a bear.

    Hmmm...I feel a photoshop moment coming on.

    • odyssey says:

      It's a little bit like that. But think of it like a video game. The further upstream I swim without being eaten by a bear, the more "upgrades" I have the chance to acquire. If I survive long enough I might end being a kevlar-clad salmon armed with an AK47.

      • Dr. O says:

        a kevlar-clad salmon armed with an AK47

        I have the image in my head, but I'm afraid it'll have to remain there for the time being. My photoshop skillz are nowhere near the kevlar-clad arena. šŸ™‚

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    I always had a teaching and service component, with research being what I could make it. So things were pretty much the same all along. The one thing I got into was transitioning our teaching program from quarters to semesters. For various reasons, no one else stepped up to take care of it. Later, I served as department chair for three years before I retired, and was able to keep my research program going. Looking back on it with all the bad stuff forgotten, it was pretty good fun.