Monday, September 10, 2012

Lingering Bitter

Recently, I was contacted by a colleague, whom I've known since I first entered my current field. We met at a conference as I began my transition from a would-be academic to a full-time research entrepreneur.* She asked me to write an article for a book she's editing, in particular to capture and promote my vision for the field. Six years since I entered the fray, I am still in many ways an outsider. She wanted an outside-the-box perspective, rather than asking "the people who are developing more of what we have today."

Validation. As I said to her on the phone, "it's good to know I have things to contribute to the field." I was thrilled to be asked, and more than happy to oblige.

* For those who don't know my history, in the three years surrounding completion of my PhD, I submitted fully 150 faculty applications for employment, netted three or four interviews, and not a single offer of full-time employment. I spent one term in "adjunct servitude" with no benefits, too many students, and a salary that barely covered my gas. If graduate school was one of the best times of my life, the academic job search ranks among my lowest points. Discovering the entrepreneur within me was a remarkable journey. I can only imagine that there are thousands just like me. I hope for them that they find entrepreneurship or something equally satisfying to renew and sustain them.

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