YOU GUYS! I GOT A JOB! INDEED, ONE OF THE JOBS I WROTE ABOUT IN THE LAST POST, JOB #1 IN FACT! Let me tell you about it but not in caps lock!
So – this will test the limits of my pseudonymity. If you know me already, you can probabaly guess my sekrit identity from this post; if not, I will hopefully still remain shrouded in mystery (as per picture above). Like I said on the last post, the job is based in a university – but a slightly unusual one, one of the few places that deals exclusively in practitioner training. The students who come in are there for a few years before heading out to the ‘real world’ (barely any become academics); and the organisation also does a bucketload of “real world” research which is where I come in. I’ll be doing the equivalent of a senior research management job – like a postdoc and just as intellectually challenging, but only research, writing, setting up communication strategies, working with industry partners, managing contracts and budgets, program development 😀 No teaching, no admin, no committees, no REF, no scrubs. With help from my career advisor friend I negotiated my salary up to a decent level; as I said in the last post I thought the post might be a little below my skills but at the interview it became apparent that there was so much more to in than was in the job description.
It’s funny – in a way this could be construed as an alt-ac job which unsettles me; god bless those of you who have such roles, but I am firmly post-ac in my outlook. I think the new work environment will help with that – many of the ‘outputs’ which come out of it are not academic papers but more tangible projects, toolkits and artifacts, and I think (hope) it will be as unlike a ‘traditional’ university as you can imagine.
I don’t have fixed expectations of it either – on paper it looks great, and maybe I’ll want to stay there for the long term but maybe I won’t. So I intend to use my time to there to learn, skill up, network like a boss, and basically make the job my own Iron Man suit, adding all all the various gadgets and lasers I’ll need to fly off into the sunset in a couple of years. (also, earning sweet sweet money). One of the enormous revelations in thinking about this job was realising that it didn’t have to be forever – there wasn’t that horrendous academic thing of OMG I am now in this job for LIFE I WILL WORK WITH THESE COLLEAGUES UNTIL I DIE; instead, I can do it, learn from it, and use it to go to better things if I want.
So it is kind of amazing and I don’t think it has really sunk in yet (possibly because Partner Piglet and I have been on the celebratory sauce pretty solidly since I accepted the offer). I will continue to blog here – there is so much I want to say about how to carve one’s way out of academia, plus I’m sure I’ll learn loads from the job too. YOU GUYS!!