This week a Scientific American Blog Post by Radhika Nagpal, professor of Computer Science at Harvard made a circulation among my academic Facebook friends, and I thought I'd share it with this community.
Her advice on how she "Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tenure-Track Faculty Life" can be summarized in the below seven things she did in her first seven years of her faculty appointment at Harvard:
- I decided that this is a 7-year postdoc.
- I stopped taking advice.
- I created a “feel-good” 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”.
While I am not sure if her mindset is as easy to adopt in other subject areas (like astronomy) where the alternative/industry options are less plentiful and the transition out of academia is less obvious, I am happy to hear that someone who only works 50 hours a week was able to obtain tenure at Harvard.
To read more about Professor Nagpal's approach to tenure-track life check out Scientific American's Blog.