Wednesday, January 23, 2019

It's just a job

Interesting piece on the problems with treating jobs as a higher calling. I see a bit of that in the academic world. It is certainly not healthy for any faculty member at any career level. The reality is that organizations that perpetuate the myth of a higher calling (which is what Tesla is doing with Musk at its helm) create a culture in which workers are simply exploited. Work-life balance? Forget it. Look, at the end of the day I clock out and I am done. Absent any incentive to do any more than clock in my 40 hours each week and stop, I'll keep doing what I do. Oddly enough, I still cover my classes, any committee responsibilities, and a bit of professional development. For what I do, that's plenty. I am speaking as someone who busted my hump twice to earn promotion/tenure at two different institutions, succeeded (albeit while putting up a fight) and found myself no more satisfied than if I had just done nothing more than my job. Sharing Psych with students is fulfilling. It won't earn any prizes. My research is nothing earth-shattering, as is the case of pretty much everyone I know (whether they will admit to it or not). What does matter is keeping the lights on and having time to spend with those people who truly matter to me. Losing those moments are the ones I would regret. Forgetting to send out that email at midnight? Not so much. It's just a job that maybe I do until retirement, or until the next job comes along. In the meantime, I'd rather hang out with my family and friends once I am done for the day. So it goes.

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