I couldn’t have come up with a sillier title to this post, I realize, but it is an important point, so I figured I’d dedicate a post to it. The last thing that you want to happen to you is to be caught by surprise by a contrast between what your professional record looks like and what you want it to look like or need it to look like for a particular professional goal.
What do you want your CV to look like when you go on the job market the first time? What do you want it to look like when you have a probationary review? Or a tenure review? What do you want it to look like when merit raises are considered? What positions (in your department, in the field, or in professional organizations) do you see yourself occupying, and what do you need your CV to look like to make that happen? What does your CV need to look like to give you the mobility you want? The promotion ability that you want? The income that you want? The opportunities that you want? The free time that you want?
Its not going to magically look like that. And you can’t answer those questions a month before you need particular things on your CV, wish for it, and make it happen. Instead, these things are planned. A note on what I don’t mean by planned: I don’t mean that you shouldn’t be flexible, open to new projects and grant opportunities, willing to leave behind things that do not work, and willing to adapt to a changing field and a changing profession. What I do mean is getting a sense of what you want your career to look like, and trying to make that happen actively and while you still have enough time to do it. For example … Continue reading