Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Do I like this job?

Do I? Better than other jobs I could have?

I am asking myself this because there's a possibility I could have a different job. Partly on a whim, and partly as part of a larger conversation I was having with some friends, I applied for a job at a medium-sized think tank. Yesterday I had a phone interview. Now they would like me to come out for an on-site interview.

I casually but confidentially mentioned this to two of my closest colleagues here, and they both pointed out that only academia has the tenure system and that at other places, there is no such job security. This may be true, but I, currently on the underside of the tenure issue, don't see what's so great about it (and let's be honest, it's kind of a weird system. You know that university that did away with it for certain faculty? I understand the theory behind that move. Also, in my technical discipline, "academic freedom" isn't really that compelling, as we rarely run up against anything truly controversial.).

It seems like the think tank environment would have a lot of the things I enjoy that I don't really get in this environment (the opportunity for wide-ranging discourse, the ability to be a generalist), a lot of the things I enjoy that I do get in this environment (self-direction, the theoretical opportunity to "make a difference"), and not so many of the things I don't like about this environment (the focus on self-branding and the scramble to be the most important on a project/paper/whatever).

I would miss the students.

And it would close doors that I'm not sure I want to shut permanently.

And I'd have to move.

My husband, dear man, is remaining mum on the issue, insisting that he will go wherever, whenever, if it means that I'll have a career I'm happy with. *heart*

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