That's what I've been up to lately.
Aspect 1: Be a mentor to my junior colleagues
Now that I have a full contingent of graduate students (well, as many as I feel I could reasonably handle at this stage of my career) I have realized I need to develop some kind of core of mentorship with my graduate students. Up until now I have pretty much just been getting by - answering questions as they come up, being more or less completely reactive, and not really helping them develop in their career.
I have only the vaguest ideas of how to do this, but making up my mind in a concrete way that I have this goal has led to some positive forward motion. Yay for that!
Aspect 2: Be a source of preparation for my undergraduates.
Instead of just teaching them. These people are, in some sense, the product of a goodly portion of my work - they are what I produce. And so I really want them to be as awesome as they want to be.
Aspect 3: Be a contributing member of my scientific field.
Now that I feel like I am rolling steadily towards tenure, I don't feel like I need to be quite as me-oriented. Which is good, because "me" doesn't end up being a very strong motivator for me. Now that I'm not so frazzled, I think I am regaining my passion for the social value of the work that I do, which makes the work a lot more enjoyable and satisfying.
Aspect 4: Be a contributing member of my family.
This one will be reaching a critical point later this fall, since my husband and I are expecting our first kid. I am, honestly, trying not to think about it too much, because I know I'll just worry about it (balance, tenure, blahblahblah), and that's really not productive.
You know, in the back of my mind one of the things I'm not looking forward to is that my homelife will no longer be mostly about me. Is it weird that in my professional life, I'm relieved that it's no longer mostly about me, but am dreading this at home?
Hm. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised to find some satisfaction in giving up my generally selfish ways?
3 days ago