New Kids' post today really hit home with me.
Having just taken a job outside of academia one of the things I'm struggling with is my feelings about the research that I did in grad school and in my post doc. I am committed to writing a number of papers that are in various stages with a number of colleagues. I want to write these paper and I will write them.
I also have two new projects that I'm collaborating on this semester. My collaborators are the leads on these projects but I am heavily involved (other than the actual data collection). I am also presenting a poster at my sub field's annual conference after the new year. I intend to go to that conference every year.
But what happens after I'm done with these papers? If I am fully committed to ANJ and I don't intend to go on the academic job market do I just stop? What about all the questions and ideas I have regarding my dissertation work? I will admit that even the thought of never designing another study, collecting data and writing them up for my field thoroughly depresses me. Thus, I don't think about it.
New Kid talks about how the guilt will eventually go away, but what if I don't want it to go away? I mean I don't know that I would even call what I feel guilt, for me it's more a feeling of longing to theorize, experiment and contribute to my field.
I can get some of these wants resolved at ANJ, but it's different and there is definitely no room for designing experiments and collecting my own data at ANJ. I knew this when I started, really I am just glad that there are so many opportunities for me to be a Psychologist rather than just an analyst or statistician (which what other non-academic positions wanted me to be) at ANJ.
This post may make it sound like I'm unhappy, I'm not. I really like ANJ, I'm still learning a lot and the people I work with are great, and I've been able to contribute so much already. To be honest, I wish I didn't have these longings to write and contribute to my discipline in the way I have always done. I wish I could be happy contributing in the ways that ANJ will let me. I wish I felt like my previous research was wrapped up in guilt rather than longing. Then I wouldn't have to wonder what this means for the long term...
I'm definitely not applying for academic jobs this year, but I guess I can't rule it out in the future.