But it's ironic that the external symbol of the completed degree and "commencement" arrived last week because I also had a few serious discussions with others about the future of my career. While I like the job I have currently, I've always known it won't be the job in which I retire. This clearly brings up the question: "NOW WHAT?" I envisioned staying here about five years and then moving to a different administrative position in higher education. However, at this point that feels like a waste of my research skills. While it took me a long while to finish the degree since it was rarely my top priority, I did enjoy the work a great deal. I think I'm a decent writer, too, and I do enjoy living in Theory World for good amounts of time. Fortunately given the administrative career I've had and the theoretical dissertation I wrote, I am starting to build a couple of different research agendas that could allow me to balance a faculty career in between Theory World and Reality World, and I think I might like that balance. If I could build that into a faculty career, well that could be a decent future career.
There's a bit of a risk with the process of earning tenure. And, if that doesn't happen, then there I'll be in my mid-40s without a job. That's kept me from seriously considering this route in the past. But then again, several years ago the thought of writing a dissertation was daunting enough that I suppressed the thought of getting a Ph.D., and here I am. So what's so say pursuing the faculty route would be a bad risk to take? After all, most times we take well-informed risks, it leads to something pretty swell.
We'll see. For now I'm still pondering the possibilities, and I'm fortunate that Wife is encouraging me to continue the thought process as well.