Saturday 08 2024

How to be Emotionally Present at Work When You Have Real Stuff Going on at Home

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by Eileen Hoenigman Meyer

Colleagues paying attention to a presentation - Yuri A/Shutterstock

We all go through hard times. Whether it's managing an illness, supporting a sick family member, going through a divorce, aiding a struggling child, or dealing with a job loss in the family, weathering a crisis is an emotional and logistical undertaking.

Most of us have to work during these difficult stretches, which means we can't navigate them as privately or as independently as we'd like. While this can be challenging, there are benefits to managing stressful times in the comfort of our professional communities. Existing in a known space driven by a familiar routine and populated with supporters can be helpful when we're struggling.

It's important, though, to proceed with a plan. Developing a self-care strategy and remaining realistic about how much you're asking of yourself are key to staying emotionally grounded and present when you're working through a challenging time. Here's what to consider as you get started.

Lean Into Your Routine

According to Assistant Professor Nadia Ibrahim-Taney, being emotionally present in the workplace means "how one is connected to themselves, their work, and the people they do work with." Your daily routine fortifies this interconnectedness by providing a nourishing, familiar framework that you've carefully crafted over time.

Recognizing the familiarity of our professional rituals and relationships reminds us that one part of life continues to make sense, even during a crisis.

"Work is a constant in most people's lives so in difficult times, which can often coincide with chaos or change, having elements of daily life remaining constant and predictable can be reassuring and helps center us," explained Ibrahim-Taney.

While your workplace can offer a sense of reprieve from the stress of the situation at home, there is also pressure, expectation, and stress at work. It's a lot to manage, and you may be operating differently while carrying this additional weight. You may find that your patience, resilience, and attention is impacted. This is normal and understandable.

Recognize your new limitations. Don't apologize for them. Make a plan, and reach out for the help.

Get Clarity Around What You Need

Talk to someone outside of your situation who can help you see and sort your feelings. Use the wellness resources on campus. Meet with your mentor. Talk with a therapist. Consider doing these things before you discuss what you're weathering with anyone who is directly involved in your work.

Having a sense of what you need before you bring any team members into your situation puts you in control. While it can feel overwhelming to manage a difficult situation, it's helpful to be the one driving this.

As you work through it, outline what you need: Will you need to work remotely more often? Will additional support with certain projects help? Is a leave of absence possible?

Make a list. Review your employee handbook. See what your institution offers. Think through who you feel most comfortable coming to as you access your needs. Are you ready to talk with your manager or would it feel better to start with your human resources partner?

Even though your feelings run deep about what you're going through, try to think about the management of this like any workplace project. Plan it in stages with the colleagues with whom you work best.

Identify Your Support System

"Sometimes when it rains, it pours, right?" said Ibrahim-Taney. "It can often feel like that with work as well. If things are hard at home in your personal life and hard at work and it is tough all around- that's when you need to lean into your people."

It's important to be strategic about who you invite into your support network, especially at the start.

Share your news strategically rather than spilling it to try to get some comfort when you feel emotionally vulnerable.

"Consider who are the people at home and at work who can support you?" Ibrahim-Taney recommended. "What kind of support can they offer and how does that align with the support you need?"

Identify particular people for specific jobs. For example, some colleagues may be especially helpful when you're feeling vulnerable. Others may be resourceful assisting with logistics.

Keep in mind that you don't have to share what you're going through with everyone, and you don't have to discuss anything more than is comfortable for you. Make defining and maintaining your own boundaries a key part of your self-care plan.

Create Your Narrative

Sometimes, you don't have the opportunity to decide what to share or not. If a family member passes away, if you are returning from a medical leave, or if you encounter another obstacle that is known around campus, you may find yourself in the difficult spot of managing both the crisis and the communication around it.

This can be especially hard. Colleagues with the best intentions can be hurtfully clumsy in their efforts to soothe or they can ask questions that are beyond what you want to discuss at work.

It's helpful to develop a narrative, an elevator pitch, for what you're weathering. You get to decide how to shape, share, and discuss this news. You don't owe anyone information about your health or circumstances. Decide how you want to talk about it and stick to that script.

Doing this initial work can help you get some clarity around your feelings, and it puts you in charge.

"A sense of control is perception, if you feel out of control, change your perception of what you can control and be in control of yourself," Ibrahim-Taney advised.

Protect Yourself

Don't push yourself too hard. It's okay to move slowly. It's okay to need breaks. You may sometimes have to shut down for the day to take care of yourself. You don't have to be anyone's hero or inspire anyone with your strength. You just have to get through this.

Some years, we grow and thrive while other years we just survive. Both shape our character.

Recognize what you're managing. Accept it, and care for yourself accordingly. Give yourself the space, resources, and support you need to get through this. Adapt your thinking and allow yourself to be a person in pain.

Needing support is humbling and hard, but it seeds an awareness that forges deep connections among other benefits. Suffering is not the path to reinvention that most of us would choose, but it aids our reinvention nonetheless.


This article is republished from HigherEdJobs® under a Creative Commons license. 

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Sunday 31 2024

Many travel nurses opt for temporary assignments because of the autonomy and opportunities − not just the big boost in pay

Ivan Gan, University of Houston-Downtown

Travel nurses take short-term contracts that can require long commutes or temporarily living away from home. Time and again, they have to get used to new co-workers, new protocols and new workplaces.

So why would staff nurses quit their stable jobs to become travel nurses?

Well, for one, they get bigger paychecks. But U.S. nurses have other rationales besides making more money, according to a study I conducted.

To do this research, I interviewed 27 registered nurses based in different places.

Many of the people I interviewed disclosed that they left permanent positions to combat burnout. Although they welcomed the bump in pay, travel nursing also gave them the autonomy to decide when and where to work. That autonomy allowed them to pursue personal and professional interests that were meaningful to them, and it made some of the other hassles, such as long commutes, worth it.

On top of earning more money, travel nursing “gives you an opportunity to explore different areas,” said a nurse I’ll call Cynthia, because research rules require anonymity. “When you actually live there for three months, it gives you a chance to really immerse yourself in the area and really get to know not just the touristy stuff, but really hang out with the locals and really be exposed to that area.”

Other study participants said they enjoyed the novelty and educational opportunities.

“You don’t get bored or stuck in a routine,” Michelle said. “You’re always trying to learn new policies at the new hospital that you’re in, learning about the new doctors, nursing staff, new ways of doing things, where things are located. That helps keep me from feeling burned out so quickly.”

Said Patricia: “I want to see how other operating rooms across the country do things and how they do things differently. I do learn a lot of things going from place to place.”

Man in scrubs looks out the window with some trepidation in his eyes.
Travel nurses move around a lot but also find upsides to that mobility. Elaine Cromie/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Why it matters

A growing number of U.S. nurses were obtaining temporary assignments before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

But travel nursing became much more widespread in 2020, when hospitals were scrambling to keep their staffing levels high enough as millions of Americans were becoming infected with the coronavirus, straining capacity in many communities.

While compensation varies widely, the median pay of registered nurses in 2022 was US$81,220, about 35% less than the $110,000 that registered nurses who traveled earned.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel nurses could earn an even bigger premium. Many were paid twice as much as staff nurses.

Once the number of Americans with severe symptoms fell, that premium declined too. But there are still over 1.7 million travel nurses in the U.S. Hiring them is one of the main ways that hospitals cope with a long-term shortage of nurses.

But nurses with permanent jobs can get aggravated by this arrangement when they learn how much more travel nurses earn for doing the same work, as I found through another research project.

What other research is being done

Research supports a widely reported trend: More Americans have temporary jobs and freelance employment than in the past.

While travel nurses can help hospitals, nursing homes and doctors’ offices meet staffing needs, there are signs that patients don’t always fare as well with their care.

And a Canadian study found that when hospitals let staff nurses work part time and offer other alternative arrangements, their retention rates may rise.

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.The Conversation

Ivan Gan, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, University of Houston-Downtown

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

Tuesday 26 2024

4 Emotionally Intelligent Phrases to Improve Your Workplace Relationships

by Leah Jackson

Illustration of woman balancing emotions on see-saw

Working on a college campus is arguably one of the biggest exercises in collaboration and teamwork. There are multiple stakeholders in every decision made on campus -- from students and parents to alumni to various departments (or even specific employees) who may be impacted. We don't operate in a vacuum. Collaboration is the name of the game, so it is no surprise that building relationships and exercising emotional intelligence (or EQ) play a key role in one's success in the higher ed workspace.

"Anyone in higher education will tell you that your ability to be successful in your role (regardless of the department or division) is related to your ability to build relationships and collaborate with your intercampus colleagues," confirms Eric Mochnacz of Red Clover, a strategic HR and change management consulting firm based in New Jersey.

In fact, some employers even interview for emotional intelligence, and according to a Lee Hecht Harrison Penna survey of 500 people managers, 75% said it is a determining factor in promotions and salary increases.

Mochnacz, who worked in university housing for 15 years at different levels (live-in and mid-level management), says "EQ is your ability to know your own emotions and manage them, understand the emotions of others, and use that knowledge to navigate relationships and inevitable campus politics."

Emotional intelligence isn't something you gain overnight, though. So, how can you boost your EQ, and what phrases frequently used by people with high EQ could you incorporate into your daily workplace interactions?

Tap into Your Natural Curiosity

The Cambridge Dictionary defines curiosity as "an eager desire to know or learn about something." This characteristic is a hallmark of emotional intelligence. Curiosity drives us to learn more about our own emotional responses and motivations, as well as seek information about that of others. Fostering your own sense of curiosity about what drives human behavior -- specifically your own and your colleagues' and boss's -- is a great place to start.

The next time a colleague responds in a way that is unexpected, consider their motivations or what they are possibly feeling. Inquire if you're unsure, so you can get a better understanding of their point of view. Knowing this can help you work through any conflicts and build a foundation for stronger collaboration in the future.

Take time to analyze your own responses as well -- did you have a knee-jerk reaction to something? If so, why? Was something particularly triggering to you? Seeking to understand your own emotional responses in the workplace can help you recognize trigger points and eventually better self-regulate in future situations.

4 Phrases Demonstrating High EQ to Start Using

So, what exactly does emotional intelligence look like in practice? It's about asking the right questions and then using the information you glean to respond effectively and kindly. Here are four emotionally intelligent phrases you can start incorporating into your daily interactions at work to lay the foundation for better relationships.

1. "What do you think?" or "How do you feel about this?"

Again, collaboration is key in the higher ed workspace. No matter how good you think your idea or solution might be, it can't be a one-sided conversation.

These questions, in particular, create a safe space, encouraging others to share their opinions and raise any concerns they may have. While they may seem like simple questions, they are some of the most important ones you can ask on a regular basis. Not every person is comfortable raising their voice without being prompted. You may be working with introverts, young professionals who may be afraid of 'rocking the boat,' or people who have been burned before by voicing a difference of opinion. Asking for feedback is a clear and direct way to show that you are truly open to collaboration and value your colleagues' opinions. Showing empathy for their thoughts and working to find solutions if they have concerns helps to build a foundation for more fruitful collaboration in the future.

"When it comes to others, your level of social awareness and social regulation plays a key part in building bonds across campus to drive mutual success," Mochnacz says. "Social awareness is your ability to read a room and social regulation is your ability to recognize the importance of the emotions around you and be able to facilitate understanding to build relationships and networks. Someone who is not developed in these areas will struggle to be successful on a college campus, but those environments tend to be incredibly collaborative."

2. "Let me see if I understand."

This phrase signals a desire to understand another person's point of view. Clarifying how a person feels ensures that you are avoiding assumptions, have a full picture of their concerns or feelings, and can address them effectively. Everyone wants to be understood, and taking the time to rephrase what you're hearing from them and confirming understanding shows that you're making an effort.

3. "I feel (X, Y, Z)…"

Recognizing your own emotions is key to building and maintaining effective relationships. Before you can ask someone else how they feel about something, it's important to be able to recognize your own emotions at any given point -- and be able to manage them.

"Do you know and understand your feelings, and can you articulate them effectively?," Mochnacz asks. "And can you regulate yourself so your emotions don't adversely impact others?"

Additionally, being open about your feelings can build trust and encourage others to speak up.

4. "How can I help you?"

This question is commonly asked by emotionally intelligent people because they have a knack for noticing others' emotions (or as Mochnacz says, they have social awareness). In this case, they may sense a colleague is feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Part of being a team is pitching in when and where you can. If you notice someone struggling, see if there's something you can do for them. Lending a hand is a great way to build bridges and strengthen your relationships across campus.

Final Words

These phrases aren't silver bullets by any means, but incorporating some of them into your daily interactions at work can have a tremendous impact on your relationships. They serve as powerful building blocks for better understanding your colleagues, collaborating with them in the future, and ultimately working together effectively to further your institution's mission.


This article is republished from HigherEdJobs® under a Creative Commons license. 

Saturday 23 2024

How to Write Better Emails: Communicating with Clarity and Kindness

by Casey McCormick, PhD

Closeup of woman's hands using laptop with email icon
NATA FUANGKAEW/ Shutterstock

Wherever you work in higher education, email probably takes up a huge part of your daily routine. An overflowing inbox causes anxiety, a rude email can ruin your day, and that message-you've-been meaning-to-send takes up vastly more mental space than it should.

Despite email's omnipresence in our lives, there are very few hard-and-fast rules about how to do it, and differing communication styles can lead to misunderstanding, email bloat, and hurt feelings. So, if you're looking to establish some best practices and improve your digital communication acumen, read on to learn how to write better emails.

Formatting and Basic Etiquette

The most important aspect of any email is clarity -- ensuring that the recipient knows exactly what you want to convey. In addition to clear and direct language, simple formatting choices can improve the readability and flow of your email. Use line breaks to separate the greeting, body paragraph(s), and sign-off, and bold key dates or numbers to make them stand out. Keep your email as concise as possible: short sentences, 1-3 sentences per paragraph, and an overall length of no more than 150 words.

As for which salutations to use, follow the advice of journalist Victoria Turk in her 2019 TED talk. She recommends using "Hi" rather than "Dear," unless it's a particularly formal context, like an event invitation or job application. Turk also insists that "there is a correct way to sign off an email. It is 'Best wishes.' 'Best' and 'All the best' are also acceptable." Importantly, she urges email writers never to use "thanks in advance" as a sign-off: "You can't thank someone for doing something before they've agreed to do it -- that's not how gratitude works." If you're dealing with an email chain or thread, Turk notes that it isn't necessary to repeat salutations with each new message, as that could ruin the conversational flow. But if it's a new day, feel free to say "hi" again.

The subject line is a useful tool for bringing specificity to your email communication. A detailed (but succinct) subject description signals to your recipient exactly what to expect in the message so they are prepared to extract the appropriate information. It also makes the email easy to find later if anyone needs to search their inbox for the thread. Finally, when dealing with group email communication, make sure you follow "the CC rule," as Turk calls it: "Primary recipients of an email, who are expected to respond, should go in the 'To' field. Other recipients of an email, who are not expected to respond, and who are included as a courtesy or for their information, should go in the 'CC' field." "BCC" should only be used to safeguard sensitive information in a large group or to avoid a "reply-all-pocalypse."

Tone and Style

While it can be tempting to use five-dollar words and descriptive detail to convey your knowledge and excitement about a subject, this type of writing is not conducive to a clear and concise email. Remember that the goal is to make reading your message as easy as possible for the recipient -- that means no extraneous information, no flowery language, and no jargon. As Turk argues, "good etiquette is not about the fancy flourishes, it's about respecting other people's time." One useful trick for ensuring your email flows clearly and conveys its point succinctly is to read the message aloud to yourself before sending it. Would you want to receive that email? If not, revise and try again.

Clarity and concision are the primary goals of any email, but Turk warns that it is also possible to be too concise. "There's a line where brevity crosses over into rudeness," she says. "A single word is not a sufficient message" and "no one is too busy for please and thank you." Remember that you're having a conversation with a human being -- use full sentences and a friendly tone. That's why Turk is "pro-emoji" in most email contexts: "Emoji are great at communicating sentiment; they're basically a digital stand-in for facial expression." Of course, be careful never to overuse emoji (or exclamation points!), but a few small punctuation choices or emoji gestures can make all the difference in how your messages come across to readers.

Kindness Saves the Day

Higher education can be a stressful place, and unfortunately, lots of folks are overworked and underpaid. Emailing requires serious physical and emotional labor, and a never-ending inbox -- especially if it's loaded with unnecessary or poorly written messages -- can contribute to symptoms of burnout. Make your number one goal "reducing the burden of email," as Turk puts it. Model clear, succinct communication, and keep your emails to business hours unless the matter is truly urgent. If you tend to work at off hours, use the "schedule send" function as a courtesy to your recipient.

Lastly, think about a time when you received an email that made your day better. Maybe they are few and far between, but there are no doubt moments where a kind message can change your mood and pull you out of an inbox slump. When digital communication feels natural and sincere, it becomes easier to write and takes less mental energy. With some practice and intention, you will be writing better emails and, by example, helping those in your network do the same.


This article is republished from HigherEdJobs® under a Creative Commons license.

Friday 22 2024

5 Handy Ways to Jumpstart Productivity in Your Workspace

Great Tire Deal

Designing a project workspace can take your creativity to new heights. Whether you’re into woodworking, metalworking, building models or repairing bikes or tools like chainsaws, having the right space allows you to focus on creating and enjoying each project to the fullest.

Completing a job to your satisfaction requires the right tools, equipment and resources to get the job done. Set up a workspace that lets you explore your passion with these tips from the DIY pros at Work IQ Tools:

Identify your needs. Every project comes with a unique set of tools and requirements for success. Make a list so you can ensure you account for every detail.

  • Determine if a large, flat workspace is required or floor space is better suited.
  • Balance comfort and craftsmanship by choosing a stable chair or rolling chair or decide if working on your feet is more practical.
  • Decide exactly how much space you realistically need.
  • Assess your access to adequate power sources.
  • If you’re using paints and varnish or other odorous substances, ensure there’s proper ventilation.

Invest in the right equipment. Having the right tools allows you to work faster, easier and smarter. Incorporating a solution like the IQ Vise System is like having a built-in problem solver with smart features that improve functionality and capability. The vise features a ball and socket design that allows articulation and 360-degree rotation at any angle for optimal work positioning while complementing task-specific jaws are crafted to create the perfect grip for an extensive range of shapes and materials.

Plan for storage. Keeping all your parts and pieces neatly organized means they remain in good condition until you need them, and you can find what you’re looking for easily. When you’re planning your storage needs, think about the space you need at every stage, including how you’ll protect a project that is in progress when you step away from your workspace.

Light it up. A well-lit workspace gives you the visibility you need to complete each project to your satisfaction. Overhead lights rarely do the trick for hands-on work, so plan to add task lamps to your work area. Look for models with features that match your hobby needs, such as dimming capabilities and goose necks that allow you to position the lights just right.

Remember safety. Different projects require distinct protective gear, but virtually all DIYers can benefit from some basic safety precautions. At the least, keep a first aid kit handy for nicks and cuts, but also consider safety glasses, gloves, ear protection and other gear that can help protect you while you work.

Find more useful tools to create a functional project workspace at

Workshop Assistants to Get the Job Done

No matter your craft or hobby, you can find plenty of tools and accessories that make it easier to navigate the intricate details of each project you tackle. Consider these IQ Connect plug-and-play workshop accessories that provide hands-free assistance where and when needed on the IQ Vise and around your work area via three additional mounting options.

Work Light: Task lighting helps illuminate dark or shadowed areas so you can see the tiniest details. A hands-free, 180-lumen work light that mounts in a magnetic holder, bench mount or clamp mount can add extra versatility. Rechargeable and featuring multiple light settings, it’s always ready and adaptable to your needs.

Magnifying Glass: Many hobby projects require intricately detailed work that’s difficult to see with the naked eye, whether it’s a minute piece of your project or the fine print on a tool. Look for a magnifying glass that’s at least 5 inches in diameter with at least two levels of magnification and an adjustable frame so you can get the angle just right.

Cell Phone Holder: A smartphone is often a hobbyist’s most valuable tool since you can use it to look up information, scan for design inspiration, record your process or add entertainment to your work session. An adjustable hands-free holder lets you get the positioning just right while giving you the freedom to tackle the tasks at hand.


     Great Tire Deal

Thursday 21 2024

$50K per year for a degree in a low-wage industry − is culinary school worth it?

Cooks and chefs regularly debate the merits of culinary school. Diy13/iStock via Getty Images
Ellen T. Meiser, University of Hawaii at Hilo

America’s culinary schools are feeling the heat.

When chef Gordon Ramsay appeared on an episode of the YouTube series “Last Meal” in January 2024, he described U.S. culinary schools as “depressing” places that “sandbag” students with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt before releasing them into a low-wage industry.

He added that graduates are pressured to select jobs that will put them in the best position to pay off their loans, rather than ones that will give them opportunities to learn and grow as chefs. Ramsay singled out the Culinary Institute of America, one of the most prestigious cooking schools in the country, as it sets students at its New York campus back US$52,090 per academic year.

Then, at the end of February, The New York Times published a compilation of interviews from 30 chefs around the U.S. They chimed in on a range of topics, but they were pretty much in lockstep when it came to culinary degrees:

“People ask me, ‘What’s a good culinary school to go to?’” chef Justin Pioche said. “And I always tell them: Don’t go.”

Chef Robynne Maii added, “I always sing the praises of culinary school, but in community colleges only. All the for-profit schools need to go away. They’re completely unnecessary and they’re predatory.”

These sentiments are not unique to culinary schools.

Trade, technical and for-profit schools are routinely criticized for their lopsided cost-to-benefit ratio, with scholars such as Tressie McMillan Cottom and A.J. Angulo arguing that many of them have predatory financial processes baked into their business models. There has been a similar critique – often tinged with political undercurrents – over graduate degrees in the humanities, arts and social sciences, described by the Wall Street Journal as “elite master’s degrees that don’t pay off.”

Yet thousands of aspiring chefs continue to enroll in expensive culinary schools, rather than learn on the job while being paid. And in the research for my book on notions of success in the culinary industry, I found that many graduates from these institutions actually feel their experiences were worth the price of admission.

What might explain this paradox?

Beyond dollars and cents

Cooks and chefs regularly debate the merits of culinary school.

It’s also a question I asked 50 U.S.-based kitchen workers during a study I conducted from 2018 to 2020. Of those 50 workers, 22 had attended culinary school. And of those 22 chefs, 17 believed their education was worth the cost – over three-quarters.

They were clear-eyed about how much they would earn after graduation – very little – and they also grasped that the debt would constrain their future work choices.

Yet, to them, the worth of their schooling didn’t hinge on wages and earning power.

Instead, they found immense value in the friendships and connections they forged – and in learning the culture of commercial kitchens. Social scientists have terms for these benefits: social capital and cultural capital.

Interviewees described being able to meet mentors through school events, gain experience in award-winning kitchens through internships, form relationships with classmates and always have a degree to point to as proof of know-how.

Bird's eye view of culinary students standing around a piece of pork as an instructor demonstrates how to cut the meat.
A Culinary Institute of America instructor demonstrates how to cut pork chops. AP Photo/Mike Groll

Culinary school was particularly helpful for individuals who felt socially disadvantaged in some way. They may have lacked connections and experience, or they were a minority in an industry where white men are more likely to serve as executive chefs.

“Because I am a female it was harder for me to get a sous-chef job,” one chef explained to me. “I mean, I saw kids who were not nearly as skilled as I was who got sous-chef positions, and I’d always get passed up. But I really feel that that education [from the Culinary Institute of America] – especially as a woman – really helped me. A lot. I would’ve never got the jobs I got without it.”

In her 2015 book “At The Chef’s Table,” sociologist Vanina Leschziner found that elite chefs claim to not weigh academic degrees highly while hiring, a sentiment also found by the food website Eater. At the same time, Leschziner found that 85% of elite chefs in San Francisco and New York were culinary school graduates, with 67% holding degrees from the Culinary Institute of America.

At face value, it’s possible that degrees and certificates are dismissed or overlooked during the hiring process. But social connections are not. So perhaps the networks and friendships formed during schooling are a big reason why most high-status restaurants are staffed by culinary school graduates.

With these industry realities in mind, culinary school doesn’t seem to “sandbag” students; instead, it helps them overcome barriers that they ordinarily couldn’t.

Not all culinary schools are alike

Based on my interviewees’ enthusiasm, culinary school degrees seem like a no-brainer. But there are caveats.

First, these largely positive perceptions of culinary school came primarily from students who had gone to the Culinary Institute of America. Attendees of college or for-profit programs, such as the now-shuttered U.S. Le Cordon Bleu campuses, were less pleased about their experience, with just 66% feeling like their degree was worth it, compared with 90% of those I interviewed with degrees from the Culinary Institute of America. While some of this discontent was due to quality of instruction, a large part was related to schools’ prestige.

Blue awning hanging over entrance to three story building reads 'Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.'
Le Cordon Bleu closed all 16 of its U.S. campuses in 2017. Walt Mancini/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

There are about 260 culinary programs across the nation. Schools at the top of the hierarchy, such as the Culinary Institute of America and the Institute of Culinary Education, are seen as places where high-status networks can be honed. This is, in part, a result of filtering out those who can’t afford to pay.

A degree from a top school is associated with the high-caliber restaurants and chefs that Leschziner wrote about; a degree from a lesser-known program likely yields far less social and cultural capital.

Second, I spoke only to individuals who still work in the industry, and that’s just a fraction of the culinary school population. Not all who attend remain in the industry. In fact, my interviewees estimated that only one-third of their classmates still cooked professionally.

Those who stick around likely present a more positive take: They had finished school and had found some measure of success in a notoriously brutal industry. Had I spoken to the two-thirds of graduates who had left the industry, this article might read differently.

Finally, because students devote a lot of time and money to an experience that yields little financial return on investment, adopting a rosy outlook on their schooling may smooth over any inner turmoil that might arise as they judge themselves and their past decisions.

A foot in the door

Determining the value of expensive culinary education is tough.

It can also detract from the very real problem of predatory and overpriced schooling, especially as the cost of higher education – in all forms – continues to rise, to the point of excluding large swaths of the population.

What’s clear to me, though, is that finances are not the sole – nor most important – reason why people choose to attend pricey culinary programs. My interviewees viewed culinary school as a social experience, one that provides meaningful networking and cultural opportunities to students and alumni.

As one award-winning chef told me, “If I wouldn’t have gone (to the Culinary Institute of America), I wouldn’t have gotten (my first) job as a personal chef. … Anytime people see (Culinary Institute of America) on the resume – whether it should or shouldn’t – it does open doors. So, I’m really glad I went there.”The Conversation

Ellen T. Meiser, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Hawaii at Hilo

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

Thursday 14 2024

Resilience Roadmap: Turning Job Rejections into Opportunities

by Dr. DeQuan M. Smith

Close-up of roadmap with start and finish pins

Facing rejection in the professional realm is an inevitable and often disheartening experience. In today's competitive job market, individuals invest significant time and effort in preparing for opportunities, making rejection a particularly challenging aspect of the career journey. The psychological toll of job rejection can be profound, causing disappointment and frustration. However, adopting the right mindset can help higher education professionals transform this adversity into a valuable opportunity for career development with long-lasting benefits.

The Emotional Impact of Job Rejection

The emotional impact of job rejection is a common experience for many individuals. Higher education professionals, who often dedicate years to academic pursuits and professional development, may find rejection challenging to accept. The disappointment can be compounded by investing time, energy, and passion in pursuing a desired role.

Acknowledging these feelings is crucial in the process of navigating rejection. Feeling disheartened, frustrated, or questioning your abilities and qualifications is natural. The first step in turning rejections into opportunities is recognizing that your emotions are genuine and you are entitled to have them. As you work through these feelings, I would highly recommend what I call a CARE Team. A CARE Team in this context could be a trusted advisor, a mentor, an executive coach, or someone that you can trust to work through difficult situations. Support during times of rejection is key to building resilience that creates space for growth in the face of adversity.

Shifting Perspectives and Preparation

The key to leveraging job rejection for professional growth lies in shifting perspectives. Instead of viewing rejection solely as a roadblock, individuals can choose to see it as a detour leading to unexpected opportunities. Higher education professionals can benefit from reframing rejection as a chance for self-reflection, learning, and improvement. For example, before applying to a role, align your cover letter and resume to the preferred qualifications of the position to adequately highlight your interest and preparedness for the position. Recruiters and hiring managers appreciate the devotion applicants put into the application process. This mantra helps keep things in perspective: "What's meant for you will never miss you."

One effective way to shift perspectives is to focus on the lessons that come with rejection. What skills or qualifications might be lacking? Is there room for improvement in the application process or interview skills? By identifying areas for growth, individuals can use rejection as a roadmap for personal and professional development. This mindset shift is essential for turning setbacks into stepping stones toward future success.

Building Resilience

Resilience is a vital trait in the face of professional challenges. Higher education professionals can cultivate resilience by viewing rejection as simply temporary. There is a season for all things. Recognizing that rejection does not define one's worth or potential is crucial in bouncing back from setbacks.

Building resilience also involves being vulnerable and honest with yourself. Sharing experiences of rejection and learning from others who have overcome similar challenges can provide valuable insights and ongoing encouragement. You will learn through this process that "we all have been here before, and more importantly, we are in this together." Remember in the face of challenge, it is essential to take intentional care of your physical and emotional wellness through self-care practices. "Through rejection higher ed professionals gain from this adversity to further learn and reflect to cultivate their careers that withstand resilience," said Dr. Tierney Bates, Vice Chancellor at USC- Upstate. "We don't fail, we either win or learn."

Harnessing the Power of Your Network

In the world of higher education, networking and relationship-building are paramount. Job rejection should not be viewed as the end of a professional connection but rather as an opportunity to strengthen relationships within the industry. You can use rejection as a catalyst for expanding your network, seeking guidance from mentors, and building connections with professionals who share similar career trajectories. LinkedIn is a powerful tool that allows you to not only connect with professionals across the space, but to join professional groups, collaborate, and even share your expertise on a particular subject matter.

Utilizing the LinkedIn Platform to seek advice on career advancement demonstrates a proactive approach to professional development. Additionally, joining professional associations and participating in and presenting at conferences has the ability to facilitate meaningful connections to support relationship building. Networking opens doors to new opportunities and provides a support system during challenging times. Higher education professionals can enhance their journeys by viewing rejection as a stepping stone to building meaningful connections.

"Being open to networking can benefit you in immeasurable ways -- it can shift your trajectory beyond your wildest dreams," said Dr. David Jones, director of career services at Morehouse School of Medicine.


Ultimately, the ability to turn adversity into opportunity is a skill that higher education professionals can cultivate throughout their careers. By embracing rejection as a natural part of the journey and learning from each experience, job seekers can propel themselves toward fulfilling and meaningful professional paths. The road to success is rarely linear, and it is in the face of challenges that true growth and resilience are cultivated. Take this as an opportunity to assess where you are now and where you plan to be in the future and most importantly, leaving room for setbacks and opportunities to overcome them.


This article is republished from HigherEdJobs® under a Creative Commons license. R

Friday 08 2024

4 Dynamics Undermining American Higher Education

by Robert A. Scott

Diploma, graduation cap, and books on an American flag
Novikov Aleksey/ Shutterstock

Recent news stories criticize colleges and universities for being more concerned about money and profits than about serving students and the public. High student and campus debt as well as low graduation rates are cited. Survey results suggest that many are questioning the value as well as the cost of higher education.

Higher education's serious fault lines were evident even before COVID-19 interrupted the spring 2020 semester and beyond. Consequently, the disruptions since have been more severe than expected and the recovery has taken longer.

Much has been said about the heavy reliance on student tuition supported by ever more student debt, increasing levels of tuition discounting, rising levels of campus debt for facilities, expanded commitments to marketing and branding that seem to exceed attention given to academic quality, and generally poor student success metrics, among others.

However, much less has been said about four other dynamics in contemporary higher education. These dynamics, which have disrupted relations between and among boards of trustees, presidents, campus faculty, and the broader community, have undermined the foundations of American higher education.

1. Board Composition

The first dynamic concerns the way boards of trustees are composed. Under 15% of American college and university trustees have professional experience in higher education. One cannot imagine a corporation like Google or Amazon declaring that 85% of its directors knew little, if anything, about the characteristics, economics, and competitive landscape of their enterprise. Yet college and university trustees, whether nominated or elected through a political process as at public institutions or approved by a self-perpetuating board at private institutions, are not selected for their knowledge of higher education or their governance acumen.

Universities should advance board education through periodic training sessions, publications, and conferences sponsored by groups such as AGB (Association of Governing Boards) for all members and not just those newly elected. In these sessions, trustees can learn about the duties of care, loyalty, and obedience, the role of the faculty in governance, and how to support the president as the executive responsible for the fulfillment of the institution's mission.

2. The Evolution of the President's Role

The second dynamic is the evolution of the college and university president's role. Campus presidents have variously been described as cheerleaders, budget masters, lobbyists, sales reps, high-stakes panhandlers, promoters, and entrepreneurs. Too seldom are they thought of as educators, the keepers of an institution's mission and legacy for transformational teaching and learning.

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) focus on size and scale, organization and delegation, short-term goals, the efficiency of means, money and markets, customers, personnel, and labor. By contrast, Chief Purpose Officers (CPOs) focus on mission and meaning, the long-term, the integrity of ends and means, student success, and faculty as partners in a moral and noble enterprise. This change in the president's perspective is due in large part to the composition of boards and the focus on money, whether state appropriations, fundraising, debt service, or state and federal compliance requirements.

Boards should support the professional development of presidents for their roles as chief mission officers as well as chief executive officers. A coach can be useful guide for presidents, especially those new to their role or facing an aggressive board.

3. Poor Preparation of Faculty for Shared Governance

A third dynamic in the current campus environment is the failure of boards and presidents to prepare faculty members for their roles in governance and leadership. After all, faculty are closest to the students whom institutions are chartered to serve, and they are integral to the fulfillment of institutional missions. Higher education leaders cannot fulfill their commitment to shared governance if the parties to it are unprepared for their roles in it.

4. Viewing Students as Consumers

Finally, a fourth dynamic is the consideration of students as consumers engaged in a transaction, a degree for money, instead of being engaged in a transformational experience involving the advancement of knowledge, skills, abilities, and values.

All four dynamics exacerbate the increasingly corporate style of higher education institutions. To change course, board members must be selected and educated for their role; presidents must be encouraged and rewarded for service as chief purpose officer as well as chief executive officer; faculty must be prepared for their involvement in governance and leadership; and students need to be thought of as partners in learning, not consumers in a transaction.

Finally, trustees, presidents, and faculty must monitor the alignment between mission and goals on the one hand and the use of resources and results on the other. By monitoring alignments, the parties to university governance can ensure that the goals for student learning and graduation are supported by both allocations and rewards. As it is, only 50% of those who enter four-year college graduate in four years.


This article is republished from HigherEdJobs® under a Creative Commons license.

Saturday 02 2024

How Colleges Can Improve Students’ Financial Literacy

by Andrew Wu

Jar of coins with grad cap on it

Federal student loan payments resumed last October after a 3-year pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. Five months prior, the national COVID-19 emergency ended and Congress passed legislation preventing additional extensions of payment pause, and student loan interest resumed in September 2023. Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal wrote a blog post that an unprecedented challenge was presented with more than 28 million borrowers returning to repayment. He said most had already made their first payments, while others would need more time and might be confused or overwhelmed about their options -- and supporting them would be a top priority.

The bottom line is that students need to understand the terms of their loans and the options available to them for repayment. Institutions can -- and have a duty to -- fill this gap.

Students Overwhelmingly Lack Financial Literacy

Human capital theory (HCT) provides a foundation that is essential in understanding why specific programs are necessary in meeting the challenges of future student debt management. As it relates to education, HCT proposes that education increases the productivity and earnings of individuals; therefore, education is an investment. Attending college is seen as a long-term investment in human capital because it generally provides individuals with economic benefits and impacts positive economic growth for society.

In fact, this investment is crucial for students -- their development of human capital is considered improving productive capacities, which includes possessing knowledge, skills, and talents. Ideally, when students decide to attend college, they take on the responsibility to investigate and understand all possible benefits with regard to taking on student loan debt. They should recognize the positive outcomes of the short- and long-term cost benefit of student loans: an education first, then earnings from a career that allows the ability to repay loans. Yet, there is alarmingly little financial education provided by institutions to help fulfill the financial wellness expectations described in HCT.

In order to comprehensively apply HCT to the benefit of college graduates with federal loan debt, a dedicated financial literacy department needs to be required for all institutions that process federal financial aid. Research on financial wellness by the Department of Education reported that close to 75% of students were stressed by their finances in general and over 50% of students worry about having enough to pay for school.

In addition, many students had never taken a personal finance class or workshop while in college. With federal student loan debt totaling over $1 billion and many students having little or no experience managing their day-to-day costs and finances, there has never been a more appropriate time in higher education to create financial literacy programs that will meet both the needs of students and institutions. While attending a recent career fair for new college graduates, it was surprising to learn of the overwhelming lack in knowledge of income-based payment plan options that are available to students with federal student loan debt.

Having more than a decade's experience leading college financial aid departments and spearheading several initiatives to increase students' financial literacy, I can share some of the best practices I have seen benefit both students and institutions.

How Colleges Can Help

An effective financial literacy program involves establishing a dedicated unit to teach and partner with students throughout their college careers and beyond. To start, institutions may want to create and host a mandatory group or individual financial literacy meeting for incoming first-year students on techniques for managing costs of attendance, financial aid loans, and personal finances. Each subsequent year, it is helpful to host mandatory ongoing financial literacy and wellness seminars held specifically for each college year cohort. Finally, prior to graduation, a dedicated senior-year debt management seminar, with a focus on debt repayment strategies, can help prepare all potential graduates who have federal student loan debt.

The most unique, innovative, and student-service-centered aspect that I have seen from newly formed financial literacy departments is continued assistance to students in their first year following graduation (at no cost to them). It is common for graduates to pay for the services of financial advisors or consultants to help manage their financial planning and wellness. Alternatively, some financial literacy departments provide this valuable service and consulting as part of the continuing student experience lifecycle.

Staff can continuously review and advise graduates on their loan repayment plan, making recommendations if they feel a change in repayment plan is the best fit.

Last but not least, the financial literacy staff may benefit from being trained and licensed to advise on important financial decisions on life events such as home mortgages, managing family finances, and continued financial wellness education.

Final Words

Institutions need to consider their ethical and educational duty to extend their mission of educating students post-graduation. Not only does it benefit the institution in areas such as managing Cohort Default Rate (CDR) performance, but it also promotes a stronger connection with the student population and helps generate continuing student service satisfaction. Financial literacy departments are valuable investments for all colleges and universities to consider in order to provide their students and graduates with an organized and systematic roadmap for managing student loan debt.


This article is republished from HigherEdJobs® under a Creative Commons license. 

Friday 01 2024

The future of work: Why we need to think beyond the hype of the four-day week

Yaëlle Amsallem, ESCP Business School and Emmanuelle Léon, ESCP Business School

Is reducing working hours a sign of progress? Since the 19th century, the number of hours spent at work has been steadily declining in developed countries.

The four-day week emerged in the 90s as a political and economic demand for a more equal division of work. The idea was to reduce the number of hours worked so that more people can access employment. This approach, developed in 1993 by French economist Pierre Larrouturou, was tested in 1996 with the de Robien law on the organisation of working hours. In France, business leaders such as Antoine Riboud, CEO of the multinational food-products firm Danone, championed the idea as a way of boosting recruitment. However, the law was repealed in the early 2000s with the labour reform that introduced the 35-hour week. Elsewhere, in Germany, Volkswagen adopted the four-day week in 1994 to save 30,000 jobs, only to abandon it in 2006.

The Covid crisis and its associated lockdowns have brought this debate back into the spotlight. The widespread adoption of working from home, the use of new technologies and the increase in flexibility have profoundly transformed the way we work. This period has also reinforced employees’ desire for a better work-life balance. As a result, 56% of British employees would accept to earn less money in exchange for more free time.

Against this backdrop, the debate on the four-day week is resurfacing. Countries in Asia and Oceania are looking at ways to organise their workforces in order to reengage their employees. In New Zealand, the government introduced a four-day week at the end of the pandemic to boost productivity and improve work-life balance. In Japan, several companies have also come on board, including Hitachi and Microsoft. This measure, presented as a means of combating overwork culture, is also an opportunity to significantly improve productivity (by 40% in the case of Microsoft).

Europe is following suit, starting with the countries of Northern Europe, followed by the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal and France.

This reform can take various shapes – each of them presenting specific challenges.

A four-day week or a week squeezed into four days?

The first approach is the most popular: an unchanged number of working hours, concentrated over four days. This is the model implemented by Belgium and the Nordic countries. In autumn 2022, Belgium passed a law on the four-day week, called the “deal for employment”: employees can work four days without any reduction in salary because their weekly working time remains the same. In Italy, the Intesa Sanpaolo bank is doing the same. In France, an attempt to do so was proposed in March 2023 to the employees of Urssaf Picardie, but was a complete failure. The cause: parenthood. Long days no longer allow parents to take their children to and from school.

This is a new form of temporal flexibility, without any reduction in working hours. As economist Éric Heyer points out:

“We shouldn’t confuse the ‘four-day’ week, which reduces working time, with the ‘week in four days’, which compresses it.”

The challenge, then, is to work differently so that the quality of work does not suffer as a result of intensification.

Working less, working better

The second approach is the true ideal of the four-day week, namely the 32-hour week: shorter working hours thanks to increased productivity. It has been implemented in Southern Europe (Spain, Portugal).

This formula is based on the idea of maintaining work productivity by identifying and reducing unproductive time, streamlining certain processes, notably reporting and participation in meetings. Working less, yes, but above all working better. It would in fact limit everything considered superfluous. That said, putting the organisation on a diet reduces its ability to adapt to rapid changes in its environment. For example, we now know that “down times” facilitate the exchange of information between teams.

This approach is deeply embedded in the idea that technology will compensate for any loss of productivity, a recurring theme since the publication of The End of Work in 1995 by American essayist Jeremy Rifkin. The arrival of generative artificial intelligence has brought the concept back to the forefront. Bill Gates even talks about the imminent arrival of the three-day week.

Since the advent of the industrial world, organisations have constantly sought to optimise working time. For many years, it simply kept pace with the production line. Working time and time at work were perfectly synonymous. Today, we don’t have to go to the office to work: work has moved into our personal spaces. Working time has become detached from office time. With the four-day week, the aim is to frame work in terms of time rather than space. Sarah Proust, an expert associated with the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, explains:

“What is at issue here is the organisation and distribution of work, rather the place we intend to give to work in society.”

Toward a new work paradigm?

Instead of focusing on the volume of hours, shouldn’t we be talking about the very nature of work? In the words of economist Timothée Parrique, we need to stop predicting the future of work with ideas like the four-day week, and start inventing the work of the future.

A growing body of research, notably in the wake of anthropologist David Graeber, is highlighting the loss of meaning at work, the rise of “bullshit jobs” and the “revolt of the top of the class”, to borrow the title of journalist Jean-Laurent Cassely’s book.

Unfortunately, reorganising working hours will not be enough to reengage one’s workforce. Working time is above all a “hygiene factor”, as psychologist Frederick Irving Herzberg explains. It cannot deliver the motivation so hoped-for by managers. It can only temper employee dissatisfaction. As a source of personal fulfilment and satisfaction, highers-up need to activate genuine “motivational factors”, such as by valuing the work accomplished, employees’ autonomy, or making work tasks more interesting.

Perhaps we need to create new utopias of work along the lines of Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston, Ernest Callenbach’s book (1975) that imagined three West Coast states seceding from the USA to establish a radically ecological way of life. In it, Callenbach imagines a new model of society where people only work 22 hours a week. This utopia depicts economies where a large proportion of the available hours are devoted to social, political, cultural and environmental activities. Ecotopia advocates personal and collective fulfilment before individual success. Businesses are self-managed, public transport is free, education and health are accessible to all, criminal violence is absent, universal income is in force and recycling, sobriety and degrowth are the rule.

Callenbach wanted to give us a glimpse of a world he believed to be better, not only for the environment, but also for the individual balance of each person. As we live longer than ever, and as work occupies less time in our lives, we need to imagine, not a new way of working, but a new way of living.The Conversation

Yaëlle Amsallem, Doctorante, Assistante de recherche de la Chaire Reinventing Work, ESCP Business School and Emmanuelle Léon, Professeure associée, Directrice scientifique de la Chaire Reinventing Work, ESCP Business School

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

Sunday 25 2024

What to Do When Your Academic Research Agenda is Stalled

by Dr. Sarah Ruth Jacobs

Asian woman researching on computer, looking frustrated

Days, months, and years pass by, and still, that book and those articles remain unpublished. Perhaps you have submitted an article to multiple journals, only to be rewarded with harshly worded rejections or a seemingly impossible set of revisions. Whether you are on or off the tenure track, it is easy to fall into a state of paralysis or even quiet despair when it comes to research productivity. No matter how much time has passed, it is never too late to change your patterns and restart your research and publication agenda.

Take Careful Stock of Your Materials

Perhaps you have spent a long time focusing on a single project, and it might be a good time to revive a different project or change your approach. Take some time to look over all of your unpublished work, and consider which projects are the most promising and which should be archived indefinitely or forever. Perhaps some of your material is outdated, but it could still be repurposed or folded into a new project. You might want to first go for the "easy wins" (the projects that need the smallest amount of revising) and return to the more complex projects later on. Dr. Jason Brennan, author of "Good Work If You Can Get It: How to Succeed in Academia" and the Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, advises that "One way to keep on track is to always have multiple projects at different stages. For instance, have some that are just percolating in the back of the brain, some that you are actively drafting, and others that are nearly polished. That way, when you get stuck on one thing, you can work on something else for a bit and then come back to the first thing two weeks later with fresh eyes."

Take on Your Internal Blocks

Maybe you have been burned by a great deal of rejection, and you have fallen into avoidance and procrastination. Perhaps you are a perfectionist who pours every last bit of time and energy into teaching because it feels more pressing and impactful than research. Journaling a little bit about the state of your research agenda, your concerns and frustrations, and where you want to see things go could help you identify and address some inner roadblocks. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or a potential attention disorder, having the courage to seek out evaluation and treatment could transform your life in multiple ways.

Say No Where You Can

Perhaps you have taken on too many commitments that have diminished the time that is available to you for research. Dr. Robert Kelchen, the head of the department of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, recommends that you divide your working hours based on how you are evaluated for tenure, "So that if 30% of your evaluation is based on research, make sure that you are doing that to the extent possible." If your service and teaching commitments are standing in the way of doing productive research, it is time to ruthlessly reduce your time spent on these endeavors and say no wherever possible.

Set a Specific Agenda and Honor Your Scheduled Time

Only revise a piece when you have a particular publication or publisher in mind. You should have both read recent articles from that publication and searched for articles on your topic across all of your discipline's journals before revising. Schedule time for a specific project, and honor that commitment by being willing to struggle with putting words on the page. Dr. Brennan states, "My best advice for avoiding writer's block is simply to give yourself permission to write bad work. When you have a puzzle, write down as much as you can, train-of-thought-style, about that topic. Then, walk away for a few weeks. Come back, comb over what you read, and see if there's anything there. Write first, edit second. Many of us get stuck on writing because we won't let ourselves put something on the page until we have it perfectly thought out in our heads. But, on the contrary, writing is thinking."

Plan for Meaningful Breaks

Honoring your "off" time and planning rewarding and fun activities could motivate you to be more focused and productive during your work hours. Dr. Mary McKinney, a psychotherapist and an academic career coach, states "I find that many people who view themselves as procrastinators actually rarely take any guilt-free time off. Because they are inefficient, they think they should be working all the time. Procrastination becomes the only way they get a break! I advise everyone I work with to take off at least one full, guilt-free day each week. It is surprising how hard this is for some people. After a bit of rest and relaxation, it is often easier to focus on tasks that have been avoided."

Submit as Much as Possible

Rejection can sting, but like any skill, academic publication is a learning curve, and your results will improve with practice. Dr. Brennan insists that "The main thing is to submit. Journals are swamped, sure, and as an editor myself, I'm not craving getting excessive submissions. But, despite that, you need to take the shot. There is significant randomness in publishing. If you wait until you have everything perfect, you won't publish much. In general, I recommend everyone in a job track that depends on publishing success to have at least three papers under review, at all times, no matter what."

Find Accountability

Setting hard deadlines and finding someone who will hold you accountable in a serious way (such as by supervising your donation to a cause that you despise when you miss a goal) can add a hard layer of reality to goals that otherwise could remain loose.

If All Else Fails, Look at the State of Your Field

Perhaps a lot of time has passed since you were actively involved in research, and all of your projects are a bit dated. You might, therefore, look at what is happening in the preeminent conferences and journals of your field in order to get some ideas for new directions and topics. Dr. Brennan suggests that "There are strategies for finding new projects. Ask questions such as, does this whole debate assume some premise which might be false? Might people in my field learn something from a cognate field? Are two opposing ideas really the same thing? Do big theories or principles have implications others haven't noticed and perhaps would not endorse? Do people say the word 'obviously' and 'of course' about things that we should instead question?"


This article is republished from HigherEdJobs® under a Creative Commons license.