Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Embarrassment of riches

I come to the new year with big questions about where I go from here. My large research projects are completed, and my smaller projects are coming to a close (I hope). I am doing some consulting, which is fine, but I have no project of my own. I am not sure what to do next; I feel stuck, and time is passing quickly. (This is when I wish I had a real mentor... I am not sure that they exist, and I am not sure I really would want one if they did, but that is a topic for another day.)

I have a ton of administrative busy work that could creep in to take up a lot of my time, if I don't come up with a plan very soon. I have many options and ideas for new projects--some related to extending my prior research, some related to some of my new administrative projects, some related to my political activities, and some just brand new. And I am not teaching this semester, so I could really do something big.

I want to be strategic about it, while still following my interests and passions and producing useful work. I have always done my projects by myself, shunning teamwork for the wonderful control that comes with working alone. When I do work on other people's projects, I am a consultant, not responsible for overseeing everything, and I get to drift in and out.

Yet, I also want to eventually become a Dean, which these days (in my field) seems to mean that you have run a major research project, usually a funded one. Choosing to go this route would push me away from my recent field of study and into something new and more mainstream.

Mostly, I am worried by being so stagnant. I have been writing non-research-related pieces, but that is getting old. And, truth be told, it is boring and tedious. I like the research-related writing better. And I have to admit feeling competitive... I want to compete in the future for leadership positions, and I need my vitae to look especially strong.

This impasse is futher complicated by the fact that my tenure packet is in, and I won't have that answer until mid-March. And I am still trying to decide whether to pursue more invasive treatment for fertility issues...

So, how do you get past your plethora of choices to make a damn decision--on anything?

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