Career Advice I’ve Received

Following up on my previous post, here is a list of some professional advice I received as an assistant professor:

  1. Wear nicer shoes.
  2. Stop being flighty. Work on the same thing for about 20 years in order to become famous as “the person who does that.”
  3. Be at least gold medallion or equivalent on some airline.
  4. Screw up a service assignment in a very public way early on, in order to avoid being given important assignments.
  5. Have a cleaner office.
  6. Start out getting poor teaching evaluations so there’ll be room for improvement.
  7. Work harder on managing my image.
  8. At any cost, graduate a PhD student before going up for tenure.

Each of these was, I believe, intended seriously.

5 Replies to “Career Advice I’ve Received”

  1. #1 is from a complete idiot. Replace that with “if somebody says something really stupendously stupid, ignore their other advice.”

    #3 is over-rated now that we have the web

    #5 is almost as dumb as #1

    Add, when somebody gives stupid advice, smile and nod, and then quiety ignore them.

  2. I find #1 hilarious. Probably because I wear sandals year round and take my shoes off in the office. People notice more often than I would expect, and it drives some folks nuts. There is one guy who stops and makes a comment about my lack of shoes about once every two weeks…

  3. Scott and Michael, I wish I remembered what shoes I was wearing when I got that comment; it was years ago. It could have been sandals but more likely was a pair of work boots…

Comments are closed.