When you are afraid of failure at work, or have actually failed, what can you do to move past the “blame” stage and get back on track? Assigning blame – internally or externally – doesn’t help or serve you, or move you closer to career satisfaction. So keep failing forward.
One of the prevailing paradigms in higher ed these days is student success. Cynics decry it as a framework devoid of meaning. After all, haven’t all of us in higher ed existed to ensure student success at all times? As in: how is this “new” or advancing the field? But more narrowly constructed, many universities, colleges, and community colleges frame their missions and strategic plans around it. Student success can mean many things. It can entail access – ensuring that education remains available to all to the degree possible. It can include breaking down scheduling and financial barriers so students are able to complete their programs and graduate to a rewarding career. And it can mean that institutions provide services for its increasingly diverse students, such as food insecure students, first generation students, etc. But what does your higher ed institution do for career success for its staff? Anything?
Academics, especially, get really hung up on the idea that moving vertically – and that the right job *title* and the more *money* that comes along with that equals success. And I’m here to tell you that I know plenty of folks who have moved laterally – sometimes even for slightly less pay – just to be able to try something new and break into an area that is much more engaging for them. Success looks different for different people.
When over 70% of the jobs are, well, alt-ac, then it’s actually tenure-track or permanent faculty positions that have become the “alternative” career path. If you have to label us working outside of tenure-track faculty, some argue for using career diversity instead.