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Landed a Tenure-Track Job? Great! Now It Gets Tough

At On the Market: Fumbling Towards Tenure Track, reader alreadyTTandhateit says that "worrying about grants, science not going as fast as I want it to, dealing with annoying staff at my institution, not much help from other faculty versus what I had been told there would be, [and] grad students not working as hard as I think they should" have left the commenter in search of "a way out." In response, DrugMonkey suggests that alreadyTTandhateit toughen up. Like most jobs, "being a PI ain't all unicorns and rainbows," he says at his blog. DrugMonkey supposes that the commenter's past PIs and mentors shielded him or her from the administrative aspects of running a lab. "Having it too good in training is crappy preparation for being a PI. I'd rather hire someone who had to struggle and overcome some adverse consequences than someone who had a cushy ride," he says, though he does sympathize with alreadyTTandhateit. While things may look bleak for the commenter now, DrugMonkey expects "that things will look up. S/he will get through the local paperwork, get some usable data out of a graduate student and land some grant support eventually."

Meanwhile, Professor in Training is struggling to achieve a balance between fostering her trainees' careers and advancing her own. When discussing future plans with her trainees, she says, "my first thoughts are increasingly about how their decisions will affect me and my progress. Me and my career. The time and effort I've invested in them." In these instances, Professor in Training has "had to stop and remind myself ... that I'm here to help guide them to where they want to be," she says. "And that I have the privilege of sharing their accomplishments."