Career planning in academia is a component of a broader suite of cultural norms and material practices that reproduce the contemporary status quo. Career planning assumes the existence of a means of creating some predictability and contingency planning – an anchor on which to weigh your ship in the ocean of possible futures. Career planning means taking the advice of the good seafarers who came before your; to trust that their vectors are well-plotted and that their compasses point true. The oceans of academia are economic, cultural, and social, so that to take the advice of seafarers on where to anchor your vessel is to aspire to a way of life. In this post, I reflect on how this way of life is experienced by early-career academics who keep the maps of their forebears sacred, despite many lingering feelings that their anchors never truly caught on the seafloor.
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