Five good things about starting a new academic job

I’ve been in my new job at Brighton for nearly three weeks now. I thought I would write a few thoughts about the positives about starting a new job. It has been over ten years since I was the ‘new guy’, and so far I’m enjoying it immensely.

Five good things about starting a new job:

  1. I’ve let go: I find it easy to start getting involved in things, but difficult to stop doing them. After ten years in the job I was the ‘go to guy’ for lots of different things. I had accumulated a lot of roles and responsibilities I did not want to give up. Some of these roles and responsibilities were probably not that important, or they are less important than they were. Someone else has to do the stuff which is really important now. The rest of it doesn’t need doing.
  2. I’m ignorant and naïve: Usually this is a bad thing but for a newcomer it’s a (sort of)  strength. If I don’t understand how something works I can ask without sounding clueless. If there is an elephant in the room I can brazenly draw attention to it (if I want to).
  3. I can be known for something else: Past achievements can be an albatross. After a long time in a job, people can appreciate talents, skills and achievements you wish to move on from. You can become known and appreciated for the wrong reasons.
  4. I’m meeting new people and having new experiences: I was always meeting new people in my previous job, but it has been particularly nice meeting new people in my new job. Brighton has a very different subject mix to Southampton, so I’m meeting people who teach and research different subjects like sport, hospitality, fashion design and Youthwork.
  5. I’m really doing new things. I’m teaching on the Postgraduate Certificate course, working with students on the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) scheme, working on Brighton’s professional recognition scheme. All this is related to my previous role, but new enough to be exciting, challenging and daunting.
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