Friday, September 24, 2010

Evolving Roles

There is a job possibility for me when I come back from parental leave. I don't want to get into specifics because it's not official or anything yet, but it would involve working with some of the same people (staff/faculty) I've been working with as a student and/or post-doc, and supervising graduate students as TAs.

One of my concerns about the position is that I really won't have any peers, or anyone I can connect to on a personal level, because I'll be working at the same institution. On one hand, I'll be working with professors, and I don't feel like I'll be on the same "level" as them because I've worked for/with them as a student and now a post-doc, and don't think they will change their perception of me. On the other hand, I'll be working with students, and I don't feel like I can/should make a personal connection with them either.

The job is right up my alley, but I'm still wondering if I'll be happy in such a situation. I know from my PhD experience that having social connections with people I work with is also important. I don't want to feel isolated like I have for the past few years.

I think maintaining a professional relationship with the students will be relatively easy, as there is such a high turnover rate for TAs. But, what about the flip side? How would I navigate the student to post-doc to staff role at the same institution (with the same people) so other staff members and professors will see me as an equal now?