Friday, January 4, 2013

Stress This Redux

Lots of academic folks are upset today as Forbes ranked our jobs as least stressful.  That would be ok, but they make it seem as if least stressful = no stress.  Plus it contradicts studies that show a high level of occupational stress.  I addressed such a survey/news report last spring so I don't have much to add here except key omissions:
  • the academic job market will deposit many people in places where they would rather not live.  This creates a daily dose of stress when confronting mud-storms in West Texas or higher taxes/crappy services due to separatist politics in Quebec, for instance. 
  • that limited job mobility might mean being stuck with people one hates for two or three decades.  Sure, that can happen in other jobs, but the joy of job security/tenure means that this happens all the time in our business.  
Anyhow, once one gets tenure, the stress is mostly but not entirely self-induced.  This may change as the profession and the universities change, but I do know I am lucky even if I sometimes wanted to sing the blues.

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