ERIC Number: EJ1003436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-29
Self-Sabotage in the Academic Career
Sternberg, Robert J.
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr 2013
Pogo recognized long ago that we often are our own worst enemies. Sure, he was a cartoon character, but he had a point--especially in higher education, where self-sabotage seems to be a standard characteristic of academic careers. In the author's 30 years as a professor, five years as a dean, and three years as a provost, he has observed many academics harm their own careers, often without realizing it. Here are 15 ways in which one can be most self-destructive: (1) One doesn't seek out multiple mentors; (2) One doesn't seek out external evaluations; (3) One is either perfectionist or perfunctory in putting his/her work into print; (4) Did one hold on to revisions too long? Or rush them out?; (5) One pays too much attention to personal relationships--or too little; (6) One fails to understand the cultural norms of one's institution; (7) One isn't well known outside one's institution; (8) One lacks resilience in the face of failure; (9) One has been involved in one too many intradepartmental squabbles; (10) One is too selfish or too selfless; (11) One got stuck on one's dissertation paradigm; (12) One collaborates too much with colleagues from graduate school or postdoctoral years; (13) One fails to have a coherent research program; (14) One is guilty of any form of academic dishonesty; and (15) One hasn't figured out who he/she is.
Descriptors: College Faculty, Self Destructive Behavior, Career Development, Mentors, Faculty Evaluation, Faculty Publishing, Interpersonal Relationship, School Culture, Reputation, Resilience (Psychology), Conflict, Cheating, Self Concept, Research Projects
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A