>Into the third week of the new job. Walked towards the office without actively noticing my surroundings, which is both good (starting to feel familiar about the work/location) and bad (the novelty of being in a new space really did excite the senses). It’s hardly the case that it’s all old hat just yet. I don’t know if I’ll be talking too much directly about the job as it’s not the stuff of the blogposts I’d like to write.
Now that I’ve moved sideways in the university and am on the other side of the fence (admin rather than academia), it has been an odd career transitional phase. I was never wedded to the idea of being an academic; cultivating a level of scepticism of the institution is no bad thing. Now, however, my day-job does not include building research networks or developing Asian Australian Studies or doing research for publication and presentation. All these things are now relegated to being ‘extra-curricular’ activities. This is frustrating because I’d been a research fellow for almost a decade, and the gamut of activities to create academic networks and strengthen my professional profile had become naturalised behaviours. I’m re-training myself to allocate non-work time to do AASRN tasks. This is difficult because I’m away from home much more consistently now, and I want to spend time with kidlets when I’m not working/commuting. I don’t want to work on research/writing at nights and over weekends; I get the impression from senior colleagues that it isn’t wise to let my research output languish, as it won’t help when I apply for that next fellowship/academic job. I thought I’d made it relatively clear that I was kinda happy not to be an academic anymore. Being torn about doing research may be more to do with habit than personal drive. I’ll have to see whether I feel this way six months down the track. One thing I definitely do miss is working with my lovely, savvy buddies in academia. That intellectual buzz and creating fields of research is up there in terms of life satisfactions. I think I may still be able to channel my energies into nurturing Asian Australian Studies, but it just won’t be on the scale it was before.
Today, I met up for lunch with Jen Kwok, the large brain behind the blog Borderless Democracy. Jen’s also a long-time buddy from Asian Australian Studies circles. As happens when I brainstorm with my academic friends, ideas and momentum spill all over our cafe tables and we end up v. excited about the possibilities for collaboration. As happens these days, I then hope that I follow through on the frenzy of planning. Buddies should feel free to nudge me about feedback and planning. I’m happy to be presumed slightly absent-minded for now.