I’m nearing a point in my post doc where I think I’m ready to finally start applying to faculty positions. I’ve gotten a few publications out, I’ve built a lab pretty much from the ground up, and I’ve mentored students in the lab ranging from high schoolers up through grad students. I’ve gotten leadership positions within organizations in my field, and I’ve managed to secure a chunk of time using the equipment at a national lab. Right now, it’s also the time of year when positions are advertised for the few months before the November and I’d have to wait another year for the next one. And though I’m ready to start applying, I’m a bit concerned about leaving.
I’ve posted before about the importance of location, especially as a trans woman. A number of things have improved in the US since I wrote that post, but those aren’t the only considerations I have. My husband moved halfway across the country with me so that I could do the post doc I’m in, and over the past few years we’ve finally gotten some roots planted. It feels like we’ve just recently been able to settle down again. He’s found a job here that he likes and is good at. We’ve made friends, we’ve become a part of a community, and even mentioning that I’m thinking of taking on a faculty position elsewhere has people telling me that I can’t leave, that I need to make the university I’m at make me a permanent position.
Unfortunately, academia as it is doesn’t really work that way. In order for me to stay in the field and advance in my career, we’ll need to move again. To lose the connections we spent years cultivating here, to leave behind the community we’ve found and become a part of. To start over and move to a new place where we don’t really know anyone, or where anything is, or what the community is like (especially in regards to connecting with other LGBT people). Though academically I’m at a point where I think I’m ready for a faculty position, I’m not at all sure I’m emotionally ready to leave.
Even so, I’ll likely be sending out my first round of applications within the next few weeks. Once nice thing is that I still have a couple years of funding in my post doc, in case none of the positions are right for us (assuming I’m offered any). For those of you have made the transition already, how have you handled starting over again so soon after getting settled in the last place?