Succeeding During Your Mid-career in University Settings

Authored by: Amy M. Briesch , Karen C. Stoiber , Samuel Y. Song , Erin Dowdy

Handbook of University and Professional Careers in School Psychology

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367353674
eBook ISBN: 9780429330964
Adobe ISBN:


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Mid-career is typically the longest period in one’s professional life—commencing after one has achieved tenure and concluding once one begins to think seriously about retirement—and it can also be the most challenging to successfully navigate. In this chapter, we argue that in addition to having a strong sense of resilience and a supportive ecology, one of the best ways to head off mid-career malaise is to embrace mid-career as a time for personal reflection, assessment, and planning. Those plans most likely to invigorate the next stage of one’s career are those that aim to expand or evolve teaching responsibilities, research endeavors, or service roles in a way that that matches one’s passions, strengths, and goals. One’s ability to successfully engage in meaningful goal setting and planning can be facilitated through utilization of structural resources, including institutional sabbaticals and mid-career grants and awards from professional organizations. In addition to drawing from the broader literature on maintaining vitality in academia, the authors share personal anecdotes and lessons learned from different stages in the mid-career phase in order to provide readers with tangible strategies.

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