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How stressful is your job as a full-time faculty member?

How stressful is your job as a full-time faculty member? Topic: What is a research problem relationship
July 24, 2019 / By Shelia
Question: I recently finished my PhD and I'm looking for tenure-track faculty positions at small liberal arts colleges. I really enjoy teaching and I'm applying for Psychology jobs. I know every job has it's stresses, but I'd like to know what the stress level is like when you're teaching four or five courses a semester and particularly, how people dealt with it when they were new faculty members.
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Best Answers: How stressful is your job as a full-time faculty member?

Pauline Pauline | 5 days ago
First answer was good. Almost any professor is going to feel stressed if taking the job seriously -- especially if the tenure process is hanging over your head. But obviously a lot of us make it through that and continue to teach, so there are benefits to the job that balance the frustrations. Keep that in mind. Try to make a good decision about accepting a job, if you have a choice. The people around you make all the difference. I've taught in a department where everyone worked wonderfully together. I've taught under an evil chair in a department where back-room politics and general nastiness were rampant. Talk about stress! That teaching load seems a bit excessive, but the load is often higher at a non-research school. Make sure that other expectations are reasonably balanced if a teaching load is high, for example: your performance as a teacher is weighed more heavily than your output as a researcher. The problem with small colleges is that there are less people to share the workload, but there are not correspondingly less committees -- in this day and age, administrators love committees and love assessment and accountability. Sometimes I think we spend more time assessing than we do actually teaching. How to manage stress level? 1. Develop some trustworthy relationships with seasoned faculty. At least one inside your department and one outside to be your mentors. This gives you perspective and helps you navigate in and out of the classroom. I've had mentors who were incredible in advancing my teaching skills, and others who were savvy about politics and career advancement. I needed both! 2. Learn to say "let me think about this for a day or so" before committing to anything that isn't simple. Learn to say no firmly but gracefully. Consult with your mentors about where you can say no and where you probably shouldn't. 3. Develop relationships with at least a couple other young/new faculty members on campus. You can compare notes and support one another as you go through similar adventures. 4. Have a life. Do NOT answer student emails (or faculty ones either for that matter) after a certain hour of the day. As a young faculty member, it is likely students will feel close to you because you are less intimidating than an "old" person, but keep a distance and don't be too accessible. They'll survive without hearing from you at 10pm, and if they've made poor choices, they'll learn to live with the consequences. Their problem. Not yours. 5. Get a good night's sleep, eat a decent breakfast, don't give up your hobbies, your exercise, your personal life. Have at least one sacred chunk of weekly time that is NOT for school, no matter what: if you use it to stare at your navel, that is your choice but NO WORK. 6. Be careful of politics and of speaking your mind freely until you understand how things work and who really knows what they are doing, versus who is loud and overbearing. Be professional and be reasonably nice to everyone until there is a reason to skip the nice and simply go for professional. Never skip that. 7. Remember why you chose this career. For me, the students are the best part of my day. I love their energy, their questions, their potential and their growth. Save the funny notes they send you, the unintentionally hilarious exam answers, the thank-you emails. You may not get a lot of them, but they are something to make you smile when you need a reminder of what is important. 8. Remember that email is not the place to discuss serious and sensitive issues. Too easy to be misconstrued, too easy to forward and blind copy. Use paper memos for serious matters and they'll be taken more seriously too. Venting (even if you are 100% right) is also dangerous. Vent over a beer. 9. Be very careful of the difference between "reply" and "reply to all" with email. That's caused trouble in more than one department! 9. When you are ready to blow up, go for a walk, rake leaves, ride your bike: do something solo and physical to give yourself time, distance and clear head. Then address the issue -- the real one -- that is sending you over the edge. 10. Enjoy. What other job allows you to essentially have a fresh start at least twice a year? Very little of the frustrations or mistakes are going to matter for more than a day or so, and they certainly aren't going to make the earth wobble in its orbit. It's all little stuff until we make it bigger. Good luck!
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We found more questions related to the topic: What is a research problem relationship


Pauline Originally Answered: Do I let a gossipy friend know full details about a stressful period in my life?
Do NOT tell your friend about your situation. She will just use it to mock you even worse. Besides, you shouldn't have to give her an explanation, or feel like you have to prove yourself. She is what I would call a "Friend-emy". After spending time with a good friend, you should feel happy and good about yourself. She seems to only be happy bringing you down. She may be doing it out of insecurity or jealousy, but that's no excuse for her to be that way. Try talking to her alone and tell her that you value her as a friend, but it really hurts you when she makes snide remarks about your past mistakes. If she ends up feeling bad and apologetic, then keep her as a friend. But if she doesn't care, and continues making snide remarks, then I would stop hanging around her. Surround yourself with better friends who will be supportive, and not hurt you. Good luck!
Pauline Originally Answered: Do I let a gossipy friend know full details about a stressful period in my life?
My educated guess is to not mention anything to anyone and understand that this gal friend of your sounds like the type of person most people roll their eyes at behind their backs. It sounds like you already understand she is inappropriate, in her immature actions and her comments so most others would too. I would smile demurely, when she speaks and even just go over and give her a slight squeeze of a hug, and giggle that she always brightens your day! lol (it may sound patronizing but you gotta love these kind of friends as they are off center (but still cute in an annoying way) Let he water flow off your back take a deep breath, cause you made it and you deserve to pat your self on the back!.

Marigold Marigold
first off, if you are doing 5 a semester in a tenure track, you are WAY overburdened. As the departmental newbie, you get to do the large sections of intro, and have to do all that grading and dealing with freshmen who all had 4 grandmothers dies in horrible accidents on 4 consecutive weeks, just when papers were due. (LOL) Most tenure track slots require active research and publications..... in the small office you will get, with all that workload, how will you find time and space to do all that research and writing? Oh, forgot to mention: you get to sit on that special committee of the faculty senate that is now 3 years behind schedule on some important project..... you know, the one the president and board need right away for the accreditor? Let's not forget department meetings, department committees, student groups who will want the fresh face to be the advisor............ Not trying to make it all bad, and you should be able to see through the sarcasm, but, recognize that there is some truth to my words. - Now as for how to handle the stresses, the most obvious advice would be to start drinking heavily, however that path is counter-productive. Oh the occasional bender will help....... You need to learn the following word: , ready, now repeat after me: "NO". when that does not work, then learn the following: "Heck NO". at some point this will also cease to be effective, so learn this one "F*** NO" Ok, that may not work either....... how about making a schedule, and keeping to it. be sure to build in time for non-academic pursuits, including eating, sleeping, exercise..... Good luck to you
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Marigold Originally Answered: If you work full time 39 hours are you entitled to full sick pay?
This is actually posted from the US website, not the UK, according to my screen. There is no UK identifier under the question. Some states require sick pay. You would need to contact your state employment office to find out if your state is one of them.
Marigold Originally Answered: If you work full time 39 hours are you entitled to full sick pay?
In the UK, where this is posted, employers are not obliged to pay SSP (Statutory sick pay) for any period of sickness. Most, before the recession, use to pay SSP which was the same as your normal wages but since the recession, most have now said that SSP will no longer be paid. You can claim monies from, I believe the council, but you will have to check this. Call your Doctors and they will be able to point you in the right direction. If they are not able to, call your local council. Good luck. KD

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