What a time we are in!
When I devised this year’s editorial calendar for MethodSpace, I thought a focus on careers might be helpful for new graduates looking for research-oriented positions in and out of academia. Academics and scholars spend a long time preparing for a career, so it is not uncommon to find that the world has changed since we started studying for the doctoral degree. It made sense to look at options for reconciling expectations with new realities.
Little did I know just how profound world changes would be! At this writing it is still unclear what the coming term will hold for higher education, let alone the future. I could not have predicted that so many people who intended to continue their careers would also find themselves in need of a new direction! In addition to those experiencing lost or furloughed jobs, those whose positions and research projects have survived the myriad repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic upheaval are finding they will have to work in unfamiliar ways.
Finding Your path
It has never been easy to find your path, or to decide which path to pursue. Maybe that is why the Buddhists include “right livelihood” as essential to their practice. Finding our purpose is one thing, finding a way to fulfill our purpose while making a living is quite another.
Career purpose might take priority at some points in life, while at other times we must prioritize choices that allow us to pay our bills and put food on the table. How can we make peace with our choices, and contribute something of meaning in whatever work we do?
Join us for a focus on research and careers
Given these challenging circumstances, MethodSpace is doubling down. Research Career Crossroads will be our focus for two months, June and July. Rather than choose one Mentor-in-Residence for this focus topic, we will hear from a variety of people. I’ve invited many past MethodSpace contributors and others working in career-change fields to share knowledge and expertise from different perspectives, with guidance about traditional and nontraditional options.
We will continue to offer insights and resources for those who are trying to move forward within new constraints. We will share suggestions for dealing with research disruption, and for redesigning studies to include online or other methods. We will share strategies for teaching methods and guiding student researchers using online or blended learning. We’ll also explore changes in the field of social research, and implications for researchers. You’ll find an unfolding series of practical posts, resources, and interviews through this link. If you have something to contribute or questions you hope we’ll address, please contact me directly.