Hello fellow academics: Can you help me decide whether I am in the right job?

(3 Posts)
thriftyblue2 Tue 05-Jul-16 18:12:52

I remember a while ago a thread on here with lots of academic mums, so I am hoping some are out there now. This is a very self-absorbed post, but here we go anyway.

I am an academic, in social sciences, and for the most part I love my job and feel privileged to do it. The trouble is, my publication record is pretty rubbish. What I do have is OK quality, eg mostly in top ranked journals, but my strike rate is very low and it takes me forever to get anything out. This is partly because I have prioritised a lot of impact stuff, which means I have a fairly strong external profile with practitioners/policy people, but have had less time to write journal papers. That will change.

But it's also because I just find it really HARD to write good papers (which may also be why I've prioritised the impact side)! Most of all, I just don't seem to have the ability to frame a paper to make the theoretical contribution reviewers want.

I am having a total crisis of confidence. Is this a knack, can I eventually learn this? Does everybody struggle? I often read and re-read other papers to try to understand what other people are doing but sometimes end up feeling that they have said not very much in very many words and in unnecessarily complicated language.

But then I think that suggests that I am must be a phoney. Has anyone else been here? What did you do? I really want to do this job and be good at it, but my fear is I need to accept that I am just not quite clever enough - or risk spending my working life feeling hopelessly inadequate.

I told you, self-absorbed, but I would love to hear from other academics.

breakingpointisnigh Wed 06-Jul-16 15:35:02

I'm sorry I can't help you but I am sure if you posted here you would get some good advice smile

thriftyblue2 Wed 06-Jul-16 15:52:16

Thanks breakingpoint, had no idea that was there!

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