Procyon (procyonid) wrote,

Signing the Paperwork

More than a year after starting the 2015-2016 faculty job search, and more than six months after throwing together an application to Liverpool at the last possible minute, I finally got the final job contract for the faculty position at LJMU this week. After one last careful readthrough, my signature was on paper and the form was back in HR's inbox. It's all over and done now: I start February 1st.

If there is one "silver lining" of the disastrous election, it's this one: in the end, finalizing the decision came with virtually no regret. Nobody really has any idea what is really going to happen politically in the US, including what is going to happen to science in particular with an anti-fact administration in the White House and budget-slashing ideologues in control of both houses of Congress. But it no longer matters much for my career: I'm off that ship now. Leaving the country was never my goal going into the process (the situation we are in now would have seemed preposterous a year ago) and in fact it was something I specifically sought to avoid, even though I allowed myself to consider options outside of North America. But in retrospect, perhaps all those rejections actually did me a favor in the end by forcing me to broaden my career options: being outside the country was long a minus, but if I were considering my academic options right now, the situation might very well be exactly the opposite.

Not that it's something to crow over. I am, after all, only moving to the country responsible for what was now the second stupidest political act of the past year. Brexit is still poised to wreak extensive economic damage that will hit the science budgets unfavorably, and the Conservative party is going to be in power for years. Plus, research-wise, a lot of my planned research is tied to American-built, US-funded projects. If these get canned I'm going to struggle to remain on the cutting edge. Still: absent a huge screw-up on my part, my own job will be secure until at least 2020. I can't afford to take my foot off the gas pedal at work, but at least I can stop fearing a wipeout.

The future looks very different from what I, or any reasonable person, would have expected a year ago. But you play the hand you're dealt, and I intend to make the most of it.
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