Felienne Hermans, a Leiden University teacher started a series of postings about the mistakes she feels she made on the tenure track. I look forward to her reflections. In her kick-off posting she lists the mistakes she plans to look into, which I quoted below in full. Reading the list, there is much there I think that applies to life in general (e.g. 11, 12), being a professional (e.g. 3,4), being an entrepreneur (e.g. 6,8), and being an employer (e.g. 1,7, 10), not just the tenure track. Or at least by the looks of it, it matches my experiences in those roles.

So here, without any order or further ado is a list of mistakes I made on the tenure track, which I aim to all expand into blog posts over the next few weeks….

  1. I made no agreements with my direct supervisor on basically anything
  2. I had no real (concrete) research plan
  3. I had no system to track time
  4. I had no system to manage todo items
  5. I did not want to co-teach courses
  6. I took enormous risks spending time on irrelevant things (which *by sheer luck* turned out to be beneficial)
  7. I treated all students like they were mini-Felienne’s
  8. I had no system for managing ideas
  9. I had no system for managing research I read
  10. I did not spend effort on creating a group
  11. I did not understand personal factors in working with others (students and colleagues)
  12. I was not present enough in the university

(I met Felienne at the CoderDojoNL conference last November, where we both gave key-notes. Since then I read her blog.)