The purpose of the workshops is to make space for reflections, idea generation, and sharing experiences as a way to resume a sense of agency and control of our own careers and work life.
Post-tenure can be both exhilarating and bewildering. As post-tenure faculty we are typically working on multiple projects, having multiple tasks, and navigating multiple relationships, which at times can make us feel like we are being pulled in a thousand directions. Creativity, dreams, and community become squeezed by a system geared toward speed, productivity, and competition. Working in academia becomes more a matter of survival than thriving, and as post-tenue academics, the struggle becomes magnified as we also have to role model ‘the good academic’ for more junior academics.
The workshops offer an alternative to internalizing the values of the fast-paced academic system, and instead reimagining ways of creating a work-life based on our own values, stories, and aspirations. Even within a system that is geared towards constant productivity, as post-tenure faculty, we are able to craft our jobs in ways that make life as an academic intentional and meaningful to us.
The workshops are aligned with an overall idea of job crafting, a bottom-up strategy for intentionally and proactively creating a job and career that is meaningful for us individually and helping us advance in academia without overwork or overwhelm.
Workshop theme 1: Crafting you academic mission
As an alternative to feeling pulled in a thousand directions, we work on crafting your academic mission statement and academic story, which can function as a solid platform for making future decisions aligned with your interests and dreams. Looking back retrospectively at an academic career, it can often feel fragmented and incoherent – especially if you work in a cross-section between multiple research fields. In this workshop, we work on creating coherence and finding a unique path moving forward. This will also help you with prioritizing and aligning your tasks for greater impact.
Workshop theme 2: Crafting self-trust
If we want to change academia from within and create a legacy-building post-tenure work-life, we need to learn to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about our own worth. In this workshop, we focus on imposter syndrome, inner critics, handling other criticism (or rejections), and experimenting with subtle ways to communicate with more power.
Workshop theme 3: Crafting sustainable writing practices
Much of the writing advice circulating in academia often focus on writing for a fixed amount of time or a fixed number of words every day. As post-tenure, this is however rarely a viable strategy as other tasks often ’get in the way’. Instead, writing often ends up falling to be bottom of the to-do list and only happens in exhausting, deadline-focused sprints, which are not sustainable in the long run. In this workshop, we focus on developing sustainable writing practices that give writing a central place in your work life – even when you have to do #allthethings. We will also talk about creativity, overcoming writing blocks, and doing more with less.
The group coaching idea:
Each workshop included shifting between two formats: Format a) Teaching on the theme based on interactive learning activities that are general, but include questions that make the “result” of the workshop individually tailored to the participant’s individual work, career, and values. Format b) A group coaching session, with more emphasis on sharing experiences, learning from each other, and supporting one another as a community.
The target group is academic faculty post-tenure.
Intended learning outcomes
After the workshops you will be able to:
Design your academic vision statement and story
Prioritizing and aligning work tasks for greater impact
Managing the inner critic
Communicate with power
Develop sustainable writing practices (that fit a busy workday)
Feed your creativity
Learn from shared experiences
Get peer support from the collegial community
The workshops take place over three days for 4 hours each day. There is no preparation, however, active participation is mandatory for all four hours each day. Participants will be requested to shut down their email inboxes and silence their phones.
About the facilitator
Sanne Frandsen is an Associate Professor in Organization at Lund University, where is also serves in a managerial role as Head of Section. In addition to her academic job, she has extensive experience coaching academic faculty individually and in groups. As a conversation partner, she helps academics craft their jobs in ways that play to their strengths and values. She uses a narrative approach that enables academics to reclaim their own story in their research, work, and life – as a way to challenge the pressures of fast-paced production and overwork in contemporary academia. As an associate professor, she does research on topics of identity work, meaningful work, storytelling, crisis, and change.