I am an Asst Prof. I started during COVID so I know things aren't normal. I love my colleagues but I have been having problems with my chair. This week after a reasonable request regarding my career, the chair escalated to using disrespectful and abusive language (mainly because I asked if we could discuss the situation instead of just saying yes and thank you). This has been a pattern with him and there is no reason to think things will get better. I wish I could but I'm not someone who works well when I don't like my boss (in terms of productivity and mental health). So far I have not been in love with the job. I love some parts (research and working with PhD students) but not others. I enjoy service (as I did a ton in my PhD and UG), but at my current institution it is often useless and poorly run (i.e. more performative than focusing on real viable solutions). Also the teaching load is higher than average (with lots of pushback to buy-out if you're not part of a preferred group).

I did well on the market last yr and have some places I could call to move to, but will probably move to a research institituion/org. I am not sure if I should give the job more time before leaving. Again, I do like my colleagues/collaborators and the resources of the university. However, I have also heard that being at the whim of your dept chair is a systemic issue.

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    If you do not like teaching, finding a non-teaching job (which probably pays more anyway) is the right thing to do for your students. Dec 18 '20 at 7:58
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    How often does the chair change? Is this a department which rotates chair every three years or one with an effectively permanent chair?
    – Dawn
    Dec 18 '20 at 14:51
  • The chair has 2 yrs left. They change every 10 years.
    – TudPims
    Dec 18 '20 at 17:07

It is unclear to me 'why' you want to give the job more time. Do you expect your workload to decrease? Do you expect your chair to become more reasonable? For academia to change their approach to work/life balance? If the answer to all (or even most) of the questions like this are 'no', then there is no point in waiting. And from my personal experience, the longer you wait in transitioning from academia to industry, the more challenging it is going to be -- and less satisfying.


It isn't too early to explore your options. If there is a position or two that you would really rather have and are willing to put up with a bit of hassle, then you should apply. If you can keep it a bit private for a while it would be good, I think.

If your evaluation of the chair is shared, you can probably get a recommendation from a colleague or two, and, being early in the game, you probably still have access to your old advisor.

But service is a requirement most everywhere. Some places let you define the terms, though.

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