Summary: I am a successful tenure-track assistant professor, but want to move to another department/institute or industry
I’m an assistant professor about halfway through my tenure clock at one of the top universities in my field. I am good at my job: my group publishes, my students are doing great, I’ve raised millions, and have delivered above and beyond in terms of department service and teaching. My tenure case would probably sail through.
However, I deeply dislike where I am. The administration is totally dysfunctional, my department is consumed by feuds and grievances, academic standards are almost nonexistent, immoral behavior among the faculty is widely tolerated, etc. Plus, my spouse and I don't particularly like where we are living.
I like being a professor, but don’t see a future in this department. The only question is what to do.
I understand the norm is to wait until ~tenure, then try and move universities. This has an element of risk: while I'm reasonably well-regarded, I'm not a "superstar," so can't just write my ticket anywhere, and it's not guaranteed some other equally strong department would want me. Also, I don’t know if I could stand another 2-3 years here.
I could go work in industry immediately and get paid 3-4x more than I make right now, and live in a more desirable area. But, this would be a one-way ticket out. Also, if I wait until tenure to try and get an industry job, I’m worried I’ll be seen as a 39-year-old washed-up assistant professor.
I wonder if any academics who experienced my situation, or a similar situation, could comment on what they chose to do and how it worked out. Or, any advice in general would be most welcome.
(throwaway account for obvious reasons)