Seven years ago, I left my home country. I haven’t lived there since. From the UK I went to Germany for two years, from there to Kazakhstan for five years, and now I am in the USA, for who knows how long. In part, I left by choice: in Berlin, I went to a major research centre in my field. In Kazakhstan, I got to help develop the curriculum and policies of a recently-established university. My new position in the USA affords me new possibilities. Moving internationally gave me opportunities I might not have gotten at home.
You could say I left for these opportunities, but I also left because of the academic job market. Simply put, I had little choice if I wanted to stay in academia. I have been on the job market almost continuously for the past 11 years. In that time I have applied for many, many jobs in the UK. I Interviewed for four jobs and got one. I haven’t gotten as far as the interview stage of any job search in my home country in nine years.
I am having to constantly choose between options: keep my career, or go home. I may never be able to do both. For now, at least, I have chosen my career. But that comes with its own stressors.Read More »