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Author Topic: College professor least stressful job  (Read 8217 times)
merce
strange attractor
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« Reply #75 on: January 06, 2013, 8:54:35 PM »

Maybe the stress is found in the need to find and keep the job and the funding to be able to do the work, not the work itself.

There is a lot of stress in this career choice but maybe not in the actual work itself? Could that be a helpful distinction?

Is it possible to tease out the work from the stuff that's needed to be able to do the work?
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edwidge
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« Reply #76 on: January 06, 2013, 11:55:31 PM »

I'm shocked at the hyperbole in the comments section of the Forbes article.  Commenters are claiming to work on average anywhere between 60 and 85 hours a week.  I simply do not believe such numbers.  Those are 12-hour days.  When do people eat, exercise, spend time with their families, unwind, and sleep under such circumstances?  Do they want to drop dead of a heart attack at age 50?  

Based on the findings reported in an article, entitled "You don't work as hard as you say you do," you are right to be suspicious. In a nutshell, Americans tend to overestimate how much they work per week by 5-10%, with much of the overestimating accounted for by those claiming longer hours (e.g., people who said they worked 75 hours/week typically worked roughly 50 hours/week).

Link to the article in the NY Times from last fall:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/you-dont-work-as-hard-as-you-say-you-do/

Link to the study report itself:

http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2011/06/art3full.pdf
« Last Edit: January 06, 2013, 11:56:16 PM by edwidge » Logged
spinnaker
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« Reply #77 on: January 07, 2013, 5:47:55 AM »

If you work weekends, it's very easy to rack up a 70 hour week.

Sure, but why?  If I work 20-hour days, I can hit a 100 hour week.  So what?  All of this isn't a competition.

I don't think fast_and_bulbous_ was engaged in a competition, Narn; I think s/he was simply reacting to your statement, "I simply do not believe such numbers." It's fine for you to say no one should work such hours, but it's a bit less fine to suggest that those who say they work long hours are lying.


Anyone working 85 hours a week either doesn't have time to read articles such as these or thinks that time spent reading them counts as work.

(Whew! It was stressful writing that post.)

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spinnaker
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« Reply #78 on: January 07, 2013, 11:46:09 AM »

Damn, this is complicated...http://www.humanstress.ca/documents/pdf/Mesures%20physiologiques/CESH_howMesureStress-MB.pdf

Not fair. I think you should just be able declare that you're stressed, and people have to believe it.
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southerntransplant
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« Reply #79 on: January 07, 2013, 3:04:17 PM »

Damn, this is complicated...http://www.humanstress.ca/documents/pdf/Mesures%20physiologiques/CESH_howMesureStress-MB.pdf

Not fair. I think you should just be able declare that you're stressed, and people have to believe it.

I frankly do not care if anyone believes me if I say my job is stressful. I do care that they represent what I do correctly. This is _not_ what the CareerCast article states, nor the Forbes article.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 3:04:51 PM by southerntransplant » Logged

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spinnaker
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« Reply #80 on: January 07, 2013, 3:41:55 PM »

Fair enough, st. They didn't tell my story either, not even close.
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southerntransplant
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No recess.


« Reply #81 on: January 07, 2013, 7:08:09 PM »

Fair enough, st. They didn't tell my story either, not even close.

True, but the CareerCast editor acknowledged that later, saying that in future releases they would make sure to point out that they are referring to tenured professors.

You know, because once you get tenure you get fully funded grad students, your summers paid and your papers written by wiggling your nose.
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"...And on the other side of this wall is a whole 'nother studio that you'll never get to see...because, you know, fvck you guys."

Steve Albini, showing Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters around his studio
mouseman
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« Reply #82 on: January 07, 2013, 7:25:41 PM »

Fair enough, st. They didn't tell my story either, not even close.

True, but the CareerCast editor acknowledged that later, saying that in future releases they would make sure to point out that they are referring to tenured professors.

You know, because once you get tenure you get fully funded grad students, your summers paid and your papers written by wiggling your nose.

So I wonder what the Mousewoman has been doing all those hours in front of her computer and in her office.  Hmmmm...
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glowdart
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« Reply #83 on: January 07, 2013, 7:53:51 PM »

Fair enough, st. They didn't tell my story either, not even close.

True, but the CareerCast editor acknowledged that later, saying that in future releases they would make sure to point out that they are referring to tenured professors.

You know, because once you get tenure you get fully funded grad students, your summers paid and your papers written by wiggling your nose.

And of course those pesky little deadlines magically disappear once you get tenure, too.  Who needs to be prepared for class on a deadline, grade papers on a deadline, submit grades or reports on a deadline, meet with the accreditors on a deadline, submit articles on deadlines, submit reviews on deadlines, paperwork...

Pshaw.  The nose wriggling totally does all of that, too. 

*eyeroll*

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spinnaker
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« Reply #84 on: January 08, 2013, 1:57:09 PM »

If the author had done extensive research she might have been able to write "Tenured Professors Report an average of 60 Hours Per Worked Per Week" or what ever the self-reported number was. But if she wrote "Tenured Professors Work and average of 60 hours/week" she would have been writing something she does not know to be true.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 1:58:33 PM by spinnaker » Logged

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navydad
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« Reply #85 on: January 08, 2013, 2:42:59 PM »

The article that sparked this discussion seems silly and pointless to me, and I'm not faculty. It's sort of like telling students that being a punter on an NFL team is a great, low stress job, while completely ignoring what it takes to obtain that job and how few of those jobs (tenured, full time faculty) exist relative to the numbers of people who might want those jobs.

The other main problem is that the article ignores the huge variation in the job of "professor." The stress of a biology professor at an elite research university, who must engage in a never-ending process of obtaining funding to keep her lab and its 25 employees in business, is not the same as that of an English professor at a large, public, master's level school who spends much of his time teaching literature to undergraduates, advising, and serving on committees.

Others have made these points, so I haven't added anything to the discussion. What's more interesting to me is how much people love rankings, typologies, and the like. I'm certainly guilty of this peculiar interest. Show me a headline like one of these and I'm hooked: top 100 guitarists of all time; 10 most beautiful campuses in the country; top 10 (quarterbacks, point guards.....) of all time. Typologies are another good one. Ever notice how much people love the Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, Strengthsquest, etc.? (I'm an INTJ, I forget my Enneagram profile, and I refused to answer most Strengthsquest items so I am an invalid profile. See, isn't that fun?)
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"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." Mahatma Gandhi
selavy
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« Reply #86 on: January 10, 2013, 1:14:46 AM »

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

― Confucius

I am not even going to bother to look this one up--I'll bet this is a fake quote and that Confucius never said anything of the kind.

"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that so many of them are made up."
― Abraham Lincoln


Dammit, I was trying to relieve my stress with a beer and your comment was so funny I spilled it on myself!
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gsawpenny
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« Reply #87 on: January 11, 2013, 1:37:22 PM »

How we measure work is a funny thing. Yes, when I am grading papers I am working, but my father would not have thought so. To him work meant physical effort. I have a friend that likes to count his commute time into his estimations of work so he seems like the most productive person in the world.

I tend to find stress less related to the job and more related to the other stuff that keeps me from doing the job (or the family) thing the way I would like.
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lucy_
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« Reply #88 on: January 11, 2013, 10:42:04 PM »

Maybe the stress is found in the need to find and keep the job and the funding to be able to do the work, not the work itself.

There is a lot of stress in this career choice but maybe not in the actual work itself? Could that be a helpful distinction?

Is it possible to tease out the work from the stuff that's needed to be able to do the work?

For me, its not the work itself, or even the hours. Its simply always feeling like I'm under an avalanche of responsibilities and the threat of what happens if I don't manage to get certain things done. When I feel as though I have more to do than time to do it, that's the most stressful part. Or when I want to be working on X while I'm required to focus on Y because Y is due tomorrow and X is, well, never due, but is more important than all those little Y's.

OK, back to ignoring this so I can get my work done.
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