June 19th, 2015
During graduate school and the four years that followed it, I wanted nothing more than to find a career I enjoyed that came with a decent salary. Well, as I wrote in a recent piece for Vitae, I finally found that career in an alt-ac position at the University of Kentucky and I love it. But now I’m dealing with an entirely new set of strange emotions and I’m not sure what to do about them.
Lately, I’ve been hit with a nagging feeling that I can only describe as guilt. I spent so many years underemployed as an adjunct professor and working hard for very little money that I’m having a difficult time adjusting to a work situation that’s finally comfortable. I find myself fixating on the idea that I somehow got lucky with this job. I have to remind myself that I deserve it and that I worked hard to get here. These feelings evoke the impostor syndrome that many of us struggle with during graduate school -- the idea that we don’t match up to the level of our peers, and that someday we’ll be found out and exposed for the impostors we are.