This week I came across an unusually large number of great posts and articles about work, so of course I decided to make that the theme of my links post. Here you go, a bunch of links that get real about work:
First up, Dynamic Ecology takes on the idea that you have to work 80 hour weeks to succeed in academia. I have not been in academia since grad school, so I can't add my own opinion about how long you "need" to work in academia, but I agree that even people who charge hours and have every incentive in the world to work as many hours as possible rarely put in anything close to 80 hour weeks. I have written before about how when I had a period as a contractor in which I was paid extra for hours over 40 and I actually tried to work as many hours as I could, I maxed out at about 55 hours per week. It was during a period of my life when I wanted to make extra money and had few true commitments outside work. There was plenty to do on the project, but we had a strict ethics code about what counted as chargeable hours... and I just could not get to more than 55. These days, I work between 35 and 45 hours most weeks.
If you are curious how many hours per week you actually work, you can try time tracking. Laura Vanderkam has an article in Fast Company with a list of apps that can help with that. (I use Toggl.)
I really liked this Inside Higher Ed article by Matt Reed about how changes in the work environment impact higher education.
And over at the Chronicle's Vitae site, Jacqui Shine has a nice article about how loving your work is specific to the upper classes.
Someone on Twitter shared this awesome post walking through math explaining why women in male-dominated fields experience more sexism than their male peers- even if men aren't more sexist. If you only read one of my links this week, make it this one. I can't believe this math never occurred to me before.
Several people shared the Atlantic article debunking the idea that women's productivity is necessarily lower when they have kids. It is interesting (if limited) data, but something bugged me about the article. I haven't been able to really put my finger on what. Maybe one of you can! Or maybe you'll all love it.
Derek Lowe posted a discussion about being overqualified for a job. I haven't read all the comments. I will say, though, that my perspective as a hiring manager is that I'll consider senior people for my junior positions. I think that in general, your case will be greatly helped if you can write a cover letter that convinces the hiring manager/committee that you see this job as more than a stop gap until you can find something better.
Nicoleandmaggie posted their meeting pet peeves. Surprisingly few people know how to run a good meeting, which is evident from the number of pet peeves in the post and the comments!
I came across a particularly apt quote this week.
An my obligatory funny at the end is the conference call in real life: