academic phase transition
Recently on Facebook, a friend commented they had received more opportunities in the last few weeks than in the last few years of a distinguished, but rocky, career. I was reminded that the same had happened to me. For the first 5 years after grad school, I ate alone at ASA most of the time. Emails would go unanswered. Dont’ pity me. It wasn’t *that* bad. A few buddies would invite me for talks.
Then, sometime around 2008 it changed overnight. People just started contacting me for various reasons. Some were blog readers, others were in my specialty. Others contacted me for teaching, professional, or publishing purposes. I call it the academic phase transition.
My guess is that this occurs in most professions. Just by getting older and managing to get a few things done, you become visible. And, though its predictable in some sense, we experience it as discontinuous effect on our self-image.