Two years ago, I stood before classrooms of 40 students three days per week, for a paltry $15,000 a year, with no benefits, no office, no job security, and a 10-12 hour a week commute. I begrudgingly resigned, not only from that post, but from the academic job search, which had included about 150 applications over five years. I left... but I had no plan, other than a drive and commitment to find some means to practical applications for my ideas.
During the past two years, I've moved with my wife and three sons from Southern California to the Midwest; bought a house; established two companies (one to conduct R&D; the second to purchase and lease a building as office space to the first); I've received two federal contracts for R&D, been selected to receive a third from a different agency; and am in the administrative holding tank to receive a two year contract on the first project. Yet a third agency is reviewing another project for a federal R&D grant (I've been told that I should hear definitively within the month).
I'm interviewing several parties in the next few weeks, with the intention to hire two or three during the next few months, paying them multiples above what I made as an adjunct, along with generous benefits. And, I'm taking care of myself as well. I didn't set out to become a CEO. I set out to sustain my research, and to render it meaningful and useful beyond the ivory tower. I am on the cusp of doing just that.
Next week, I close on the building. Next month, I will make decisions about new hires. Then, to purchase new computers and equipment, finalize the administrative details of everything, and get back to my work. My heaven is pretty cluttered, full of activity, sprinkled with uncertainty, and sure looks a lot like the world on earth. It's just... a different world than I've been used to.
*** Oh... and by the way, they reopened the post across the sea. I don't think I'll re-apply. I'm a bit busy these days.