The objective of the Mid-Career Consortium is to help post tenure entrepreneurship scholars develop a strategy for actively managing the next stage of their career. Indeed, few careers come with the freedom afforded a tenured professor at an academic institution. Professors who have newly attained this status are often moving into the middle stage of their career where they have the opportunity to choose how they will invest their time and energy to build a fulfilling and impactful career. Some scholars will choose to focus on their research in an effort to grow the knowledge based of our field. Other scholars will choose to focus on program building and teaching in an effort to more effectively educate entrepreneurs. Still others will choose to focus on making an administrative contribution to their home institution as a Department Head or Dean, or to the field by serving on an editorial board or as an editor of a journal. In reality, most mid-career scholars will use their new found freedom to build a career that includes aspects of all of the options, whether sequentially or concurrently.
Many will find this array of options and choices to be invigorating while others will find the choices daunting and stressful, fearing that a wrong choice could lead them down a path from which there is no return. Whether you find the choices to be invigorating or daunting the relatively nascent state of the academic field of Entrepreneurship makes it challenging to find mentors and coaches from whom career advice can be sought. This challenge is further complicated by the growing demand for Entrepreneurship Programs across universities that lead to enhanced pressure from University Administrators. The stress associated with these demands, coupled with the uncertainty in career choices, can lead to a post tenure ennui that causes some academics to disengage from research and from the Entrepreneurship Division. As their research productivity falls, identification with the Academy also declines.
The result is a loss of colleagues and their potential contributions at the midcareer stage who feel that they no longer fit the Academy’s culture and/or feel that their contributions to the field are not valued. The goal of this consortium is to help midcareer academics understand their potential career choices. The mentors and coaches in the consortium will assist in the retooling of skillsets for chosen career paths in research, teaching, administration, or a blend of all three. In doing so, this consortium enacts the Divisions values: diversity, inclusion, and development.
While the consortium is tailored to the needs of the participants, popular topics are: leading in administration - department chair, dean, program or center director; leading in academia - book and journal editorships; running conferences and workshops; visiting professorships, sabbaticals, and endowed chairs; the entrepreneurship teacher and executive education; identifying and securing grants; working with doctoral students and junior faculty; and service opportunities to the Entrepreneurship Division.