06 July 2019

Personal Development Review

Once every year we have our Personal Development Reviews (PDR) in which we discuss with the Head of School (HoS) what's going well, what's not going so well and how we can do things better. Generally I don't have an awful lot to say. Things generally go alright. But I have been working harder than I would like for many years. And this year I had wondered if I should bring that up. I know I can't get less teaching per unit time, but could I perhaps get fewer units of time? Working too hard for four days sounds better than working too hard for five days. But I knew that would be a tricky thing to deliver.

When we had the actual PDR we did the other things first. David (the HoS) thinks I should get me a MSci student (MSc students do their research project only in summer; MSci students do them the entire year, so it's a lot closer to a PhD). I think I can! Now that we have an industry partner I can offer more interesting projects. I am a foram specialist without a foram lab and that is awkward. And I should try to become a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. And he thinks I should attend fewer Open Days. I agree! Otherwise things are going OK.

Then we got to the 4 day workweek thing. And it's indeed not looking likely! If I drop 0.2 FTE, David can't give that 0.2 FTE to someone else. (Everybody else works too hard too.) And he can't gather bits of FTE from various people until it adds up to something substantial (I suppose 0.6 FTE and above) and then hire someone for that. We have to do the work there is with the people we have! So basically, he said I could go down to 0.8 FTE but it would probably only mean I get paid 80% of a full-time salary and doesn't mean I work 80%. He figured he could reduce my workload a bit; he suggested having someone else organise Open Days. But that is hardly 20% of my workload. And it doesn't look like the financial situation of the university (and therefore the School) would get better anytime soon so he said it would get worse before it gets better. Not a nice thought! But I suppose I should then just go on working full time. At least I get buckets of money then, and I can just use that to buy me time. No more DIY! Which is a pity; I would much prefer being able to try and do that myself. I like being able to sort all my issues out myself! I'd rather earn less and have more skills than the other way around. And a chore done feels more satisfying if you did it yourself. But well, one has to live according to circumstances. Five days it will be! For the foreseeable future. I will just have to try to get more efficient at my job...

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