Someone asked me why I left a full-prof, tenured senior (comfy) position at one the top med schools in the country. Obviously they didn't know me or the MRU well, because if they did they wouldn't have called it comfy.
I'm still in a medical school, albeit not-quite-MRU status. I'm also on the other side of the hall now- in a basic science department instead of clinical, a department with a different mission and set of goals. That, it turns out is important to me.
I do not give a damn about the Name of The Place where I work. No, you've probably never heard of my new school (somebody has to be in the bottom quintile). I don't need to borrow that status from anyone or anywhere else, though it has turned up on my reviews, in critiques of environment. WTF? Shouldn't it just be my lab? My department (which is very strong)?
What is increasingly clear to me, in these discussions, is that the hardest thing in the world is not getting funded, although its up there. The hardest thing in the world is figuring out what you want. Figuring out what is important to you. Not acting on emotions. Not acting on thoughts in your attic that have been put there, by you, over the years, because of someone else.
Sometimes I wish that how I thought/felt/acted was as clear and amenable to analysis as my data. Which is an incredibly low standard, since my data tend to be a mess, with multiple levels of variation, and signals obscured by many extraneous, and often uncontrollable other variables.
When I said I want to try and live a more advertent life I didn't realize at the time that thinking about where I work would be part of advertency. I hope I have made the last (academic) move of my life. But I've done that every time I've moved (n>2).
Advertency. Its a good word.