Things to not care about while working in higher education – a gratitude list

There are so many, many things you care about while hacking/ working in academia and/or higher education (they are not always the same thing) that sometimes you need a reminder of what you DON’T have to care about. These are not necessarily things that you will not not care about tomorrow, or things that aren’t important. They’re just things that you don’t have to care about right now for whatever reason.


So below is a list of recommended things to not care about today.

(If you are more categorically minded, feel free to organise these under sub headings. Here are some suggestions for these sub-headings (in a pre-list list):

  • Things you once cared about but no longer,
  • Things you’re supposed to care about but don’t,
  • Things you refuse to care about,
  • Things you’ve learned not to care about,
  • Things you’ve worked damn hard not to care about,
  • Things you secretly never cared about in the first place,
  • Things that you don’t have to care about because you don’t have them, and you don’t have to have them
  • Things that everybody else / an apparent majority seem to care about, but you don’t really understand why, and don’t really care to
  • Things that your particular organisation cares about,
  • Things that are just silly,
  • Dreams you broke up with. )


 List of Things Not To Care About While Acahacking

  • whether someone has a PhD
  • whether you have a PhD
  • whether you will finish your PhD
  • whether you will ever get your PhD
  • whether you should quit your PhD
  • whether you should quit academia
  • your job classification
  • your job title
  • your job description
  • certain forms of official recognition
  • being performance managed
  • your citation count
  • your H-index
  • rankings of any kind
  • ratings of any kind
  • “quality”
  • “impact”
  • “excellence”
  • “innovation”
  • successful grant applications
  • grant applications
  • your book
  • your book chapter
  • how many papers you have or haven’t ‘on the go’
  • how many papers you have published
  • how many papers other people have published
  • whether management know what they are doing
  • whether management care about higher education
  • whether someone is a Professor
  • whether you are a Professor
  • whether you will ever be a Professor
  • promotion
  • your university’s brand
  • your university’s student recruitment slogan
  • your university’s graduates’ salaries


And somewhere along the way, this list turns into a kind of gratitude list because some of your colleagues have to care about these things, and care very hard.

But you don’t.



One comment

  1. Catey R

    I don’t care about most of those. I do care about quality and excellence but I don’t care about “quality” or “excellence”, I care when management know what they’re doing. And isn’t that ALL the time? 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s