The ethics of sulking by philosopher Rebecca Roache
Why do we sulk? What does it mean?
We have launched an interesting referral program. If you enjoy the Network Capital experience, share it with a few friends and win rewards.
Rebecca Roache has a successful career but she makes it a point to reflect on her failures that made her journey possible. Here is a snapshot.
She did not attain the A-level grades required by her conditional college offer
She got a DPhil place at Oxford, but couldn’t go because she didn’t get the funding she needed.
She spent a year doing odd jobs around the Philosophy Department at Leeds and then was successful in getting funding to go to Cambridge
Having not paid sufficient attention to the terms of her funding, she ended up having to complete her PhD in only 2 years, which she managed, but the stress put her off academia for a while.
She didn’t apply for any academic jobs following her PhD, and instead went to work in IT (IBM)
She hated the corporate world and it hated her too. Her IT career ended with a voluntary redundancy, which gave her enough money to spend a few months without working,
After many more academic job applications that went nowhere, she finally had some success: She got a research fellowship at the recently established Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford. She stayed for just over 3 years and left near the end of her contract, when she was pregnant with her daughter, missing the qualifying date for maternity pay by 2 weeks.
She then spent a truly nightmarish 4 years during which she had her daughter followed 21 months later by her son (neither of those counts as nightmarish, of course), and turned out to be in an abusive relationship.
Then followed homelessness, moving between temporary accommodation, living in a relative's attic and eventually a council flat, being chased for debts and tax fraud that had been committed in her name but not by her, going to court to prevent her abuser from having contact with her children, much emotional anguish, and probably PTSD (undiagnosed but strongly suspected).
Whenever her children were sleeping she worked on philosophy publications and literally dozens of unsuccessful academic job applications, which eventually culminated in a successful one - another research post at the University of Oxford. She stayed in that post for around 18 months before moving to Royal Holloway.
As a solo parent with a full-time job and a long commute, she doesn’t get to travel much to conferences, and she doesn’t attend many evening events
Other than that, she says that her life is relatively normal.