Transitioning from Starting Up to Started
I've been thinking a lot about my previous post and the problems that I have been having coping and I think the real problem is that my lab is transitioning from the "start-up" phase to the "started" phase. I no longer have to beat down doors for students and collaborators. Funding and papers are forthcoming (although more is always better in both categories). Up to this point, my criteria for selecting grad students was basically a pulse. Now, I can afford to be more selective and honestly, I'm not quite sure how to do that. This same extends to collaborators, requests for proposals, etc.
So basically my lab has moved past the part where you scrape your way out of the giant hole that is starting a faculty career and now we are on the surface trying to decide in which direction to start walking in.
A question that has leaped into my mind is what is my goal? Initially, I wanted to get my lab up and go in a certain direction. As we are now making progress, I need to adjust my plans to a horizon a little further out. (*It would be great if I had the time to actually think about those goals, but alas that is difficult*).
The most basic thing seems to be developing a filter to identify things that are good for the lab/my career vs. bad and to use this to select students, collaborators, speaking engagements, etc.