Morgan Giddings, former tenured professor with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, was featured on Influencers Radio discussing why she quit her job with a single email and how she is helping others unleash their inner creativity.
Morgan Giddings, a former tenured professor with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and successful scientific researcher, was the featured guest on Influencers Radio. Giddings joined host Jack Mize to explain why she quit her job with a single email and to discuss what it’s like to take a stand for creativity – even if it means losing everything one has worked to achieve professionally.
In 2010, on the surface, Giddings seemed to have achieved it all. A tenured professor with multiple degrees in physics, computer science and bioinformatics, Giddings had a six-figure salary and ran a successful research lab. She had significant grant funding and headed a lab of 16 other researchers. And yet, Giddings chose to walk away from her tenured professorship at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to start helping people rekindle their inner passion and unleash creativity in their work.
“When I quit, I didn’t have another job lined up at the time,” Giddings told radio host Jack Mize. “I was actually running a lab of sixteen people, who were reporting to me. But I was at a breaking point. I had let it get to a point where I was very frustrated with what was going on and so I’d had enough. And I sent an email that said: I quit.”
In a single email, Giddings notified her department chair that she would no longer be continuing her research. Her colleagues were shocked.
“For a lot of people in the sciences, it was almost like I had become a little bit of a traitor, or at least that I had somehow failed,” said Giddings. “That’s a very common perception for people who leave at that point in their career, that there must be some kind of failure. But there wasn’t.”
Instead, Giddings says she left over “disgust” with the direction of her research and the loss of passion and creativity she had once felt for her job.
“You get into a position like that tenured faculty job, and that passion gets crushed and killed and buried and with it the creativity, too,” said Giddings. “It (the passion and creativity) is all gone and you become a shell of a human being that’s just going through the motions. And checking off ‘To Do’ lists every day and saying, how the hell did I get here? And I was becoming that. And I thought, I made that choice that I didn’t want to become that any more. And I didn’t want to see other people become that either.”
Giddings says that most people have a specific perception of how they believe modern life should be lived. People understand they need to work hard to succeed, but Giddings thinks that this “work hard” mentality has been taken to a competitive extreme.
“If you looked at it fifty years ago, as an example, hard work might have been considered as fifty hours per week,” said Giddings. “Now, it’s like everybody looks at everybody else and says, well, they’re working fifty hours per week, so I have to work fifty-one hours per week to do more than that person’s doing. And then somebody else says, well, that person’s working fifty-one. I’ve got to work fifty-two. And the next person is doing fifty-three. So we’ve ratcheted up and up and up. Now 80 hour weeks are the new normal.”
Giddings saw that most people, including herself, had been consumed by a sort of “maintenance mode” rather than pushing the big projects and discoveries forward. Today, she combines her background in science with her work to help scientists and entrepreneurs escape maintenance mode and tap into their creativity to accomplish big things.
“I find a lot of inspiration in combining what we know about physics with understanding how we can operate better and more happily and more fruitfully as human beings,” said Giddings.
Giddings runs her own blog, MorganGiddings.com, is the bestselling author of Four Steps to Funding, and has published an eBook, Poor Robot, Wealthy Human. She is about to publish her third book, Create or Die.
To hear the full visit http://influencersradio.com/morgan-giddings-unleashing-inner-creativity
For more information, visit http://morgangiddings.com/
Name: Brian Horn
Organization: Authority Media Group, LLC