I had an experience recently that confirmed what I’d already suspected: I am no longer an early career scholar. Perhaps because of my age, or simply because I am pre-tenure, I had still considered myself to be "early" in my career until that moment.
It happened a week before my discipline’s biggest conference. As I was checking the online schedule for pre-meeting workshops, I found an intriguing one for "early career scholars of color." But after reading the agenda, I realized I wouldn’t benefit from the content. The lineup included sessions on developing career goals, publishing a dissertation, preparing for the job market, crafting a strong CV, negotiating a job offer, publishing your first book, finding a mentor. As an assistant professor, I’d already done those things. I read the list multiple times, searching, to no avail, for at least one applicable session. Then I posted on Facebook, asking the world: "When do you stop being an early career scholar?"