The Good, the Bad, and the Bye Bye: Why I Left My Tenured Academic Job

Yanick Fratantonio:

The news is out: I left France, I’m no longer a professor at EURECOM, I joined the Malware Research Team at CISCO Talos, and I moved to beautiful Vienna. Big change 🙂

I have been a professor for a bit more than three years, but I have had contrasting feelings about the “prof job” for a long time (even before finishing my PhD), it took me a couple of years to realize that I would eventually have needed to move on, and it took even more (mental) effort to actually make the call and leave. Despite being veryexcited for what’s next, oh boy, this was tough 🙂 But independently of the concrete next step, it was time to move on. Even if Talos realizes the mistake and kicks me out next week, I’m still confident that moving on was the right call.

Especially when it comes to take big decisions, I tend to obsess about trying to stay rational, and I spent years collecting notes on the various pros/cons. Many of these thoughts often started surfacing as “feeling something is not right”, without consciously understanding what was going on. But by keep thinking and writing notes down, patterns of thoughts started to emerge and I was eventually able to pinpoint some more defined thoughts on what kept me on the current job and what pushed me to change. Once these reasons were clear, it was much easier to take the decision.