I had the experience of walking away from a continuing position, not once but twice, due to family reasons; I had to relocate to different cities due to my partner’s employment and parents’ deteriorating health. I was in various short-term contracts for a period of nine years before gaining access to a continuing position. This experience of precarious employment made it difficult to plan and invest in my research and associated collaborative relations, and ruled me out from accessing research funds. I feel that this has cost me dearly, leading to a slow progression in my career compared with my peers. The experience of short-term contracts also created a financial burden for us as a family, as we had considerable uncertainty, making it difficult to decide where to live and also to access a mortgage to purchase a home. The short-term contracts, and the uncertainty and financial stress this situation created, were a source of considerable personal stress, putting pressure on my relationship and leading to a period of severe insomnia and weight-gain. Now after being in a continuing position for a number of years, I still feel I have not quite recovered from the disruption associated with changing institutions and the period of short-term contracts. I sometimes feel that those who have had a more straightforward and stable trajectory in their careers do not appreciate the personal and professional toll disruptions and precarious employment situations have on their colleagues.

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