I went off and talked to some folks in different stages of their academic careers recently, and it struck me how much I changed in the first couple years teaching (after my phud) and what a difference that made for me in getting a second job.
One of the folks, let's call her Betty, was talking about her work. She was excited, and the work sounds interesting, but there was something that I can't quite put my finger on that stood out to me as telling: she's still in grad school mode. (She finished a couple years ago.)
I don't know what exactly it was, though. And I know for me, teaching as a lecturer helped me learn to talk about my teaching AND my research in much more effective ways. And during my first tt job, I somehow learned to have totally different conversations about my work and other peoples' work. The thing is, I wouldn't have believed when I was a grad student, how very much I didn't sound ready. I couldn't have recognized it until I hit it myself, though retrospectively, I'm pretty sure a couple of my friends were already there in grad school. (So it's not just a grad school or not thing, or an age thing, but there's some change that happens to most people, and they're in a different mode and it shows.)
I was talking with another old hand later, and separately, and we talked about Betty a bit, and the other old hand had the same impression.
The sad thing is that in a super competitive market, Betty doesn't stand much chance against the people who have made it to the different mode already. But I wouldn't know how to help Betty change modes, or even how to explain to Betty about the modes.
Have you noticed this phenomenon? Can you explain it better?