When I was in grad school, I vaguely knew professors had committee responsibilities. After all, someone had to decide who to let into the grad program. But I didn't think much beyond that. So, I think the part of the job that I was most surprised by and least prepared for was committee work.
In my first job, I'd never taken minutes for a meeting, and suddenly I was taking minutes for a meeting with the dean in the first weeks of the first term. (I took notes that were WAY too detailed, and had a quick lesson in taking minutes. I still tend to put in more detail than is absolutely necessary.)
In my current job, we try to give first year TT folks a year without committee or service responsibilities (though we're not always successful). And then we pretty much expect them to jump in.
I like committee work that actually gets stuff done. I'm frustrated by committee work that's basically a rubber stamp of administrative decisions, and I'm frustrated by committee work that's just rehashing without progress.
This week, I have an overwhelming amount of committee work, most of it in meetings, but some of it prep or writing a report.
And I'm wondering, thinking about job search stuff, how grad programs might (should?) prepare students to be ready to take on committee responsibilities?
For those with committee responsibilities, what's the most important thing you think job searchers should know?