Anyone facing the prospect of trying to answer this question any time soon might well find a recent PGR Careers blog post by Elizabeth Wilkinson useful. Rather than trying to guess what role or level you should probably be aiming for (so that you seem ambitious but not unrealisitc), Elizabeth advises thinking in terms of verbs (ie what you’d like to be doing) rather than nouns (who you think you want to/should ‘be’ by that time).
Thinking in this way might also help those of you who are currently trying to decide whether your future lies in academia or not. Rather than trying to decide whether you want to ‘be’ an academic, it might be more productive to think about what you’d like to do with your working time. Although academia is the only place where you can be an academic, it is not the only job that allows you to do research, write articles or teach.
To read Elizabeth’s full post go to: http://manchesterpgcareers.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/verbs-are-your-friends/
And if you have some time, check out the comments…