Unlike what you get from the dentist, an academic appointment is a fancy way of saying, “Congratulations, you got the job.” It means that you are named to a specific task with written responsibilities, a reciprocal relationship of accountability, and remuneration. Be sure to read the fine print. Know your rights and plan to live up to your part of the bargain, indeed, to exceed expectations. An academic appointment usually has a time frame and promotion scale attached to it. Getting a job in the nonprofit world, publishing, or a religious bureaucracy may not have such formalities, but it is equally important to attend to such matters. Be sure to read thefaculty handbook and familiarize yourself with the expectations and culture of the institution.