Tyler Cowen has an interesting post on how to read a CV. He mentions the idea of a portfolio interpretation, and I certainly agree with him on that. One has to exhibit a coherent and progressive research program. But I think there is also another issue that matters. Go to any top 10 department and look at the CVs of the associate and full professors. Often what you will find is a lower quantity of output, but significant placement in top tier journals. Now go to schools in the 20-50 range and what you will find is often high quantity, but also publications in top journals. Why aren't the associate and full professors in those top 10 departments? Many times they actually are more productive in terms of number of journal publications, but somehow they haven't been able to break into the top departments.
We cannot attribute it completely to educational background. Look at a scholar such as John List at U of Chicago. His PhD is from Wyoming, his first job was at Central Florida, yet he climbed and climbed until he was a full professor at U of Chicago. Every young scholar with ambitious professional aspirations ought to look closely at John's career and try to mimic it. John had a passion, pursued it, and succeeded against all the odds.
If you look closely at what separates those in the top 10 or top 20, and those who occupy positions in the rest of the PhD research and education universe, my hypothesis is that it is not just publication in the top journals. That is necessary, but not sufficient. Instead, the question of whether one's work is viewed as a productive input into the scholarly production process of others. Those who secure the best positions in the short-run (and since tenure actually locks individuals in sometimes it is a short-run that becomes a long-run position!) are the one's whose work gets in the top journals and is useful to other scholars in top 20 or top 10 departments in their research. It is this that, I hypothesize, which separates scholars.
Now the trick is, you never know what will take off as a field or as a technique. So you cannot orchestrate your ambitions, you just have to pursue your passions and try to do the best work you can that is interesting to you (and hopefully to others). However, this is not an excuse to be disengaged from the professional conversation ---- lone wolf scholars will forever remain a lone wolf. Which is not good for your ambitions to obtain a top 10 appointment.
So young Austrian economists --- read what Tyler is saying. Track truth first and foremost. And be willing to live with the consequences of wherever the chips may lay professionally. If you are doing history of thought, do it well, but don't expect to get an appointment at a PhD institution. If you are doing economic history, then work your butt off and do good work, but recognize again that it is a "thin market". If you do political economy, then recognize that besides working with the writings of Hayek and Buchanan, you need to be conversant in the contemporary scholarship of Weingast, Shleifer and Acemoglu among others. If you pursue a more traditional field such as IO, Money or Public, then again the idea much be to track truth but to do so by bringing the ideas of Mises, Hayek, Buchanan, etc. to the contemporary conversation in the economics profession.
So your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to be that type of researcher whose work is viewed as a productive input into the scholarly production process of other scholars. And also to do the type of research that has lasting impact --- 'shelf life' beyond the next journal article. It is my sincere hope that the next generation of young scholars in the Austrian tradition, take up this mission and succeed professionally beyond anyone's expectations. Despite my not so hidden reference to Mission Impossible, this isn't mission impossible, it is however mission difficult. Good luck.