A secret.

I think I’ve generally been trending toward being more positive about things this last year except in one area; the depressing academic job environment- especially for current generation postdocs and grad students. And I’ve had a very hard time exploring other career ideas. It might be down to a lack of imagination on my part. But I was driving home today and another thought occurred to me; deep down, could it be that I love being a scientist and doing science (however incompetently) and my angst about my career has everything to do with the fact that I have trouble seeing my future in science? Maybe so. I’m not saying I won’t explore other career avenues or that I couldn’t be happy doing something else, it just means science is in my DNA (I know that’s true of every living thing; science is all about nature!). Chances are, even if I’m not in research science, I’ll maintain my AAAS membership for life and voraciously read books and articles about science and work in something science adjacent. It also doesn’t mean I don’t want to balance my life. I want a good life outside the lab. I think I need to do that for my own sake; I still have a hard time being kind to myself for not working most weeknights (or wasting my time blogging). So I’m doing something I love, even though it’s painful in some ways and I don’t know if it’s sustainable or not. But I feel like I’m turning a bend where I’m willing to experiment a lot more and feel like I’m on a positive trajectory…..not sure where I’ll end up. Hopefully the moon or the stars (as an old cliche goes).

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Author: Ian Street

Ian is a plant scientist and science writer relating stories of plant science and scientists on his blog, The Quiet Branches as well as other outlets. You can find him on Twitter @IHStreet.

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