I know I have mentioned Ben Lillie’s partial list of things scientists are expected to be great at that are also full time jobs before. See here and here and possibly elsewhere.
I have yet another wrinkle on it as I continue to try to figure life out, do work that matters, and that I can be a useful contributor to, and at least have one of my activities be something I can get paid for, it occurs to me one thing that can muddle STEM careers is that all the career paths seem available because we do so many different things on a regular basis.
This can create a real sense of analysis paralysis. Just how do we decide? And not only paralysis, but there’s also some sense (at least for me) that we have gotten our career choice “wrong” by pursuing academia and would like to make the best possible decision for ourselves and not end up in something more uncertain than academia is.
I know some of the answer is to pursue what we gravitate towards naturally, network, find opportunities wherever we can and basically just make our way any way we know how (hopefully not more than the law will allow). But with all the things we might be able to contribute to on Lilly’s partial list, it can be hard to sort through the noise to find a clearish signal of what’s next.