After racing through secondary school, University and PhD I found myself in my first real post-doc at the age of 28 and realized that I needed to take a step at my place to reflect on my past and decide which route to take for the rest of my career. Will it be it the freedom and joy of science, but including the endless struggle for money, the uncertainties about positions and the crazy work hours; or will I change to a more stable job that might be (or not…) less challenging?
I considered ‘leaving’ science at the end of my PhD but decided to continue with a post-doc because the ‘other options’ I had were quite vague and none seemed to be as challenging as science. But during the first year of my post-doc the doubts came back. This was when I came across PCDI and signed up for the Post-doc retreat. And that I started to realize that science is great, but that it doesn’t have to be me who makes the great discoveries. Attending the retreat, keeping my eyes open on other careers linked to science and taking action to do other things next to working in the lab gave me ideas about what I really wanted.
At the moment my projects as a post-doc are actually working out well, I supervise students, I do some teaching, I write blogs for Sciencepalooza, I organize an event with our Department aiming to win the Academische Jaarprijs and I am in the organizing committee of PCDI's Postdoc Retreat 2011. As I actually enjoy all the other things more than really doing the science, I don’t think I will try to set up my own lab and make great discoveries. – I want to be teaching, talking and writing about science, organizing public events and participating in initiatives to bring science to the public. Now I just have to find the job that fits it all… or maybe I already have that job…?
In my blog you can read about all the steps I’m taking to find the perfect career in science communication.
- This blog was first posted on PCDI's community blog -