Hello there bloggies!

I was sitting on the train this morning on the way to work. All I was trying to do was keep my eyes open and sort my schedule out for the day ahead of me.

Crazily enough (lols), my drowsy mind wandered almost instantly and drifted onto a much different topic. What is really important about your job and career?

During my recent job hunt, I spent countless hours trying to figure out what career path spoke most to my strengths and what I actually wanted to do with my career. I mean I obviously wanted a job that I enjoyed and had some passion for.

Right?

You spend so many hours and more importantly so much brain power at work. You want to be working on things that interest and excite you.

But that would be too easy.

What about practical things? The whole purpose of a job is to be able to make some money in order to, you know, pay for life, and invest for that future thing I’ve heard so much about. If it wasn’t work, then you’d do it for free. Then toss in other things like  benefits, vacation days, and oh you know there actually being a job available. I’m sure we’d all love to be Ambassador to the Bahamas, but there can only be one of those.

Maybe your job and career is more of a means to an end?

Something that enables you to pursue the things you love in your free time. Whether that be traveling around the world, writing silly novels about nothing, or being a curling champion (side note: obsessed with curling during the Winter Olympics. I may make my friends and family go curling with me as part of my bday celebrations this spring).

Coming from grad school and my postdoc in academia, my work and projects infiltrated most of my life. I’d plan my social life around experiments or when my cells needed to be split. My best ideas for experiments and analyses would come in the middle of the night or in the shower (TMI…my bad). I thought so much about my projects. And so did all of my peers and colleagues. While people say this may be less so in the ‘real world’ or even in industry, the hours are still long, work incredibly hard, and people dedicated.

It’s seems as if these people (specifically researchers) define their identities and value from their work. They invest such dedication and passion into their work. Two things I’ve sort of lost the last few years in my field.

I’m not so sure I define myself much anymore by my publications, results, talks, and honors. Sure, I go to work and go a good job. But it certainly is not the thing that I look forward to in my day. I can’t wait to get out of there to go work on my book, write a blog post, plan a trip, or almost anything else. Hell even run a half-marathon.

Maybe this is all self-evident for everyone else. Yes, I do like science research and think I’m pretty good at it. But I don’t live and breathe it. I can easily think of other things I’d rather spend my work days lost in, but I feel balancing my passions with my way more practical job is key. I get to keep pursing those crazy dreams in the periphery as I you know keep a roof over my head. And as always, Tennis Channel or Garbage Time with Katie Nolan if you are ever looking to hire…I’m your guy! Or someone, take a lot at my writing samples up top!

Thank you for stopping by today’s angsty career post. Have your passions and career path truly converged? How do you balance your obligations with your passions? Let me know in the comments below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.

See you next time!

-Dr. F

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