Do what you are: A recipe for your dream jobMy mind went daydreaming today and I got this crazy idea I want to share. I want everyone reading this blog post, particularly those trying to figure out what to do with their lives, to just take ten minutes to forget about the failing economy, the saturation of the chemistry job market, and all the worries that arise when you wonder how you will support yourself and pay off your loans after you graduate. Take the next ten minutes to dream— I’m going to guide you through it. Before you navigate away from this page thinking I’m some kind of nut, please let me explain. I’m going to give you the recipe for figuring out what job you were made for. In other words, I’m going to help you figure out what kind of job will let you do what you are. Take a piece of paper and draw lines to create four sections. Or type it out, whatever works.
- Causes I am passionate about
- Activities that get me excited
- Work environments I thrive in
- My dream job(s)
- I love learning new things about science and beyond. I can sit and read science features in magazines all day long. I love explaining the neat things I’m learning in simple language to people young and old. I like chatting with brilliant scientists, soaking in their knowledge and learning about their passions. I love kids, dancing, artsy stuff, socializing and being active. I love pouring all my creativity into something and enjoying the final product, be it a news story, a piece of art, a dance, or a decorated cake.
- I am passionate about making “tough” science ideas understandable to people through writing and other media, mediating between scientists and society, building relationships, and helping people figure out what they’re passionate about!
- I thrive in an environment where I'm always learning. I need a diversity of activities both throughout the day and day-to-day. I need to pour my heart into my creative activities. I make to-do lists and I need structure, although too much structure feels restricting. I love being around people, but I also need my alone time. I get drained by repetition, boring meetings, and sitting at a desk all day.
- I will be happy with a job that lets me communicate science through writing and other forms of media. I’d love to be a science writer for adult audiences, but maybe I could also explore writing children’s books about science. I had a blast creating my 2010 Dance your Ph.D. entry— could I make dances about science for instructional purposes? (I could pursue the fanciful job ideas on the side as I go after something that will actually bring in an income. But who knows? Maybe they'll take off.)
Here’s some shameless self-promotion: my entry for the 2010 Dance Your Ph.D. contest. I didn’t win, but I had a blast making this video!It sure felt great to me to go through this exercise, and I plan on revisiting the activity as I pursue various paths, seeking opportunities and seeing what doors open up for me. Will I be able to pull it off and successfully live out what I feel like I was made for? I sure hope so. I’ll have to write a follow-up post in 20 years and let you know how it all worked out. Are there any other dreamers out there? Skeptics? Share your comments below! 🙂