Career advisory – what a crazy ride this is! So many turns and unexpected events down the line, and so many interesting people with their unbelievable, unheard of stories on the way! In general, I am happy about my decision to embark on this journey. But the reality is: no job is ever perfect. After my long and delightful honeymoon with career advisory, I can say that there are also several downsides to this job. Let me list a few of them here.
In August this year, I wrote a compilation of seven things I had learned from having a gap year. Funny thing is: the gap year was only halfway back then. Now, when it slowly comes to the end, I can easily add yet another seven things I learned since then. Some of these things are almost like rediscovering America, but I would like to shortly highlight them here anyways.
As Confucius famously said, choose the job that you love – and you will not need to work for a lifetime. However, this is all not that simple. As a matter of fact, the school system (or at least Polish school system), kills a lot of natural talents: knowledge served at schools is standardised and the amount of material you need to learn is so overwhelming that you are becoming a little robot, working days and nights for good grades. There is just no more room in your life to explore the environment around you, and learn about your own talents. This is exactly why I decided to conduct an experiment on myself; my contract expired some time ago and I came to a conclusion that it is a great opportunity to actually find out more about myself instead of jumping into a new job straight away.
Since a few weeks I have been doing research projects again, as opposed to past few months when I was mostly trading instead of doing any science. My aim was to work out an independent source of funding for myself, but also to rest from science for a little while in order to see if this relationship has a chance to last forever. So, trading turned out to be a refreshment of a particularly painful sort, as it did not make my daily life any easier – rather the opposite.
In the famous riddle, you are supposed to connect all the dots with four straight lines. You can sweat and try as long as you like but you will always be just one line short from connecting all of them. Unless you look outside the box, and make yourself space beyond the limited area of the square – then, all of a sudden, everything becomes easy. The point is: as a scientist, you are pressed to do multitasking as well: as opposite to industry, in academia, you need to prove yourself in multiple different roles every day, and the collateral stress is inevitable whenever you are a good or a bad worker. So, how to deal with stress?
This evening, I was sitting at the Didirion Station in San Jose waiting for a bus to Los Angeles. It was a Monday evening, 11pm. I just finished a goodbye dinner in a good restaurant with my sister. I was at the station from where the cheapest buses to Los Angeles were taking off, and I was there mostly to taste some folklore; just to try some simple life from time to time once I am on travel.