Thursday, October 01, 2009

I have a plan

I feel good about it. Charted out my experiments and plan of action for the next 6-10 months. It gives me a roadmap to work along, and ensure that I do a good job at this post-doc, however long I'm going to be here for. I have decided to stop this constant battle in my head about "what if i leave in a year- what am i going to achieve.." kind of defeatist attitude and just work on my 12 month plan.

I also love the post-doc atmosphere I am in. Granted, I've only been in one other place before this, but I also have lots of friends who are post-docs all over the place, and as a rule, its mostly been a whiny-bitchfest type atmosphere. Over here, the post-docs also whine and bitch their share, but it is accompanied by proactive steps being taken, and a very strong sense of community and network-building. A couple faculty members take active care to oversee post-doc quality of life, and that feels good. Being in a vibrant city like this, with ample scope to network not just within the univ but outside with other univs also helps a lot.

I came across an exercise to help you introspect and better identify an ideal career path. It involves looking back on your entire life, and writing down 15 - 25 occasions that met the following criteria

1) you played an important role
2) there was a successful outcome
3) you enjoyed yourself while doing it

Then, select 7 of these occasions and write a story about each, including

1) The goal
2) The obstacles that had to be overcome
3) Explain your actions step by step
4) What was the result
5) Any specific measurable outcome to prove your achievement.

The idea is to identify recurring themes throughout your life that show what you are good at, what you enjoy doing, and the way you enjoy doing them.

I just listed a few of my stories and the recurring theme at the end "what was the measurable outcome" was always "I / we won a prize for it". :D Perhaps I will blog about my seven stories..or not..but I wanted to write about the exercise because I think its a worthwhile one and anyone who wants to assess their career path should try it.


1st Year Medical Student said...

I did the exercise, and you're right, it IS an excellent one. Pointed to what I've always wanted to do, writing. Too bad I'm trapped right now bound to a scholarship that i'd have to pay back if i don't graduate and all my time taken trying to not drown in the stressful mess that is med school.

Oh well there'll be time in the future i suppose. hopefully.

love your blog :) been a silent reader all along, but hey, you touched a chord with me this time! :)

Janefield said...

sounds like a fabulous exercise. i'm thinking of how it can even be applied outside of the career zone. thanks for sharing, tgfi :)

Anonymous said...

I think I will do this exercise one of these days...
And you reminded me.. I am yet to make out my plan for the next 12 months, and I whiled away the first two!

Raam Pyari said...

hmmm..good planning to a phd myself..your blog had been interesting to read from that pov.

Mr. K Bodhi said...

Post doc!!! Some people never learn?

P.S. Kidding. I am finishing my Ph.D.:) And I wouldn't want to be found dead as a Post doc.

V said...


Don't offend her. She's a sweetheart.

TGFI, did you ever receive the flowers I sent?

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

1st yr med student,
Glad this was useful to you. I wish you good luck in finding your calling..who knows, a lot of surprises might lie ahead in med school too...

Janefield, Ms T, RamPyari,
Yeah, go ahead and do the about it.

K Bodhi,
well..if the ph.d. doesn't kill you before that ;)

oh yes I did. byootiful they were. thanks and all that.