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.