• Question: Has there ever been a time in your job that made you think i dont want to be a scienctist any more?

    Asked by mariam19 to David, James, Mike, Suze, Will on 15 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by sarahi.
    • Photo: Mike Dodd

      Mike Dodd answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Yeah, I finished university and got a job working for a small vaccines company. I loved working there, but the company was closed. I got very down heartened about how quickly I could lose my job and questioned if I wanted to carry on being a scientists. But that day I saw the advert for a PhD on cardiovascular medicine, applied and that’s what I’m doing now. Now I would never give up being a scientist or working in science.

    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      In my first years as a lecturer before I established my research area and funding was really difficult, I did seriously think about becoming a professional potter (my hobby). Kept at it though.

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      The last two years of my undergraduate degree! They were the toughest two years of my life. Some of the things that we were taught were completely alien and baffled me, and the intensity of labs and lectures meant that the degree was just something that I needed to get through, rather than something that I enjoyed at the time. I wish I had asked more questions along the way. If I had done that, I wouldn’t have had a mountain to climb before exams, teaching myself the bits that I didn’t understand at the time, and then having to revise for exams on top!

      I was lucky though. When I graduated and I was working in a non-science area, the time away from it made me realise that I missed it so much, and helped me to decide what part of it I liked the most, before being offered a PhD. I’m so happy that I came back! It was scary, because I’d had the time out of studying, and it was strange to be back, managing my own time, not having to panic about report deadlines or meetings, but I am so glad that I was brave and took the steps to come back to Uni, as otherwise I would be stuck in a job that I didn’t enjoy, and I would never be able to work to my full potential if I was unhappy.

      It’s OK to be scared by things, and if you take a wrong turn on the way to your career path, you have to look at it as experience. All experience is valuable, and you should never be frightened to say that you might have got it wrong.

    • Photo: William Eborall

      William Eborall answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi mariam. There are times when you come to work day after day and try to make an experiment work, but it keeps failing no matter what you do that you can’t help thinking “why do I bother.” It can be really hard to shake off this feeling that you’re going nowhere and the boredom sets in and you think wouldn’t it be better to do something were there isn’t the chance of it going wrong? Something where I don’t have to try new things all the time. But then you remember how good it feels when you finally get it to work. And how boring it would be doing the same thing day after day with no variety and you start love your job again 🙂

    • Photo: David Ingram

      David Ingram answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      I had a similar experience to Jame’s the first couple of years lecturing were difficult – I had a young family and money was tight. I persevered because I don’t have a lucrative hobby.