If you know me, you know I don't believe that. If anything, I have been (justifiably) criticized for being shameless about wearing my heart on my sleeve. "Say what you need to say"? No problem. Keeping my mouth shut or thinking through things? A bit trickier. When I decided to move to Ajo for work after my undergrad, I think I decided in about an hour. Time to move back to Tucson, go broke, and pursue my MS? I think it took a day.
I think I can confidently say now that my post PhD burnout has subsided, and I am getting generally enthused about the work I do. When you combine my inability to apply a filter somewhere between my head and my mouth (I give all credit to my genes ;) ), the enthusiasm that comes with several years of study on riparian systems in the Southwest, and the amount of intensity that comes from training for four years as a triathlete, it can get a little ridiculous.
Don't get me wrong, my attention span is about a mm wide. However, my level of intensity for that mm is ridiculous--think the refraction of sunlight through a magnifying glass. It's funny, as a teenager, I was a baseball pitcher. I dreamed of baseball. I had a hard time falling asleep at night because I was visualizing--baseball. However, for some reason I could not chew gum and pitch (just ask my dad!).
So, anyway, this is how I am about my work. I get research ideas thrown to me, and I stop and start sketching experimental layouts. This happened at the last conference I went to, and I hesitated to show my enthusiasm to potential clients. Don't know why; lack of confidence I suppose. As a scientist/engineer, I don't want to scare people away. Hmmm... Anyway, I was talking to my parents about this last week. I told my dad, "yeah, lots of interesting stuff potentially in the future, but I don't want to get too excited." My dad's immediate response was, "get excited!" I was thrown off a bit, because in general I don't know if my parents really understand what it is that I do. However, I know that my dad knows my enthusiasm, and he was simply reminding me to think like a kid again--shamelessly wear your heart on your sleeve be confident in your KSAs (if you've applied for a federal job you know what I'm talking about). Don't hesitate to be enthusiastic about what you want to do. Share your ideas. I have been working toward this career path for nearly 12 years. Go after it and GET EXCITED. New resolution for the rest of 2011. Get after it, and make it happen. Script your own future, and pave your own path to success. It's go-time.
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