The reality in academia is that there is so much more to do than I imagined…
The past month has been devoted to teaching, research, meetings, training, seminars, reviewing manuscripts, marking mid-semester assignments and writing feedback. I am not one of the busiest academics, but this is enough to make me feel ‘it’s a jungle out there…’
This weekend, for the first time in a month, I’ve cooked meals and baked banana bread (the kitchen smells of vanilla and chocolate), and I made a small purchase – a new Nespresso machine.
I really like reviewing work as an editor. It is a real privilege to have read a lot of ‘raw’ manuscripts at the submission stage written by authors ranging from experienced to postdoc researchers, as well as other editors’ comments about the manuscripts. I don’t wish to sound conceited, but the process of reading the manuscripts and writing review comments has been improving my research skills. The work allows me to keep up with the latest research trends in the field. As an early career researcher, I really try to take time to write meaningful, encouraging and positive comments, even though the paper is not yet ready to be published.
Other health research with my colleagues has been moving forward too. It is nice to see how we all make sure every step we take is clear and shared and directed to our goal. It surprised me to discover that I am very comfortable researching in a team rather than being a single author.
Sometimes I ask myself if I want to do more health research or fully commit to teaching. It’s a tough question, and I don’t know the answer yet. So far, the research I have done for the past five years has all been health-related. I keep checking job ads for research positions, and deep down, I might want to do more research. Maybe it’s too early to think about the next step, but I was wondering how many postdocs are proactive in pursuing their career.