Posted on October 24, 2007
Realize that senior researchers have had stumbling blocks as well, says Andrea Fagiolini (bio).
My advice is to not think that it is very, very difficult to achieve good career satisfaction, to go on a day by day basis and realize that what may seem extremely difficult now will become much easier tomorrow or the following day and the majority of people that have achieved good results have taken their time, have made their errors, have done the things that now they are regretting. So many times as junior people, we tend to compare with more senior researchers and thinking that like they’ve done, or what they’ve done in the same time when we were not doing anything.
So my advice is to never feel discouraged and to never compare themselves with other people without thinking that the majority, I think, all the senior researchers have struggled, have had their periods when their papers were rejected and actually this has been something that has been very helpful for me as well, the first paper that I submitted was rejected and rejected very badly to the point that I decide never again in the future I will write a paper to let those people insult me this way.
I took it very, very, very personally, but then I realized that even the most senior researchers still get papers rejected and rejected very, very badly. So I learned to not take it personally. Maybe to those people it doesn’t happen as frequently as it happened to me, but they’re all occasions to learn and the most important thing is to never let one single failure stop you, whether the failure is a grant that doesn’t get funded, a paper that gets rejected three or four times, it’s important that you be persistent.
Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2007 Career Development Institute for Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.
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