Posted by: unlikelygrad | September 3, 2010

second-guessing myself

I wrote before that I rely on intuition a lot when making decisions. My intuition is right ~95% of the time, but it is wrong occasionally. I also have seriously low self-esteem. Combine these two facts, and you get a woman who is constantly second-guessing herself. I’ve been doing this a lot lately.

For example, I chose to go into the geochemistry program instead of straight chemistry. Don’t get me wrong, I think this was a good fit for my personality–I love, love, LOVE all the geology/geochem stuff I am doing. But looking ahead, I wonder how this will affect my chances of getting a TT position.

Who will want to hire me? Probably not a chem program, although I like to think I’d be pretty darn good at teaching certain aspects of chemistry, like GenChem and PChem. Geology department? Hmmm. Unlikely, since I could teach geochem-related stuff, but not really the intro-level geology courses. No, I would probably end up in an environmental engineering department. Is that what I want out of life? Not sure. Would it make me happy? Not sure…

I chose to work with Dr. Hand-Waver instead of Dr. J. Now Dr. HW is on sabbatical and I feel somewhat abandoned (though we communicate frequently). There’s no one here to give me pointers on what might be going wrong with my research–and lately, I’ve been getting nothing but useless data. I’m also trying to mentor the new guy, who’s taken over the GC-MS part of the project (I joke that now I only have to perfect one failing methodology instead of two)…but I feel that I’m utterly useless at this as well. Right now I feel that my only value to Dr. HW is as a handler-of-bureaucracy, not as a researcher.

Would things have been different if I’d worked with Dr. J? Would my research have gone smoother? Not sure. I’m friends with a student of Dr. J’s, and she said she spent a whole year going down a blind alley…

But still, I doubt myself. I really am pathetic sometimes.

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Responses

  1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.033340

    Read. You’ll feel better 😉

    • Wow. I really needed to read that right now. Thanks.

  2. Depending on your grad school experiences, a post doc position in either area (or another) will help strengthen your CV. So don’t worry too much about it for now…. just keep rockin’. 🙂

  3. […] months ago I wrote about second-guessing my decision to enter a geochemistry rather than a chemistry program, because I thought that I would […]


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