Helping the Minoritized Achieve in Academic Science

Start Early

When thinking about your career, you cannot start too early. HusbandOfScience and I started planning in graduate school. As soon as we realized that we were planning to get married, we began to think about how we could achieve our career goals together. It is extremely important that your spouse is supportive and knows what the plan is. You have to make a plan and StickToThePlan. You and your significant other have to trust each other to StickToThePlan. We would chat 2-3 times per week about the plan, how to implement it, and the myriad of contingencies that could trickle down from not making it. Further, we always talked about “what if we don’t…” Like, what if we don’t get jobs; what if we don’t get two jobs together; what if we don’t get tenure. This is the same type of systematic planning we all need for scientific problem solving, research, and grant writing, so we should be very good at it. We had a whole decisions tree going on. I think it is important to have a back-up plan. I know some people think that having a back-up plan means you aren’t committed to the main plan, but that isn’t true. Having a back-up plan is just swinging on the trapeze with a safety net. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to try to stay on the trapeze.

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