Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What research pond do you swim in?

The funding / job fairies have come down from the sky and offered you a choice. You can be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond. Which would you choose? (It's not rhetorical - feel free to answer in the comments if you feel like)
Wasted Talent #473: Limitations of Modern
, Angela Melick

I have been contemplating this question for awhile. An unusual opportunity presented itself where I'd basically be a bright orange fish in a big pond of purple octopuses. On the one hand, there's a few octopuses who have a *tiny* bit of overlap to my research area, but, really, we're talking seriously different species. I'd definitely be the only vertebrate in the whole pond. (Yes, those other researchers are spineless! har).

On the one hand, you never really have to prove that you're an independent researcher when there is just no other option. But on the other hand, you seriously have to work extra hard to find the other fishies. Which helps you build networking skills, but can be seriously exhausting.

And I suppose it could be fun to get to know the octopuses. Perhaps we will be united by a shared love of Science which transcends the need to be working on similar genres of problems.

But I am unsure. I feel uneasy because in some ways my chosen research area already makes me an outsider within my current pond, but we at least have our fishiness to unite us.

No comments:

Post a Comment