Dear PhD Career Professional
You knew this was going to be a challenge, venturing a new way, separating from the rest of the pack that had long given you a comfortable identity. Yet you do it, because you know you must: this action – moving forward – in spite of the fear you feel?
This is courage. You are courageous.
Find 3 other people who see your courage and who are willing to help you remember when you forget.
It is easy for someone like me, who has hindsight, to paint you the version of the career story you may be used to seeing. You know that “motivational speaker” version I’m talking about — “I risked, I persevered, I triumphed!”
But I was exactly where you are, back when I started, feeling like I had walked the wrong path, feeling lost and discouraged. Be patient with your own career story, plot-lines thicken in ways you cannot foresee, and sometimes the best fruits come from the stinkiest manure. Let your story grow, it may one day become important to someone who will be in the very shoes you wear, right now.
Finally: As long as you are gaining new skills, cultivating new relationships, and acting incrementally in the direction you envision your future to be — there are no mistakes, only the mistakes of inaction / inertia.
I believe in you!