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Episode 38 — What Constitutes a Happy Scientist?

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About this episode

#38 — In this episode, you’ll discover how to do more than just get paid or add another line to your CV/résumé — and how you can be a scientist and be happy at the same time. This episode is aimed at working scientists. It’s more than just a job to you. It may even be more than just a career — it’s your life. You want to get the most out of it and you actually want to enjoy it — and that’s not too much to ask.

Hosted by Bitesize Bio’s own Dr. Nick Oswald featuring Kenneth Vogt of Vera Claritas.

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This is an automated transcript and may not be 100% accurate.

Intro (00:00:14):
Hello, and welcome to the happy scientist podcast. And today this is live on Bitesizebio. This is the place to be. If you want to become a happier, healthier, and more productive scientist. I’m Nick Oswald, the founder of Bitesizebio.com.

Nick Oswald (00:00:29):
And today we will be drawing on the immense wisdom of Mr. Kenneth Vogt, my friend mentor, and the founder of the executive coaching company Vera Claritas. Now not a lot of people know this, but Cain’s unofficial name within the Bitesizebio Team is Yoda. Not because he’s shorten and green. Well, he isn’t green at least, but because of his tireless, tireless and wise work and helping us with performance, personal sanity and keeping focused on the goal of serving the scientific community today and an all other Happy Scientists podcast episodes you get the benefit from Ken’s words of wisdom, to help you increase your performance, enjoyment, and success in the lab today, we bring you the first and a three part live series called jump, starting your career as a Happy Scientist. And in this installment, we will be discussing what constitutes a happy scientist. Since this is a live session, we can take your questions and discuss them as part of the show. You can enter those using the questions box. It should be visible to the left of, or below your presentation window. And also be sure to check a check out our downloads page, where you can find out lots, find lots of downloadable goodies and a competition to win a very rare, Happy Scientist. T-Shirt the downloads page link is right below the questions box. So without further ado, let’s bring in the man himself. How are you today Yoda? I mean, Ken,

Kenneth Vogt (00:01:52):
I’m doing good, Nick. Thanks for that for the friendly intro. And I just want everybody to know I’m not green. It’s funny. Here we are close to the, you know, this is almost the 40th episode of the Happy Scientist, but never before have we directly addressed this question? What actually constitutes a happy scientist. Now I know in your intro Nick, you do make a brief comment on what it means to be happy scientists, but today we’re going to really dig into it and really pick apart what it means to be happy because it, frankly, there’s a lot of people out there that don’t know what it means to be happy. And, and sometimes because we’re like, you know, I, I don’t know if I should be concerned about that, or I don’t even know if I’m allowed to be concerned about that, but here we are, we have this, this, this lovely slide and we don’t normally get to have slides. So I get some visual to look at, and it says the happy scientist, and then there’s this lovely lady there that I just want to meet. I don’t know who she is, but she just looks like a happy scientist. And I, and I hope she will be the she will be the model for what, what, what you’re looking for in your career. And we’re going to talk about this piece by piece on, on what, what constitutes a happy scientist. And first is going to be about definition of what is it. Well then of course, once you figured out what it is, well, how do we get there? So Nick, if we get advanced to the next slide, because we’re gonna, we’re going to go through the, the, the first section about this. What do you want? Now, that’s a question that many of you have probably never asked or haven’t asked recently. And certainly I haven’t asked about your career, or haven’t asked about your time in the lab or, or your time in University.

Kenneth Vogt (00:03:40):
But what you want really matters. It’s a big deal. And in some ways we’ve been taught to, to not pay attention to what we want, that we should put that aside. It’s selfish, it’s narcissistic, you know, it’s, it’s not what adults do, you know, but that’s not true. We are human and we have needs and they have to be satisfied. And it’s really important that we are clear about what it is that we personally want. So let’s go to that next slide. And we’ll, we’ll talk about the first thing that you might be thinking about when it comes to what you want. You have worked hard to have a domain of proficiency. There are some things now, you know, about that in some cases, you’re one of the few people in the world that knows about it, or at least you’re in a, in a relatively small group that was really deeply into something. I mean, that’s kind of what getting a PhD is all about, right? But whatever that is now that you’ve made all that effort. Of course, that’s the, that’s where you want to be. You want to take that and use it in your career and in your time as a scientist now, Nick and I both talked about how there’s lots of paths that you can take and being a scientist then of course, being at the bench is, is one of those paths. And, and perhaps it’s the primary path, but it’s not the only one that can align with your domain of proficiency. That is that where you can take the thing that you, the skill that you’ve bothered, the gain that you’ve put in so much effort to have, and you can actually put it into practice and you can actually make a difference in, in what you’re doing or what is needed in, in whatever ever group or company or a University that you’re working with.

Kenneth Vogt (00:05:32):
So it’s really, it is important to think about your domain and proficiency. Now, there is sometimes a point that you can reach in your life and you realize, you know what, I’ve really deeply examined this domain. And I don’t want to be in this. I want to do something different. That’s a perfectly fine choice. But at that point again, you’re making it, you’re making a choice about your alignment of what I want to do. Do I want to do with this, or do I explicitly not want to do it with this? Either one is a fine choice and neither one is going to matter if you’re going to be happy scientist. So if you’ve decided again, Nick, I’m going to pick on Nick. You know, Nick’s got his PhD with something to do with slime mold. I just, I, I can’t really expand on it beyond that. I don’t know about Nick, but I mean, at some point I think I might’ve been looking at that going slime mold. Wow. Is that really what I want to make my life about? And, you know, and some people, the answer is, oh, yes, that is exactly what I want to make my life about. But in, in Nick’s case, he shifted gears and he started doing something quite different than, than where he started with that.

Nick Oswald (00:06:39):
I think that Ken, this is actually one other sort of angle on this is that it’s really easy to, you know, when you jump on the train and this is what I always say when you know that we’re focusing on careers more than more than anything in this section, when I talk about careers and So I was looking at the, you know, it’s so easy to jump on the train of, you know, a career in science where you go to undergrads, you do a PhD, and the thing just keeps going. If you don’t jump off to go somewhere else, it goes on in a direction and you have to make sure if you want to stay on that train, whether you want to stay on that train. So again, for me, it was, I wasn’t so much the slime molds. It was it was, I was using a certain set of tools to study slime molds. And I could, and in fact, like dead for a while, use those that, that set of tools to or set of skills to study other things, but it was more, it’s more, what, where do you want to be a lot of the time you can, for me anyway, I found that it was the, you make the decision at School or at University or whatever that you school, as in, you know before University or before College, that you want to be a scientist. And unless you have to keep re-examining that, that, do you want to be at the bench? Are you happy? Or do you want to be wherever you are? You know, it was wherever you are in life.

Kenneth Vogt (00:07:58):
And of course, this is not the kind of thing that you need to re-examine on a daily basis. By the same token, there’s nothing wrong with checking in with yourself every once in a while, and seeing if you’re still on the track you want to be on. So as you know, there’s, it’s a long track and, you know, depending on where you are in your career, there may still be many years or decades ahead and, and things will change should the word’s going to change during that time. And the, you know, the body of the body of knowledge will change during that time. So you may well choose to shift gears, but the point is just to be present to it, to be aware of it and to be thinking about this, if what, whatever your domain and proficiency is, it could shift to something completely different. You know what I mean? My background is computer science, but I don’t, I haven’t, I haven’t written any code in a long, long time. You know, so I, I shifted out of my own domain of proficiency and I was proficient at it, but there, there are other things in the world. So, you know, and I, of course, I know people that are, I know people that are older than me that are still coding. So, you know, there’s nothing wrong with staying on that track. If you find it, it’s working for you.

Kenneth Vogt (00:09:13):
All right. So let’s move to that to the next point, then next, next slide. So then another area, and this is a thing that, that bite-sized bio explicitly was built to deal with. And this was something that wasn’t obvious to me as a non bench based scientist at the beginning, because for me, the main proficiency and technical expertise were interchangeable, but they’re not interchangeable. And, you know, Nick really made that clear to me that you, you learn a bunch of things in University about science, but what do you learn about actually doing science? What do you learn about actually working in a lab? And so Bitesizebio got created so that people could develop their technical expertise so that they could use that equipment properly and get the most out of it and understand what they were doing. Cause it’s not automatic, you know, for, for those of us looking from the outside in of course, all you biologists are, microscopy could be expert.

Kenneth Vogt (00:10:09):
And of course, I’m sure there are many, many biologists that are laughing right now because you know, that’s not true. It’s not automatic. And so you have to develop your technical expertise and you want to have your career aligned with that. You want to be doing things that, where you’re getting to use the, you know, the equipment and the methods that you really understand, and that you really, that you really, really like and really respect and by the same token that yeah, we’re back. But at the same token, you, you may find yourself in a position where I want to be in a field where I have a chance to develop that technical expertise. Maybe I’m tired of washing pipettes. That’s maybe I want to do something different. Maybe I really want to dig into to, you know, whatever it might be. I want to get into flow cytometry.

Kenneth Vogt (00:11:00):
I want to, I want to work more closely with PCR. I, you know, I, again, I’m, I’m, you know, I’m not the bioscientist here, you know, and Nick can speak to that specifically, but, but the point is, is that technical expertise is going to be an important part of your career and aligning it with something that you liked doing and that you enjoy and that you find fulfilling. And that, you know, that is worthwhile to you. I mean, if you find certain tasks just to be just to be unsettling and you don’t want to do them well, you know, it’s gonna wear on you after awhile. And of course, you know, that’s the nature of life science. You’re working with living things. And some folks can work with certain living things and some folks can’t and not, not enjoy their life. So, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Kenneth Vogt (00:11:48):
If you find that, well, this is a bridge too far for me, I just can’t do this. Well, then make a shift on the other hand, if you find, Hey, I can do this, I want to do this, you know, full steam ahead, do what you do, what you can and make it work for you. But you know, you, you have to go out of your way to be looking for technical expertise often after university, because you probably didn’t get as much there as you really are going to need to have in the real world. So technical expertise is going to become a big part of your world and you’re going to keep coming back to it. And you’re going to keep looking for more. And so, you know, research like Bitesizebio.com is, is useful. You know, you can, you can learn about techniques. You can learn about methods that are, that are things that are being used right now in our life. And you’re being taught by people that actually hands-on do it themselves. So I don’t know, this sounds a little bit like a, like an advertisement for Bitesizebio, but it’s not.

Nick Oswald (00:12:45):
It’s interesting though, because it actually you know, you can be, you know, if you’re considering, if you’re staying at the bench if you’re staying in research then there’s actually two ways to go. If you look at The Microscopy podcast or the Flowstars podcast on Bitesize, we’re doing deep interviews with people who are wedded to a technique, you know, that are deeply into a technique and using that to study lots of different things or helping other people to study lots of things. So that’s one way to go, and that’s kind of what you’re talking about here. And you can also be an expert in a system that’s being studied and applying different tech, you know, and then you speak to the microscopist, the microscopy experts to help you. And so on has become increasingly siloed like that. I think. But yeah, that’s two different way, that’s, to me two different ways that you can, you can be happy at the bench. If you want to be a microscopy expert or a tech, an expert in a given technique, then that’s one angle. There’s an expert in studying as an assistant being studied as the other angle. And then there’s lots of, sort of shades in between,

Kenneth Vogt (00:14:00):
Right? And it’s, it’s pretty cool that there are silos like that. You can choose, you know, you’ve got options and, you know, science is a big, big, big world. So there’s all kinds of possibilities for you. All right. So let’s let’s move to the next slide then. And I love that picture. I didn’t pick this picture up, but I just think it’s hilarious. Obviously you’re doing this for a living. You do want to get fairly compensated because you know, you have, you have a life beyond your time at the bench and to beyond that the lab, and there are things that you want and you want in your life, and there are things you want for your family and you want to make sure you’re getting what’s fair. Now I realize there are some choices you can make in science that probably just don’t pay that much. And you might very willingly choose that because that’s what you want to be doing. And, or that’s, that’s where your passion is and you, and your, and your welcome you’re, you’re welcome to go that path, but there are other things where you definitely can, you can make a decent living at it, and there’s nothing to stop you from making, what is, what is the market rate out there? So, you know, don’t sell yourself short, but like, well, you know, I’m a scientist, I’m not a businessman. You know, it’s still business and, and you should get what you’re worth and, and don’t sell yourself short. So I hear you in the background there Nick or anything you want.

Nick Oswald (00:15:30):
Yeah. I just thinking that in my experience, a lot of people kind of resign themselves kind of. I would just, my first reaction to that for when I saw it was, yeah, there’s going to be lots of scientists looking at that going, yeah, we’re talking about a different league of compensation here. And in some ways we are there are plenty of scientists out there that make very good livings and doesn’t, you know, as you say, it’s not a, you don’t have to be confined to a certain pay structure if you don’t want to be. It just takes some exploration, finding yourself, you know you know, getting yourself into niches and consultancies and expertise is out there. The sky is the limit. If that is what drives you, that’s what makes you happy. And that’s what we’re, that’s what we’re talking about here.

Kenneth Vogt (00:16:19):
Yeah. And, and, and, and I’m not recommending this. That’s not my point, my point, isn’t that all you should go out and get as much money as you can. If money isn’t the main driver for you, that is perfectly fine, but make sure you get what’s fair for yourself. If money is an important driver to you, well, maybe you should be, you know, you should be in a startup. Maybe you should be getting stock options. Maybe, maybe you should be taking more risks. And, and that’s part of, part of the game, because here’s the thing there aren’t that many of you who qualified to take those positions and yeah, they, they are riskier positions, but they can be quite, they can be quite fulfilling and quite amazing. And even when something doesn’t work out it may be the thing that happens before the thing works out.

Kenneth Vogt (00:17:07):
So maybe you do, maybe you’re young and you got up and you don’t have a lot of obligations, and you’re willing to take a chance on a startup and you go do it for a couple of years and it doesn’t go anywhere. Fine. You’ve put something on your resume and maybe the next thing works better. Maybe you take the position it’s a little more stable next time. Or maybe, or maybe not, maybe you feel like, okay, I’ve learned some things and now I’m ready to do this. Right. Well, you know, look at your options and, and decide what really matters to you.

Nick Oswald (00:17:38):
Again, you could do a whole, you could do a whole show about this. It’s like anything in life. If you want to make money from, if your goal is to make money from it is to make you, where can you place your skills to be of the most value. And so you could as you say, one way to do that is to is to bet on essentially on putting your your skills into startup, or a company that you think is going to be fast, fast growth. If you’re, you know, if you’re going into industry and academia though, there’s, there’s plenty of opportunities to become a world expert on on a certain it’s funny that that split between, and this is my view of it. And I, I don’t ha my, what I see from outside of academia, I’m not, I don’t have huge experience in academia, but from what I see looking in, it looks to me like the the divide is mostly for people in academia, that the ones who are the people who are experts on a system that’s being studied are not the people who make big bucks as the ones who become extremely proficient and, or world experts and technique. And maybe that’s not true. That’s just my that’s my viewpoint as, as possible to make yourself extremely valuable by by gaining expertise,

Kenneth Vogt (00:19:01):
Right? And, and by the way, compensation is just one way of measuring this. Maybe what you really, really care about is security. And maybe you want to secure compensation. You want to work at a place where, you know, you’re going to retire from there with a gold watch. You know, whether that’s a University or a company, it doesn’t matter, but you know, you may choose that path and that’s a perfectly acceptable choice. If that’s what matters to you,

Nick Oswald (00:19:26):
It might be that you want more freedom. You want more quotes, artistic freedom. And then, then then you set up, you know, a lab and, and working out. And you’re more of your own boss in there. And, you know, depending on what you’re working on that could lead to extracurricular opportunities that increase the wealth. But if not, then, you know, it might not be, but it might be that you are more drawn towards that. I want to be the master of my own direction approach.

Kenneth Vogt (00:19:58):
And there, there are some folks that at Bitesizebio that I won’t call out names, but, but they’ve taken their expertise and used it to make sure they have a paycheck basically. But then they are pursuing their avocation as the thing that’s most important in their lives. So it isn’t even part of science. That’s a perfectly fair choice. You can do that. And you’re probably noticing a theme here throughout this. I’m, I’m in, I’m monishing. You to make choices about these things, figure out what matters to you. What’s important to you because that’s how you’re going to be happy when you look at these various areas and decide, well, this is the part that’s important to me. And whether it’s, I want freedom or I want cash, or I want prestige, you know, fine, figure out what you want.

Kenneth Vogt (00:20:47):
All right. So let’s go to the next thing. We should be figuring out what we, what we want next slide. Okay. Maybe you really care about being recognized for your contributions. You know, there are obviously there are our awards and rewards out in the world. There’s recognition. There are, you know, there’s speaking opportunities, there’s, there’s writing opportunities. There’s ways to get your name out in the world. And if that really matters to you, we’ll be looking for that in your career. You know, you could be in a in a position where man, you, you know, every day, you head down to the basement and nobody even knows you’re there. You know? On the other hand, it could be something where, where your, your name is on a lot of people’s lips and, and that’s how you’d like it to be. And it’s fine.

Kenneth Vogt (00:21:36):
And it goes either way, maybe you go on recognition, maybe you prefer to work in the shadows, and that’s completely fine too, but recognize what it is you care about and then figure out what to do with it. Now, even if you’re that person who’s a little more reticent and a little quieter about things, everybody ultimately still cares about being appreciated. So you may, maybe the recognition you need was going to be from a from a good boss, you know you know, they’re working for a PI that you really respect or a a professor, you know that that might be all you need. And for others, you need to see your name in the paper, you know you know, whatever, whatever that means to you, get it, make sure that you’re getting that in your career as a, as a part of your career.

Kenneth Vogt (00:22:26):
And granted your career is just a piece of your life, and maybe you’re getting recognition at home or from your friends or from, from your football club or whatever it is you’re doing, but make sure that you’re getting all the appropriate recognition that you need from your career, so that you can be happy as a scientist. So, you know, that’s another thing about this, we’re this, we’re talking about being a happy scientist, but it’s also about being happy as a scientist because, you know, you can be a happy person who incidentally is a scientist. But I’m, I’m really admonishing you to be happy as a scientist, have this be part of what is making you happy in life. You know, you might be getting great joy from your children are, are great joy from, you know, the, the things you do on the side.

Kenneth Vogt (00:23:15):
Make sure you’re getting joy from your job too, because it’s possible. It’s more than possible. There are lots of happy scientists out there. They’re, they’re real, they’re out there in the world. And, and, you know, you can look to them as mentors and in some ways, and there’s a little bit of that on Bitesizebio too, you know, there’s, there’s definitely things on soft skills there that you can learn that, that, that but you’ll also read it in some of the, you know, some of the articles on Bitesizebio. I mean, I’m not even a scientist and I’ve read some of them. And it’s amazing to me that while this person’s really excited about Western blots, you know you know, it comes through so you can be that person too. You can have that same kind of satisfaction. Okay. Next one.

Kenneth Vogt (00:24:03):
All right. Another thing that matters in your careers, do you like the people you’re working with, the people you’re working for, do you, you know, are you enjoying the company you keep basically. So whether that’s the person that you know, at the next stool or whether that’s the, the, you know, you’re the person you directly report to, or it’s the industry you’re in or the field you’re in. Are they people that you like that, you know, that and like comes down to what you, what you want to like about them? Do you like that? They’re cool. Do you like that? They’re smart. Do you like that? They’re competitive. Do you like that? That they’re breaking new ground? You know, what matters to you about people will then look for that group of people and so that you can feed on that too. And you’ll find often that what you like about other people is the things you like about yourself.

Kenneth Vogt (00:24:55):
So you know, find people that have qualities you want to have, and in some cases you’ll learn from them. Some cases you’ll be mentored by them. In some cases you’ll just enjoy being with them and working with them. And you’ll find you can trust people that way. It’s like, you know what, I’m doing a part of something here, but I know that these people have my back. And I know that when I do my part, they’re going to do their part and it’s going to get taken care of. And, you know, there’s some things I just didn’t have to think about and have to worry about. The supplies are always there. The funding is always done. The, you know, whatever it is that isn’t yours to do, somebody got that. And you love that. And, and by the same token, they’re going to love that about you.

Kenneth Vogt (00:25:37):
Like, you know, what, if I bothered to get the funding for this, I know that Sally’s going to get this job done. Well, that makes, that makes for a very fulfilling environment. And the environment is often the most important part is that the people, you know, it might be the equip, you know, equipment matters and, and and you know, facilities matter. But the people are the parts that matter the most. And they’re the parts that are going to have the biggest impact and whether or not you’re happy as a scientist. And if you’re finding yourself in a position where you’re unhappy, I, I will bet you that, that one of the things you will find is that I don’t like the people around me, or at least some of them. And I don’t mean don’t mean that in a judgemental way, but, but meaning that, you know what, I’m not feeling it from these folks. I don’t trust them. I don’t feel like they care about me. I don’t feel like they care about our objectives. I don’t think they have the same commitment I do, you know, well, you know, when you’re feeling that kind of stuff, it’s going to be hard to be happy. So look for an environment with the right kind of people, so that, so that you can be part of that positive, that positive, upward spiral that that can be created by, by dedicated people.

Nick Oswald (00:26:53):
I suppose there’s two there’s two parts to this, you know, to practically managing that you know, that you trying to ensure that you’re happy with your company/colleagues and not as being solved. First, one of those is being savvy in the way that you choose your next position you know, go and often, especially early on, often later as well, you’re so grateful to get a position that you, you know, you go to your interview like like it’s just that the boss of the company or the, or the team of value in you as to whether you’re a fit, you have to be savvy enough to, and again, this is a whole other area is you have to be savvy enough to to be effectively interviewing them too, to make sure that you fit make sure to know what, what, what sort of things you like, what you’re looking for in a, in a position and a boss and colleagues on a value, whether or not those you know, this is a fit for you. And you know, I’ve definitely made that mistake in the past of just diving in and taking something and then, then finding it, wasn’t a good fit. And you know, and then of course, it’s also, you know, a bit like the, are you in the right position? You know, are you doing something that makes you happy? Can, you know, keeping a kind of semi regular evaluation of that as evaluating whether and whether this is a good, you know, the place that you’re in is a good fit for you. The team that you’re on is a good fit for you, and then doing something about it. If it isn’t, I think a lot of the time we get, you know, there’s a nercia there and we don’t do anything about it and just resign ourselves to being unhappy. It doesn’t suit anyone really. It doesn’t do any good for anyone.

Kenneth Vogt (00:28:42):
That’s so true. Well, you put over, you put a bow on that one. All right. Let’s flip to the next slide. All right. So the next thing you want to be looking for opportunities to grow, you know, growth is something that, that you’ve actually probably put a lot of effort into already in your life. You know, nobody was, nobody came out of the womb a scientists. You had to build yourself into that. And, and, you know, stem fields are known to be difficult. So the fact is you’ve stood out as an exceptional human being. Well, you want to stay on that because growth is clearly growth matters to you, or you wouldn’t have bothered to be a scientist at this point. Well, keep that going in your life. And you’re going to find you’re a lot happier. Okay. And next point, ultimately, you want to be fulfilled in your career. You want to, you want to find a way that, you know, you, you get to milestones in your career. You’re on, you know what? This has been. This has been a life that was well lived, that I didn’t waste my time. It was, I I’ve, I’ve left a positive mark. I’ve, I’ve made a difference. So, you know, you want that. And if you’re not feeling that someplace, it’s time for you to reassess, you know, if you’re really cause you’re going to be very unhappy. If you feel unfulfilled, there’s a close connection between fulfillment and happiness. So look for that. And it’ll be obvious to you in the next slide.

Kenneth Vogt (00:30:18):
This is, this is kind of an esoteric point, but are you feeling satisfied that you’re making a contribution and whether it might be a contribution to the team, it might be a contribution to your, your, your company or your university or your lab, or it might be, you feel like I am making a difference for the world. I’m I’m, it might be a piece of the world I’m helping, you know cancer survivors, or I’m helping people with diabetes, or I’m helping people that, you know, that are facing this problem or that problem or I’m helping, I’m helping scientists that are trying hard to make good use of this extremely expensive pieces of equipment that I understand very well. All of that makes you feel like you’re contributing and contribution is something that really matters when it comes to being happy. And for the people proven contribution as a, as a high value, it’s critically important now, that’s, you know, it’s not true of everybody.

Kenneth Vogt (00:31:18):
Everybody contribution is their main, their main button, but some of you, it is your main button and you really got to make sure you’re doing it because you’re going to, if you’re going to feel like, Hey, getting a good paycheck and working with nice people is just not enough. I need to be making a difference in the world. And if that matters for you, make sure that you’re plugging into that. Cause it’s, it’s gonna make a big difference. And you may find too that you may feel like, you know what, I need to learn more. I need to grow more before I can contribute more. Well, that’s fine. Then focus on growth, you know, but you’ll get to this point and it’ll work out for you.

Nick Oswald (00:31:53):
It’s interesting because, you know, for people who haven’t really listened to, there was one of the questions we asked for the registration for this this live show was you know, have you listened to happy scientist podcasts before? And about half of the people hadn’t you know, just come to the live show first for those people, this may be, seems like we’re spreading a very, you know, we’re spreading ourselves very white here. You know, there’s a lot of stuff here to cover there, a lot of parameters. That’s what this whole thing is about. This whole podcast is about all the episodes. You said forty episodes or so, so far, and there will be more is that we’re looking at all different angles of what makes you tick and how to get the best yourself. And this is really, really, we’re kind of rolling out the base layer here in this presentation where you can you know, the, that you would then start mapping on the techniques and ideas and approaches that we talk about in the podcast.

Kenneth Vogt (00:32:54):
Sure. And not all of these are going to hit your buttons right now, but you know, some of them are, and the ones that really stand out to you, those are the ones to put your focus on. And by the way, this may change over time. Over the decades, you may move from being concerned about recognition, to being more concerned about contribution, and that’s perfectly fine, or in the other direction, you know, whatever it is in the moment, you know, you might get to a point in your career where you’re feeling about it’s about time. I got some recognition, that’s cool, whatever it is, make sure that you’re getting the thing you need so that you can be happy because that’s how you’re going to be at the best scientist you can be. If you’re unhappy, you’re not going to be a good scientist. So let’s move on to this next section and kind of tie all this off. So the next slide is how to get what you want. So we’ve talked about how to be happy and what’s the, how various ways to look at it. How do you get there? So let’s look at this now, next slide.

Kenneth Vogt (00:33:50):
Now we’ve talked about some of this stuff already, but we’re gonna really dive into it here and put a bow on it. As I said, you know, first off, taking a look at the job that you’re doing right now, is it the right position for you? Is this making you happy? There’s nothing wrong with realizing, you know what, this isn’t working out for me. And it might be like, well, you know, it’s paying the bills and, and it’s, it looks fine in my resume. And there’s all kinds of good things about it. But at the end of the day, you realize this is just not what I want to be doing. And it’s, and I w I need to make a change. Well, that’s great recognize that when that happens, and by the way, that’s going to happen in everybody’s career, everybody’s going to get to a point when you realize it is time for me to do something different. And now there’s something different might be doing the exact same work at another lab, which is, which is also fine. Or it might be you completely change gears and do something different, but whatever it is, every once in a while, check in to make sure that what you’re doing is making you happy. Next slide.

Kenneth Vogt (00:34:55):
Okay. So another thing that comes up for folks sometimes is, okay, I took this position and I’m here and I’m so stressed out because I really don’t know what I’m doing. Well, you know, so you got to ask yourself, do I know how to do what needs to be done here? Now the answer to that might be to get happy. The answer is for me to get up to speed. And that’s fine. Or the answer might be, I need to get out of this. I am, I don’t have the bandwidth to get up to speed to this. I need to be doing something different. And sometimes it might even be that I need to be doing something simpler or something easier. There’s no shame in that. And recognizing I bit off more than I could chew, because if it’s making you unhappy, you’re going to be bad at it. And, and if it’s stressing on top of that, oh man, you know who needs that? Right? You got a whole career ahead of you. We need you to not be ruining yourself while doing it. Okay. The next point.

Kenneth Vogt (00:35:49):
All right, again, we’ve talked about compensation, but making sure it’s the compensation, right? We’ve said, we’ve, we’ve talked to her about various ways to look at compensation, but now it’s time for you to actually do the assessment is what I’m doing, actually paying what I want, whether that’s in, in a paycheck or in, in, you know, other perks that mattered to me, check in with yourself, make sure it’s right for you. Okay. The next one are you getting proper credit? You know, you may find yourself in situation where you’re working hard and you’re enjoying the work and you like the people you’re working with. And at the end of the day, yours is always the last name on the paper, you know? And maybe that’s just how it has to be in certain settings. But in other cases, you realize that, you know what?

Kenneth Vogt (00:36:39):
People are getting credit for my work, and that’s not going to work for me. I’m not going to be happy with that. Now, some folks, they are happy with that. They’re like, you know what? I’m happy to be doing this work. I don’t care who gets credit. Well, that’s up to you, but make sure that when you’re, when you want to get credit and you deserve credit, I want to be clear about that. That you’re getting it. Because if you’re the person that’s getting credit for other people’s work, you’re not going to be happy either sooner or later, you’re going to feel, you’re not going to feel good about that. You’re going to feel like a fraud. You’re going to feel like you’re, you’re stealing somebody else’s thunder. And that, that doesn’t make you happy either. So to be happy, you’re going to, you don’t want to be credited for the things you’re actually accomplishing. Okay. The next slide.

Kenneth Vogt (00:37:27):
So we’ve talked about like the people that you work with a part of this too, is I do, are you proud of the people you work with and not just the people you work with? Are you proud of the company you work with, you proud of the industry that you’re in or the, or the field that you’re in, you know, those things matter. And, and, you know, sometimes we think of the word pride as a, as a really negative thing, you know? But I’m not talking about pride fullness in a, in a, you know, a lacking humility kind of way. What I’m talking about is where we feel good about the associations that we have. And we liked, we liked the idea that somebody would go, oh, you work for this company, good for you or this, this university, or, or, oh, you work with this person who’s highly regarded or, or that person, you know, where you feel good about that, as opposed to, oh, you worked for those scumbags, you know, you know, w we don’t want that in our lives, or we feel that way now. And again, I’m not making any value judgements about any kind of company or industry or anybody out there for anyone else. You may feel just perfectly fine being associated with that tobacco company. Well, if that works for you, power to, you know, choose the slate with oil and gas on it made you not choose that Connor. And he’s the graphics guy, that one got past me. Well, and again, I do want to point that out, but this is the point. You might be proud of that because here’s the fact, the fact is that if it hadn’t been for the petroleum industry, we would not have this society we have today. It’s been tremendously helpful. Now I realize there’s some people that are very upset about its impact on the ecology and all that, but it’s made a big difference too. So, you know, I, I’m not telling you to, to, to cherry pick where you, you look for, what’s good and bad.

Kenneth Vogt (00:39:21):
You know, you choose your own values there, but, but, you know, we can see that there have been benefits. You know, there’s some people that are really down on Western medicine, but the fact is it’s done a lot of good. Some people are down on pharmacology, but the fact is it’s done a lot of good. We can’t, you know, we can’t necessarily make things so black and white, but it does matter. Ultimately, you know, you’re the one who puts your head on the pillow at the end of the day. You’re the one that’s got to sleep at night. And so make sure you can make sure it feels good to you. Okay. Next slide.

Kenneth Vogt (00:39:58):
Okay. So I mentioned earlier, Boy o boy, you are not done learning. You might think, well, I got the PhD. I’m done. Ha ha ha, not going to happen. You’re going to keep learning for the rest of your career. And so you want to keep going with that? I was, I was having a little chat with my physical therapist. And again, I won’t, I won’t beat on this. You know, I had a stroke last year. And so I’m recovering from that. My physical therapist, physical therapist has to have a PhD. I didn’t know that until I needed one. So she’s got a PhD in physical therapy and she’s going to go back and get a post-doc in gait, G A I T. That is the way you take a step, a whole postdoc on how to take a step. You know, there’s a lot more to be learned, I guess is my point.

Kenneth Vogt (00:40:47):
And I’m sure that there’s things going on, you know, in your world. That, again, for me looking from the outside in, I might think, wow, that is so esoteric. That is so, so granular. But you realize, you know, it’s like looking into a microscope at a, at a drop of water and you realize there’s a whole world in there. There there’s a lot to be learned. So don’t, don’t stop learning. Learning is life, and you’re going to enjoy it for the rest of your life. And you will be unhappy if you don’t keep learning. Okay, next slide.

Kenneth Vogt (00:41:20):
Oh yeah. Build your resume. This is still a job. This is still a career. And that stuff matters. So you make sure that your resume looks good because you don’t know when things are going to change funding sources, dry. There are personnel changes, things happen and, and that’s normal, you know, you’re, you’re, you know, even though I mentioned earlier on, maybe you’re somebody who’s driven by, by security and you wish you could just take one job and retire with a gold watch at 65, that’s probably not going to happen. So make sure that your resume keeps being built so that you can move to the next step with the minimum of fuss and suffering and can continue to make upward choices in your career. That’ll, that’ll give you these other things that we’ve been talking about to can make you happy. Okay. The next one, ah, yes.

Kenneth Vogt (00:42:15):
The opportunity to change the world. You don’t, you may not realize how, how fortunate you are. There are many industries where it’s not in the realm of the possibility nobody’s going to change the world and breakfast cereal. It ain’t gonna happen. You know? Whereas in your fields, there are many opportunities where you could actually do something. They will alter the course of mankind. That is just awesome to contemplate, you know, and granted, maybe you won’t do that. Maybe you won’t explicitly be that maybe you won’t be that Nobel prize winner, but you know what? You can play a part and you can do things that matter and are supportive of those who will make those changes and will be the, you know, part of the building blocks that they stand on to, to make those changes and you get to be a part of it.

Kenneth Vogt (00:43:04):
And, and there are many people that are toiling away in this world that don’t have any, any dream of a possibility that they’re making a difference in the world, but you have that. So, by by all means trade on that. Okay. And next point, well, I guess the final point, ultimately you have to make the choice to be happy scientists. You know, we’ve talked all about all these things that you could do or might do, and that others are doing, but that doesn’t impact you. It’s you, are you going to do what it takes to be happy? Are you going to make the choices? Are you going to make the changes if necessary, are you going to learn the things that need to be learned? Are you going to choose the associates that you’re going to need to work with? It’s up to, you know, we’re here to help you with this and we want to help you with this. And that’s why we have The Happy Scientist podcast. And that’s why we’ve recommended, you know, please listen to episodes. One through nine, they are foundational. They are the things that are gonna help you be a happy scientist and we want to help you. And it’s right there. All you got to do, all you gotta do is listen. So that’s it. Anything else for you to add Nick?

Nick Oswald (00:44:14):
Yeah, I would just say, you know, echo, you know, I mentioned Ken was you know, was the Yoda here, right? You go back to episodes one to nine from of the podcast and they’re a bit dense, you know, Yoda sometimes takes you an hour to figure out one sentence that you said can be a bit like that. Not quite as bad as that, but those 1 to 9 episodes are a bit dense, but they’re really worth that is complex to find out how, you know, to, to absorb all these ideas about you know, what makes you tick? What makes you happy? What can you do for yourself? And you know, to make things better for yourself and other people around you. And so it’s worth the time investment of trying to digest them. And again, that’s what we’ll keep exploring in these episodes is is different angles on that. And sometimes it’s just that kind of repetition that kind of just committing to yourself that, you know, to keep exploring yourself and what makes you tick that, that really yields you the results it’s certainly has certainly helped me a lot in my life until a lot of people I know who have worked with Ken. W so again, this is live. So if you want to type your questions into the questions box any burning questions, then please do so. And we’re there. We will look at them. We do have a few in at the moment let’s see I want to, here’s one for you Ken, I want to contribute to science, to science as a stressful job. So I find it difficult to be happy. So what does that person do?

Kenneth Vogt (00:45:55):
Oh, okay. Well, I guess it really comes down to what is, what is it about it that’s stressful because there’s a couple of different paths. It could be, it could be that it’s intellectually demanding and you’re, you know, you’re working at your limit. Well, okay. Perhaps the task you know, the type of task that you’re doing right now is it’s a little too taxing for you. And maybe you should, maybe you should focus on doing something slightly different. And maybe you could just ask for different assignments. I mean, even as to change jobs, it’s just like, you know, this particular thing I’m working on is just too much for me. Or, or maybe you need help. Maybe you need an assistant. Maybe you need to have a, you know, a, a, a graduate student assigned to you. Maybe, you know, there, there are ways to get some relief to take some of that stress out of it, because I want to differentiate between stress and pressure. You know, pressure is, is just, you know, something’s pushing on something, nothing wrong with that. And in fact, we use pressure all the time and in ways that we find pleasurable, you know, I won’t go into detail, but the point is, is that stress is, are what we think about the pressure. It’s its power reacting to it. It’s and it’s a choice. It’s like the difference between pain and suffering, you know, just pain may be unavoidable, but suffering is absolutely a choice. Suffering is our attitude about the pain. So

Nick Oswald (00:47:24):
To think about, I see you’re the one I think about you get your head around.

Kenneth Vogt (00:47:29):
Yeah. But, and, and don’t, I want to be clear too. I am not in any way denigrating anybody. If you’re feeling stressed, I’m not saying you’re wrong. If that’s what you’re experiencing, you’re experiencing that. Well, stress is bad. Stress will hurt you. I mean, it’ll physically hurt you. It’s not it’s not good for you. So stress is something worth avoiding, and sometimes it does mean making a radical change. Maybe, maybe that’s just not for you. And by the way, not everybody can be happy scientists. Some people will never be happy as long as there are scientists. Well, for those folks, maybe you do need to do something different, but that’s not true for most of you. Most of you can find a way that, that where you can mitigate that stress and get it reduced to only being pressure and being manageable pressure. And that way you can still be happy and still enjoy what you’re doing for a career.

Nick Oswald (00:48:21):
Cool. So here’s another one. Well, this is not a question, but I’m going to say this one, because Ken, this gives you the reason why you do this this this rewards. The reason why you are fulfilled, the reason why you do that. So this person is saying no question, but I just wanted to thank you for helping me cope in this past year plus I went from being disgruntled and burnt out to finding what I like about my job. And I just got promoted to lab supervisor, which is challenging, but very rewarding. Awesome. very rewarding for you that one.

Kenneth Vogt (00:48:53):
Yeah, that’s it know. I was listening to a different podcast for my own edification. The other day, it was a one psychologist interviewing another psychologist and they were talking about how, how hard it is to give advice to people and how, how difficult it is for people to receive that. But that the most rewarding thing that you can do in your life is to mentor someone else, especially someone who’s got potential. It was not, it was not yet acting on it. So when you see somebody who can actually move up, because, because you offered them some advice that they found valuable, that’s awesome. And by the way, you scientists, in other way, you can be happy as mentoring others. You got other people around you. If you can help them be happy scientists, you may find that helps you too

Nick Oswald (00:49:38):
Yeah. A lot of what would, what this is all about is just realizing. This is a possibility. I know that in my peers, it was all kind of like, this is the, this is the package. Just get on with it, you know? So

Kenneth Vogt (00:49:52):
It reminds me of a Doonesbury cartoon from way back in the day back when, when it was still in the Harvard review. I mean, we’re talking about when I was a college cartoon and two college students roommates, or just, you know, new roommates didn’t know each other yet. And so the one guy asked the other guy, so, so what are you doing here? Well, I’m, pre-med, you know, like, well, how’s that going for you? And he’s go. And a guy just turns up, just whips around and turns out. I said, look, life is a serious Savage business that I’m just trying to get out of it before it turns on me and tears me to pieces. I wonder how many scientists think

Nick Oswald (00:50:28):
Like that? I think a lot of people in general. And so, okay. So more questions too. I feel like all of the things you mentioned are open questions for me. So many things to keep my eyes on. Where do I start?

Kenneth Vogt (00:50:46):
Well, okay. First off there, there’s no wrong answer to that question. Where you start is the first thing that pops into mind. If it’s whatever’s for freely available to you. If there’s something that’s easy to solve, solve it, let’s do it first. Do the easy stuff first it’s okay. On the other hand, if something’s really important to you, if you want to start with that, start with that, you know, just whatever feels comfortable for you. And it doesn’t really matter what you do. Everything you do will take you closer to where you want to be. So even if you, all you did was the low-hanging fruit and you look back at it and you thought I’m being lazy, fine. Be actively lazy, as long as you’re doing something.

Nick Oswald (00:51:27):
Yeah. Interesting. I guess my sort of view on that is that you’ve actually taken the first step because you’ve realized, realize that there are things you can do, even though, then it looks like a big to-do list you’ve actually realized, and that puts you ahead of most people don’t realize it, just go on with it and don’t realize that that’s a

Kenneth Vogt (00:51:43):
Great point.

Nick Oswald (00:51:46):
Okay. What else do we have here? I’m not particularly happy in my job, but it is a stepping stone, is it okay to accept being happy in the future?

Kenneth Vogt (00:52:00):
I will say a conditional. Yes, because do you have an end point in mind? Is it like, is it just all one day I’ll get to the pot at the end of the rainbow or is it like, I’m going to suck this up for the next year and then I’m moving on. That’s fine. If you have a plan and working hard right now is part of the plan. That’s cool. But if it’s just like, well, I hope one day it’s going to work out. That’s not cool. You get, you got to get more specific at that point,

Nick Oswald (00:52:33):
I would say as well. You know, that it’s a bit of a red flag being, not particularly happy in the job because maybe you don’t enjoy the job itself, but you can still be, create happiness for yourself within it. And, and I was going to say outwith, let’s say that word because it’s not a real word apparently. It’s a Scottish word. And but anyway, you can create happiness for yourself outside of the job. And that’s that, I think that’s a place where, you know, people get caught in the meat grinder of a difficult situation. It was like what you were talking about earlier about a pressure situation. People get caught in that meat grinder because they don’t give themselves space to, to unwind and relax and to kind of recenter themselves. And they just get caught in the drama of the whole, this is a, this is a pressured situation. I did back in the day,

Kenneth Vogt (00:53:28):
Some people will get caught up in the idea that, you know, I deserve what’s happening to me right now. Yeah. You know, it’s about, it’s a totally different thing, you know, it’s, it’s not about, really about the job or really about, about career advancement. There, there feeling like I deserve to suffer right now, that is a, that is a bad place to live,

Nick Oswald (00:53:49):
Even something as simple Ken as taking a, you know, taking two minutes to yourself to just, just relax, just take two minutes for yourself, regardless of how close your eyes do nothing for two minutes. If you get into the habit of doing that yet, you’re, you’re you get into the habit of, you know, just having micro decompressions in your, you know, in your schedule, in your, as a habit. And you know, that’s the sort of thing that can, you know, tiny things that you can do that would just they’ll just help you to, to grab, grab happiness, even in a pressured situation and not just succumb to the, the drama of the overall situation.

Kenneth Vogt (00:54:31):
Sure. And some of you are thinking I can’t do that. I can not take two minutes for myself. Well, that ought to be a warning flag to you. Look at that.

Nick Oswald (00:54:41):
What’s that take 30 seconds.

Kenneth Vogt (00:54:45):
Otherwise you’re going to look at it and go, ha that’s really funny. But they won’t do it well, if you’re unwilling to do it, ask yourself why, why am I afraid to take two minutes for myself? You know? So, you know, it’s worth self-examination and you know, self-examination is frequently worth it as long as you’re not getting obsessive about it.

Nick Oswald (00:55:07):
Okay, good. Okay. We have another another nice comment just to thank you guys for the last year, I’ve been listening to you on every episode and every episode helped me to return from maternity to demanding pace in the lab. Thank you for the work that you’ve done. And and thank you for helping me to get my work work-life balance back and be a happy scientist.

Kenneth Vogt (00:55:33):
Awesome. I’m again, neither Nick, nor I can personally relate to that.

Nick Oswald (00:55:38):
I, I I’ve been on paternity leave. It’s not the same thing.

Kenneth Vogt (00:55:45):
Well, yeah, I guess my, my, my point though, is that that everybody’s leading their own lives, you know, and some people are having, having they’re facing challenges that others can’t even understand. You know what? We can’t understand that people have challenges and we can care about that. I know I care about it and I want you all to be happy.

Nick Oswald (00:56:09):
Okay. A couple of questions about compensation, Ken, or the compensation aspect of it. I’m a PhD student and I’m often disgruntled by the fact that intellectuals in science, the PhDs and the post-docs will always be compensated than the people in it. The corporate world, who may not be intellectually on par with people on science in science. How do I come to terms with this and be happy about whatever compensation I’ll receive in the future?

Kenneth Vogt (00:56:38):
Okay. First off, you’ve, you’ve made a judgment about how the world is structured and you decided that something is wrong with the way things are structured. Is that the important part or is the important part recognizing how the world is structured, seeing what’s there is critically important in science. Why would you think it’s not important in compensation or in life in general? So, all right. You’ve seen how it is. So now you, the question will be, well, how do I take advantage of that if I can, or how do I, how do I protect myself against it? If it’s a, you know, it’s a perpetual problem. Cause there are answers to those questions, you know, if you get stuck on it’s unfair and I don’t like it, you’ll never move to it. Yeah. But what am I going to do about it? So if you can get past the judgment part of it to look at all right, well then in this, in this environment, how will I choose to be? And, and then you can make the choices you want to make.

Nick Oswald (00:57:49):
Yeah. Interestingly for me, the big red flag there is don’t go comparing yourself, understand where that’s coming from, but it’s always a killer comparing yourself your situation to someone else’s or what you think someone else’s is because you don’t know the whole, the whole ins and outs. I, for example, in that statement, I know for a fact that there’s people in IT that are played terribly on a notepad scientists that are paid very well. You know, as a question of what path do you take, you can’t make that generalization. And for me, the path, you know, you’re a PC shouldn’t you’re early on your career is if that is what will make you happy the compensation then as can say, then, then think about what you’re going to do about it. Look around and see how do people make money here in this in this environment.

Nick Oswald (00:58:36):
And you know, if that’s what rewards you if that’s what you find the most rewarding or driver have a look around. And again I would say things like being very specialized in or becoming very expert in in you know, you know, you become a kind of consultant level expert and a technical side, the technical area and not get that spins off. Lots of opportunities for you to just for example you know, and then there’s the whole business side of it. If you’re interested in starting a company and whatnot, but even if you’re interested in staying academia, depending on what you do, depending on the choices, the, the path choices you meet, you can, you know, ha you know, have a good academic salary plus consultancy. If that is what you’re interested in,

Kenneth Vogt (00:59:28):
There are plenty of multi-million dollar professors out there. So this idea that there was no opportunity, it’s just not true

Nick Oswald (00:59:35):
As a common myths though. And that’s that, you know, that thing about just believing more is in the ether range. It just, it doesn’t have to be like that for you. You can, you can make another choice that well other people can do. I’ve done, you know, done in a different way of sort of busted that myth. Just just so I can do that too. I remember we, I live in Scotland and, you know, the biotech industry here is not particularly well developed. When I graduated, the, the whole idea was, you know, the whole prevailing myth was that it was very difficult to get a job in industry. And I didn’t find it difficult to get a job in industry, and I’m going to professing to be a particularly great scientist at the bench. And it wasn’t difficult at all. I just, cause I just went for it. And I don’t know whether that’s other people’s experience, but it was mine. But if I,

Kenneth Vogt (01:00:25):
It didn’t matter if there weren’t a lot of jobs, you only needed one.

Nick Oswald (01:00:31):
Yeah. That’s the thing is kind of just be careful. You don’t box yourself in with that myth. Right? Look for the opportunities for, if you want compensation to be higher, look for ways in which that can be done.

Kenneth Vogt (01:00:44):
Right. And don’t get caught up in something that’s in, is that case these days, this idea of victim hood, oh, poor me. I don’t have the opportunity other people have because I’m in this suppressed class, Golly it’s. So self-destructive, you know, realize that you are in a class of you. There’s nobody like you, you’re the you’re, you’re the best version of you that’s ever been. So, you know, take advantage of that.

Nick Oswald (01:01:14):
Okay. Here’s a counter point. My favorite things about being a scientist are the joy of exploring articulates in the technical, you know, exploring via research and of course going abroad to conferences. It’s not all about the paycheck, I guess that that’s not just an, that’s not to yes. As a counter point in, this is just a person who was definitely a different thing, a different driver. Yeah.

Kenneth Vogt (01:01:47):
Their best life, Power to them

Nick Oswald (01:01:48):
Yeah. And, and so, but it’s interesting because you know, it’s just to underline that because you see someone around you, people are not interested in the money. But you are when you know, it doesn’t matter. It’s just different. It’s just different drivers, different mindsets and vice-versa so yeah, Live and let live, all that. Hmm. Okay. One more. My supervisor is very difficult to deal with. I want to improve my skills, but she doesn’t give me the space to do so. I take it as kind of an overbearing kind of supervisor. What would you advise there?

Kenneth Vogt (01:02:31):
Okay. All right. Well, first thing presuming that you want to stay in this position and you like the job you’re doing and the people you’re with other, maybe your supervisor start putting, looking at what’s what matters to my supervisor? You know, I have certain things that I care about that make me happy. What makes this person tick? What makes them happy? What would they like? So many times we’re finding, we’re having, we’re having stress with somebody so that we, we don’t bother to do things for them. We don’t bother to do things that would satisfy them or make them happy because we feel like why bother? Because they won’t do it back for me. Well, how do you know, have you given them a chance, maybe if you do a little going first, you’ll find that, that personal stretch a little, because people will do this.

Kenneth Vogt (01:03:19):
They’ll like, you know, I never asked for time off and I asked for time off and they said, no, yes. But when have you ever stayed for over time when they asked, when did, did you go first? You know? So if you’re like, you know, I know I’m going a long time off for vacation next year. Maybe it’s time to start doing some things now so that when the time comes to ask for that, I go, you know, I did this, this and this for you. I’m wondering if you could do this for me, because then it’s obvious. So make sure that you’re doing for your supervisor now, it’s possible that this person is just, you know, you have done for them and you’ve been fair. And, and they just don’t recognize what you do well, that happens sometimes. And maybe that’s the case you to decide, you know what, I need to find a better boss. And maybe it’s, maybe it’s a change within the same lab or within the same company or the same university, or maybe it’s to do something totally different. But, you know, look, look first, is there anything else I can do to make the relationship between me and my boss, better start there. And after you’ve exhausted that then look at other opportunities if need be.

Nick Oswald (01:04:27):
So w just occurs to me, Ken, that there’s a kind of like, here’s an analogy to look at, is that like, so say you want it to be in the, you want it to be a Navy seal, right? That’s what you want it to be. And you’re doing the training. You’re not going to think, you know, your boss, your boss, there is not there to give you a good time. Right, right. Is there to push you to the limit and is there to challenge you and, and so on. So that’s, that’s a situation where you’re not necessarily going to be happy in the moment but you’re, but you are aiming for a bigger goal. And you’re allowing that person to shape you. Does that map on here at all to that, to this person’s situation.

Kenneth Vogt (01:05:11):
Oh, surely can. Maybe, maybe someone’s not appreciating the mentoring they’re getting. And they don’t like that they’re being pushed. You gotta, you gotta ask yourself, do you want a boss that never challenges you that never, never pushes you to get better or to do more? You know, that’s not much of a boss, honestly.

Nick Oswald (01:05:31):
Yeah. And it’s easy to take. I just, I never thought of it from this angle before, because I, again, I had some experience that, that were kind of like that. And and I just thought it was something that happened to me, but actually just thinking there was actually, maybe it was me resisting the mentoring that I was getting was part of the problem. It doesn’t mean that, that, that, you know, there’s always the case, but it’s it’s as there a if I choose to do what this person is asking or is demanding of me, will it shaped me to be, to become the person I want or to improve or in a direction I want or something like that. Yeah.

Kenneth Vogt (01:06:11):
Well, I mean, human interaction is always complicated and it’s easy for us to get focused only on the details that make us look good. So we all, they’re a monster. Well, maybe this one thing is pushy, but that’s not the whole of what they are, you know? So we gotta be fair how were, how we’re assessing others also.

Nick Oswald (01:06:30):
That’s interesting. Okay. So we’ve reached the end of the questions that came in there. If you have any more questions that are caught to you or the time you can always drop me an email and I’m or drop us an email I’m Nick@bitesizebio.com and Ken@bitesizebio.com. We’re happy to answer your questions. Also be sure to, if you didn’t check it already, have a look at the downloads page that is you know, as linked to, from you know, below the questions box on your screen. If you’re watching this on demand, but we will include the link to the demos page and the on demand video as well. There’s all sorts of stuff in there. Some of it you might’ve seen already, some of it you won’t have. And as I mentioned earlier, the very rare, Happy Scientist’s t-shirt up for grabs in the competition.

Nick Oswald (01:07:25):
So what else was I going to say? Yeah. Okay. If you haven’t done so already, you can check out all the Happy Scientist episodes so far at Bitesizebio.com/thehappyscientist all one word. And we’d really like to, to to see you and to hear from you in the happy scientist club Facebook, facebook.com/thehappyscientistclub. And yeah, you can ask us questions there as well, if you like, or contact us and, and so on. So that brings us to the end of the episode. Anything more, you’d like to say Ken?

Kenneth Vogt (01:08:01):
That’ll do it for me.

Nick Oswald (01:08:03):
Okay. Thank you to everyone who tuned in to listen either live or on demand. And we will see you again for the next installment in this series, which is happening next Wednesday. Thank you. That was one of those moments. Oh, it’s happening. I’m not sure when it’s happening. It’s Wednesday, the second of of September, 1st of September, which is, oh yeah. I can’t look at calendar Wednesday the 1st of September. So we’ll hopefully see you then. And until then, goodbye from myself and Ken and all of us. Bitesizebio bye-bye.

Outro (01:08:52):
The happy scientist is brought to you by bitesizebio, your mentor in the lab. Bitesizebio features, thousands of articles and webinars contributed by hundreds of PhD, scientists and scientific companies who freely offer their hard, won wisdom and solutions to the bitesizebio community.

 

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