Matt spoke at the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering “Adapt to Thrive” event for early career researchers.
The idea of the series of talks is that it is OK to talk about failure. Academic careers are never simple, and an academic needs to know how to cope with failure, adapt and move forward. Matt spoke about some lessons from both industry and academia:
- Career progress doesn’t just happen. Don’t assume that by just working hard everything will fall into place. You need a plan.
- The numbers of papers/grants/projects/students says nothing about your value as a person. Don’t feel you are not good enough.
- Metrics in both industry and academia are designed for a purpose. Spend more time optimising your variables (quality of life etc).
- Have a target medium to long term plan, but focus on short term goals and deliverables and focus on delivering them quickly.
- Think about personal CV development, step-by-step, rather than “I must get an faculty position”. Then you can be happy and make progress wherever you end up.
- Learn to find contentment in whatever daily tasks you are doing. Don’t constantly stress about the things out of your control.
- Then meet with mentor and make adjustments, for example every 3 months.