Thursday, January 2, 2014
My challenging, humbling day job
This morning, when the alarm clock went off, I yawned and groaned and wished I could stay in bed all day. And then I thought of all the people who don't have a job and don't get a pay check, so I kicked my ass out of bed and went to work.
Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But I don't kid myself: scientific research is rewarding 1% of the time and hard and frustrating 99% of the time. In school you are given ideal datasets tailored to the statistics you learn in class. In real life datasets are very much imperfect: experiments don't always go as planned, they don't always get fully funded, and you end up with a small sample size or a poor study design. Textbook stats no longer apply. You have to come up with new strategies.
My job is challenging. My job is humbling. Every day I am reminded that I'm so not the smartest person on earth, that I'm very much fallible, that I have limitations. Every day I'm reminded of the millions of people that are dying of AIDS. Every day I'm reminded of how lucky my kids are.
It's good to have reminders that keep you in check and make you grateful for what you have.
Thank you hard, challenging, and humbling job.