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Blog #20: Where Do You Fit in the Machine?

[from the #MyCareerSuicide Series Part 4-a]


Welcome back everyone! I am so excited to present today’s content. I know the previous blog posts Part 2 and 3 were heavy regarding emotions and reflections, but they serve the purpose of laying the foundation for everyone to see how a #MyCareerSuicide begins and ultimately its outcome. With that being said, we are now in Part 4 of #MyCareerSuicide series. Part 4 will pack a punch as well, so I decided to divide it into Part 4-a and Part 4-b. To be honest, I did not want Part 4 to be a long read. Therefore, you will read Part 4-a today which I promise to be shorter and hopefully see Part 4-b within a week or two.


So far in the series, I shared how my inability to control myself emotionally at my first job created a deep hole I could not pull myself out of. I also explained how my mindset and actions after my first job kept me stuck in that hole which eventually led to a definite #MyCareerSuicide. However, we are going to switch the direction of this series and provide material that leads to a new perspective on the #MyCareerSuicide. We are going to focus on Where Do You Fit in the Machine, i.e., society. The inspiration of this blog post came from my 10-year struggle of not knowing how to contribute to society via my career. Therefore, my hope for everyone reading Blog #20 and #21 is to encourage you all to discover your true selves thus, making it easier for you all to enter a career that’s a right fit. Okay, let us begin!


As I look back on #MyCareerSuicide and reflected on the overall outcome, it came to me during my meditation: I had difficulty with my place in the machine (society) because I did not know my true self. It is important to understand that knowing your true self dictates your path in life. This is where my story comes into play. I must confess, I never truly wanted to be a research scientist. You all are probably saying to yourself, “I thought Bill Nye the science guy was a source of your inspiration and University of Michigan was your dream school.” Yes, that is all true. However, science was not a true passion of mine. I always had an imagined idea of science, but I never did anything scientific on my own time. Now, I won first place in the regional science fair and participated in the state science fair in high school and obtained an entry-level research position in college. However, I have to be honest with you all. I never really enjoyed these experiences. If anything, they were merely another item to cross off on my checklist.


I want everyone to think back on what I said in Part 3 and 4. If you do remember those blog posts and it is okay if you do not, a light bulb should be shining bright in your head with the realization. This is a reasonable explanation as to why, when I was faced with a tough work environment at my first job as a research scientist, I was not able to stand tall because I never truly believed in myself as a scientist or truly cared to be one. Therefore, I could not agree more with the sentiment of a teacher that told me in high school, “if something is meant for you, you should be able to maintain it when your environment is falling apart” (i.e., achieving success regardless of your circumstance). This realization was hilarious to me. I spent a good chunk of my life preparing for a career that never appealed to me organically. I became more aware of this reality when I took some time to explore the essence of me. I will share the details of this journey at a later date but, nevertheless, I discovered my creativity.


My maturation as a creative person made me realize I was never really interested in science and technology. Please allow me to elaborate this point with a short story from my time in high school. When I was teenager, I distinctly remember a conversation with my next-door neighbor about my anxiety over my first high school geometry exam. It was a week before the exam, and I kept focusing on the possibility of not achieving a passing grade. In addition, I felt the pressure of a good performance because if I did not pass this exam and eventually this course, I would not qualify for future advanced placement classes which would increase my possibility of attending a prestigious university. Feeling indifferent towards my plight, my elderly neighbor man who once served in the military told me, “Are you even preparing for this exam? You spent more time worrying while talking to me than getting ready for this exam.” I could not help but pause when I heard that statement.


The purpose of this short story is simple. When something does not feel right or you cannot muster the inspiration to do it, it is probably not for you. I know this to be true from my observations that a dedicated, passionate person in any profession will do whatever it takes to achieve their dream. We can use basketball as the perfect example. Before you can confidently step onto the basketball court, there has to be a commitment from the player to perfect their craft. The craft can involve knowing how to handle the ball in different circumstances, being able to perfect shot selection for greater efficiency in games and maintaining fluid communication. This concept of dedication and passion applies to the individual working to become a research scientist. That means putting in the time to learn and perfect subjects such as geometry. For me, I unfortunately saw geometry as a means to an end instead of a tool or experience to better prepare me for a career as a research scientist.


Conclusion

You are probably asking yourself how I came to this conclusion about my failures from earlier in my career. Why was I able to determine that being a research scientist was not for me? The answer is simple. I stewed in my own muck for so long until it started to not taste good to me anymore. Now that everyone is aware about my struggle in knowing my place in the machine. For Part 4-b, I will use this blog post to explain what the machine is and where you fit in it.


To be continued…


If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at thernrhour@gmail.com for clarifications. Finally, I look forward to seeing you all on September 20th, 2021, for Part 4-b in the #MyCareerSuicide series.

Sincerely,

The R-N-R Hour™

© 2021


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