Probably when I was 20 and getting close to finishing my undergraduate degree. I think thats when i knew I had to start thinking about getting a job and what i was going to do with my life. But I have been interested in science since primary school.
My first thought to this sentence was “well I’m not a REAL scientist” But that’s ridiculous – of course I am – I work on research, I have scientific papers published, and I am working on my PhD.
There’s so much pressure to be this impossibly smart hypothetical scientist in a tweed jacket and thick glasses – and I’m just me. It’s called imposter syndrome and it’s especially common in scientists. Even more in women scientists.
So I think now – at 26 – I am reminding myself I am a scientist and you can be too!
Only when I was a bit older and I tried it out to see if I would enjoy it.
The important thing is to figure out what you’re interested in, as your dream job might be something you’ve never even heard of yet!
I think I decided that I wanted to be a scientist as a career when I was about 21 years old, I did my project placement for my undergraduate degree in a venom research lab and that’s when everything clicked. Before that I had no idea what I wanted to do!