Three unlikely things
I'm still doing some mentoring and some scientific consulting. Some is unpaid, and the rest is underpaid, but it's better than nothing (at least for now).
I really had gotten used to being told nearly every day that I was wrong, or crazy, or that my suggestions wouldn't work, or that the things I worried about didn't matter.
So lately I'm amazed to find that people are seeking my advice (outside this blog, even!). They say my ideas and contributions are interesting and important.
Yesterday I had one of these nice experiences. I met with a group to discuss a project. Three things happened that I would have considered unlikely when I was a postdoc, and to have them all happen at once like this would have meant that hell was freezing over.
1. I pointed out a potentially important problem and the immediate reaction was, "Wow, you're right!"
2. I suggested trying something my way because it's much faster and easier and they said, "Your way sounds much better! Let's do that!"
3. They said they were really impressed with my CV.
Thinking back on it, I'm surprised enough that I felt this deserved a blog post. Why is it that these people reacted so differently to me than the people I was working with during my postdoc?
Is it just because everyone in the group was a woman?
Is this is how some men feel in academia?