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NIFP Workshop Participant Fears

Module by: Rice ADVANCE. E-mail the author

Summary: This handout is from Mikki Hebl's talk entitled "Fear of Failure, Fear of Success".

  • Getting tenure
  • Funding
  • Not to perform as high as everyone else
  • To be compared w/others in different situations as interdisciplinary area
  • Do not get any interview
  • Never obtain a ROI grant
  • Bias on woman, mother, minority
  • Opportunity for collaboration with different departments
  • Public facility (such as Nano Lab, Confocal Microscope, Machine workshop)
  • Relocation
  • Time to spend with family
  • Getting grants
  • How to really stand out during application
  • Not being independent enough
  • Getting tenure while having children
  • Getting an offer with some issues in my grad school career (e.g. bad grades from health problems, lost years, lack of many publications)
  • How are recent Ph.D. recipients who are about 40 years old viewed and received?
  • i.e. are universities less likely to want someone older to join their department?
  • I am competing with “hotshots” 
  • Getting funds
  • Not getting “my dream” job
  • Not finding a research niche in my saturated field
  • Balancing commitments
  • I’m not the “type” for academia
  • I care about my family too much
  • I can’t publish enough
  • I’m a “failure” if I don’t go to academia
  • I like doing experiments but I fear that I would not like managing people
  • Successful people seem to have more energy to put in more hours than me
  • Getting funding
  • Publishing enough
  • Finding a job!
  • The interview!
  • Publications!
  • Be successful at my job as a good mentor
  • Be happy at my position
  • Not finding a job together with my spouse since we are in the same field
  • Whether I will feel sophisticated about contributing to the betterment of society as against my career being just for my betterment
  • Find a faculty position in the same city as my husband
  • Not enough publications
  • Being in a too collaborative field-not getting individual credit-not being “hard core” enough
  • What if I “make it” but the people I most respect do not think highly of my work?
  • I’d almost rather be clearly bad (and move on) than forgetably mediocre
  • Going for tenure and having kids at the same time
  • Differentiating future research with previous one
  • Finding grants to survive
  • Not being able to mentor my graduate
  • Loss of enjoyment of aspects of work
  • Failure to reach personal goals/obtain sufficient external respect
  • Low monetary compensation
  • Developing a research program while spending all my time teaching
  • Two body problem and sexual orientation
  • Maintaining my hobbies
  • Being too stressed out in faculty position and having it negatively affect my relationship
  • Missing deadline for fellowship faculty pos and not knowing where to apply
  • Worried about finding the right balance of teaching/research so that I feel comfortable with balancing life and family
  • I’m also worried about possibly finding a position that would allow me to spend more time with family than the traditional faculty position
  • Not getting interviews
  • Not getting offers
  • Not getting funding
  • Not achieving tenure
  • Having doubts about whether I’m pursuing the right track while I’m doing it. i.e. “second thoughts” undermining successful process
  • Job search
  • Family
  • Job security
  • Financial stability
  • Working as hard as I possibly can and not getting a job offer that I want
  • Finding my ideal position when my husband does his ( he is medicine seeking fellowship in cardiology)
  • Am I good enough to succeed in academia?
  • Does my research really matter?
  • I have a husband who is a PhD too but works in industry worried about 2-body problem
  • When to have kids? I feel like I don’t have control, so I want to figure out how to handle this uncertainty which I am sure I would love when that happens
  • Not being tough enough for the job
  • Not having enough energy for both: a fulfilling private as well as working life
  • I won’t be good enough
  • My research will not be properly evaluated
  • My presentation skills are not where I want them to be. I stutter.
  • Earning respect of students and colleagues as a professional woman. That is, how to unlearn all the girlish quirks and shedding insecurities in order to feel at home in a professional institution.
  • Learning to make networks and not feeling awkward utilizing the network
  • Lack of publications in relation to other candidates
  • I know that many schools hire 1 yr. or more in advance and wait for the right person, but will such a person be disadvantaged in the interview process by not having as much work done and published?
  • Finding positions for both my husband and myself that enable us to devote as much time to family as we desire, but are also professionally fulfilling.
  • Not ending up in an ideal location
  • Not being productive enough
  • Finding a position that fits my geographical needs
  • Being good enough to run a lab group independently and provide funding for everyone
  • Being a good mentor (will my students succeed?)
  • Being productive enough to get tenure
  • Getting an offer for myself and my husband (same department)
  • Work-life balance
  • Spouse in academia
  • Will I like being faculty as much as at the bench
  • FUNDING!
  • Time for my other passion-dancing
  • Worried about when to apply and if my application is good enough yet
  • Thinking of stellar research ideas that will get funded
  • Being “good enough” in my own eyes; not expecting too much from myself (unrealistically)
  • Getting an academic job at a research institution with out doing a post doc
  • My husband finding a job where I find one (location)
  • I won’t get interviews because I’ve done long post doc while I had 2 kids and my publication record doesn’t look very strong
  • Not having the support of my post doc advisor in my job search because he wants me to be his post doc for another 3-5 years
  • Not finding a job in a good research institute
  • Presentations
  • Saying the wrong thin in interviews
  • Tenure
  • Not finding a good enough research topic
  • Worried about becoming a “machine”
  • Finding the right job where teaching is more valued that research
  • Finding/getting more bad mentors
  • I’m worried of becoming the crazy cat lady! (balancing life and work)

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