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Galileo's Pendulum

Busy is my best friend

20 Feb 2013, 22:28 UTC
Busy is my best friend
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I actually turned down paying work the other day. (This is another position, not the one at CosmoQuest I wrote about two weeks ago.) The details aren’t really important, but the job just didn’t feel right for me at the moment: a poor combination of pay and responsibility, without an obvious benefit professionally. I asked a few friends for advice, and they reinforced that decision, based in part on inside information I didn’t have. So, I’m okay with the choice I made, though there’s that nagging part of my brain telling me that I shouldn’t turn down paid work, given that I’m not exactly rolling in it right now.
I think there’s a bit of Imposter Syndrome at work in my second-guessing too. Imposter Syndrome is the persistent belief that you are somehow faking it, when everyone around you is competent. Christie Wilcox put it well: “like I’m a C student that has snuck into a Mensa meeting to steal the free food”. Imposter Syndrome has nothing to do with ability or success; in fact, thinking over positive accomplishments can sometimes reinforce it. (One impromptu session at the ScienceOnline conference discussed it; you can see the Twitter conversation here. I ...

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