Do you have any other specific comments or advice that you like to provide to the members of SYCL?
Stay involved and connected with your colleagues.
Build relationships and develop trust with your colleagues. Find a mentor. I have a person who I consider my mentor even now. I can talk to this person and get feedback on career goals.
Be sure to share credit where credit is due.
Stay positive but always look for opportunities for professional growth even if it means interviewing when you are happy at your current job. Often an interview will help you see why you like your current position and want to stay or it will give you the opportunity to move and explore different aspects of your career.
Finally, I first read this poem when I was in 7th grade and it has shaped the way I view my life and my profession. While not every line can be translated into a parallel lab medicine issue, several of them can. I am including my thoughts about this poem hoping that you too can draw inspiration from it as you embark on your new career.
BY RUDYARD KIPLING
IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
"IF you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you"… I interpret this as the need to remain calm and have a balanced fact based response to complaints.
"If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too"… I interpret this as having confidence in your assays and your ability to interpret the results but to always be open to new sources of information that could affect your interpretatioin or new perspectives.
"If you can dream–and not make dreams your master; If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim"... I interpret this as maintaining your idealism for the "perfect assay" or an assay that could create a paradigm shift in patient care but not letting this "dream" obscure more pragmatic simple assays in patient management. Likewise if you "make thoughts your aim", you lose out on the enjoyment of implementing solutions in to the work place... some people think of solutions but never try to put them into action.
"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same”... I interpret this in the following way, your lab may have a quality issue that initially may appear as a disaster, but it’s how you handle this "disaster" that really matters. Sometimes facing a QC failure can help you change procedures that have a positive, more expansive impact than the initial failure – making the disaster the root cause of a triumph.
"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!”… I interpret this in the following way, many times changes in the work environment (ie, a change in leadership [Chairman, Division Heads], cost cutting measures, redirection of laboratory resources/or focus) can introduce uncertainty and stress in the lab. This uncertainty can be fatiguing. In such cases, maintaining your focus on quality service even when short staffed or underfunded can help you make it through the "rough times" until times or circumstances change for the better.
"If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings–nor lose the common touch"... I view this statement as the need to stay connected with both the technologists doing the work and the institutional/administration leadership while maintaining an objective point of view. Understanding both the issues and problems that bench technologists and administrators have may provide you with a more global perspective. The ability to explain to bench technologists what the institutional needs and goals are can help bridge the communication gap. It also helps to be able to explain to the institution or administrators what the needs of the bench technologists are.
"If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run”... I interpret this as trying to be present "in the moment" whether it’s at work or in your personal life to help provide work-life balance. I believe that this may be the most difficult to achieve since our lives are filled with distractions.
And lastly, it may seem impossible to obtain the goals described in this poem by Rudyard Kipling but the effort of obtaining them may be transformative in helping you to evolve to a higher professional and personal level.