If I am asked what is my job now, I will be with no doubt saying that I am a researcher. When I was asked this question five years ago: “What do you want to be?” I said “I wanna be a researcher”. Am I fulfilling what I aimed before? It seems yes.
But it is not as simple as that dude! To be a (new) researcher, many things need to be fulfilled.
What you need to do/have as a researcher?
As a researcher, normally you need to obtain PhD. To get PhD, you need to be persistent. This is not easy. In some countries PhD can last for more than five years, even more than seven years. Persistent needs some (long) time.
You need to write a lot. Before you write a lot, you read a lot. And while you read a lot, your hairs get closer to your book and you don’t realize they fall down. And in the end if you will find nothings drop anymore as you get Permanently hair Damage [I am wondering why still people wanna get this PhD thing if they find out this conclusion! Poor you ;)]. Just recently in one online discussion I join, there has been a hot discussion of a researcher who quited and finally moved to work in a company. His recent job seems to be dealing with managerial stuffs. Not related at all with the degrees he obtained.
Research is a long journey. Research takes time before you would exclaim: “Eureka!”. Or in contrast probably you end up with no result and do not obtain anything. You can be not satisfied with your work. On this matter I would say look back on what you have got. Aha, if you have got nothing and finally you have realized that you get older, probably you better quit? There is no easy answer on this. There are always challenge and temptation.
Research can not be done alone. It takes time and it need more energy. Therefore working in a group will help a lot instead of only be a single fighter. Even there is the time that you need second opinion from someone who is not familiar with your research to have wider or different perspectives.
You need to inquire. A wise man advises: “You need to negotiate”. Research needs money and research needs to be published and to be disseminated. But as a new researcher you don’t have money. Then you try your luck to get some amount of money for a research grant or a travel grant. In some cases you will get and some don’t. And in the end if you got one normally you will write an acknowledgment if you get one.
But do not give up, there is also good news. My friend wrote in her blog some reasons why to go to graduate schools and explained several advantages. May be with some advantages you would receive, you would want to invest your time to take master, postmaster, doctor, superdoctor or super researcher (if any). Or you would reconsider your decision given my statements above?
So what is the conclusion? I have got nothing to say further yet. I am still a new researcher though :-P. But a suggestion from me would be: Don’t take it seriously. The last sentence I would write: researcher needs a good sense of humor 🙂.