More of his rules: My comments in this vague-ish purple color.
4. Doing something well and thoroughly is its OWN reward. If you have not figured this one out, you do not belong in academic science. Heads up, there are almost no other rewards.
5. Show and Tell.
If you do something well and you’re happy with it, for FSM’s sake, tell EVERYONE. First, figure out who FSM is. (try here), your life will be richer and happier. Particularly for women (who tend to have more of an issue with it, but that doesn’t mean ONLY women), it’s not some stupid thing you are doing. It is marvelous and incredible, and it will help you if others know.
6. If you want something, ASK.
If something piques your interest, tell someone. If you want to learn something, ask someone, like your BOSS. As an employer, I can tell you, people who want to learn new skills are people I want to keep employed. Change BOSS to MENTOR. I want to know what your ideas are. I want to know what and why you think is interesting. You want a project? You want to give one lecture in my first year seminar on something you are interested in? You want to learn Matlab (please, oh please)? Tell me.
7. Have GOALS.
Make up goals. Set goals. Regularly assess where you are and where you want to be in terms of them. This is a kind of prayer that works, and works well. Allow for the fact that things will NEVER turn out like you think they will, and you must be prepared to end up miles from where you intended. Do this by yourself. With your mentor. With your peers. Have goals on variable time scales (this week, this month, this year, forever).
8. Be nice. To EVERYONE.
Life is way too short to be an asshole. If you are an asshole, apologize. No BSD’s allowed. Remember not everyone has your dream. Especially admin assistants, lifetime techs, the folks working in the cafe.
You will fail. It’s one of our jobs in life. Keep failing. When you fail, admit it. When you don’t, don’t get cocky. ‘Cause you’re just about to fail again. FSM forbid that the first time you fail is when you don’t get that perfect job. It will be twice as hard to pick up and keep going. And try to learn something from the failure.
10. WORK YOUR ASS OFF.
Work like your life depends on it… It does. This is your life (there may be other things, and that’s good). Figure out how to spend your time, but when you are doing whatever you are doing (be it childcare or making electrodes) it is the thing you are doing.