Is the Lab the Only Way to Be a Scientist?

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Kenneth Vogt: hello, and welcome to the happy scientist podcast from bite sized bio if you want to become a happier healthier and more productive scientist you're in the right place.

Kenneth Vogt: And anomaly about now you would be hearing from Nick as well, the founder of bite size buyers, since he is generally the host of these podcasts but today.

Kenneth Vogt: i'm going to be guest hosting i'm Kenneth vote i'm the founder of the executive coaching company veritas, and the reason i'm hosting today is, we have a very special guest Dr Nick is well.

Kenneth Vogt: Hello we're gonna be.

Kenneth Vogt: we're gonna be interviewing Dr Nick as well on a very important topic, and this is a topic that that he has spoken about from university stages and is this is the lab, the only way to be a scientist now.

Kenneth Vogt: This is a important topic because there's a lot of ways to have a career in science, the lab is certainly one of them, but it's not the only one.

Kenneth Vogt: So you might be wondering what are the other possibilities, where you're going to find out when we talk to Dr Nick as well, because not only does he know about the topic he's lived this topic.

Kenneth Vogt: He has been in the lab and he didn't leave the lab and he continues to be in science, so you might be asking yourself wow, how can I do, that I would love to have that possibility in my life so so that's what we're going to discuss today and will.

Kenneth Vogt: will begin with us just a straightforward question Nick, why did you start out in science and did you have a clear idea of where you are going to go in your career when you started.

Nick Oswald: yep I well my very first inkling I was extremely I to first inklings of.

Nick Oswald: What I wanted my career my career to be and I was very sure about the direction and about you know the destination, and that was, I want to be a football player soccer player.

Nick Oswald: And a rock star, but one after the other younger was a football player, then I realized that my feet didn't work in that way, and then.

Nick Oswald: And then I wanted to be a rock Star and I was actually up until I started doing my PhD I was still convinced that that was the week ago, when I was about to go touring and my band at the time, and everything and then then life took over.

Nick Oswald: But as far as science went then.

Nick Oswald: I knew from quite early on in high school that I want to be a scientist was just something that.

Nick Oswald: interested me my at the time of me, being in high school my mom actually was my mom was studying to be a nurse so she did it from scratch so did science to the.

Nick Oswald: You know, half a science degree in it and nurturing nurturing so that was around me in that kind of formative years, not just find it quite interesting and I thought it explained the world philly it was great.

Nick Oswald: I thought I was definitely going to do that.

Nick Oswald: And it kind of that that so that see both each 1314 I was pretty effects that that's what I wanted to do and that then what lasted for about 15 years or something like that, so that I wanted to be a scientist and a lab.

Kenneth Vogt: Great now, we may actually have another entire episode on how to be a rock Star and Nick is also qualified to talk about that, but you probably heard mentioned have some of that stuff and in past episodes and i'm not going to drive into it right now but but it's an interesting topic.

Nick Oswald: As long as you put rocks out in court.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, something you just said is is pretty interesting this notion that you had that I wanted to be a football player and a rock star is a look, then the notion, sometimes we have is that Well, I can only do this one thing.

Kenneth Vogt: If i'm going to be a scientist, obviously I can't be anything else there's no possibility that's not necessarily true you may find that you do have ruin your life for multiple things and that's part of why.

Kenneth Vogt: structuring your career is so important to leave you room for other other areas of expression and other other ideas and another thing.

Kenneth Vogt: Okay.

Nick Oswald: I was just gonna say that that's an interesting point, because at the times when I, you know that that's a joke, and I always start those careers talks with these were my first career aspirations, but.

Nick Oswald: it's and it's just kind of a joke, but else does illustrate something that you just said there at the time, I wanted to be a footballer That is all I wanted to be.

Nick Oswald: A time I wanted to be a rock star that's all I wanted to be, and then I decided to be a scientist That was all I wanted to be and then it's come full circle to actually.

Nick Oswald: I wouldn't like to be a rock star, but there are some elements of that that I want to have in my life, there are certain elements of science, that weren't in my life, and there are other things that I can mix them up doesn't have to be one thing.

Kenneth Vogt: Sure, another thing you that I heard in your comments that's interesting and and many people may relate to this, how many of you.

Kenneth Vogt: made these choices when you were a kid you know mixed talking about being 1314 in the setting then be a scientist now you're an adult now did you make a good choice as a child.

Kenneth Vogt: You would have made a choice from a childish viewpoint, at that moment, but it doesn't mean it was a bad choice, but then again your your rationale for what you chose me be completely different now so.

Nick Oswald: That was yeah that was, I mean it turns out that it was a good choice, but in the end, I think that one of the core tenants of what I would preach about career development.

Nick Oswald: Is that there is no one way and and there is no there's no bad choice, unless you really box.

Kenneth Vogt: yourself in and.

Nick Oswald: And it happens that what happened, what.

Nick Oswald: setting out on the journey into science gave me was the seeds of options in front of me I took some of those options, and I saw other options.

Nick Oswald: And we've done and we've gone from that and and and the whole kind of my whole kind of career advice would be based on.

Nick Oswald: Look, for the options and keep moving in the direction that that excites you the most and right but put the work in, so in that regard, I think, with any starting point, you could get where you want it to go, I mean look at where Richard Branson started, for example.

Nick Oswald: Nowhere and.

Nick Oswald: So, although there and it's what my what boxes you in it is the mindset is not having.

Nick Oswald: For me, anyway, the idea is not kind of being conscious that you need to keep options in front of yourself and then blocking yourself off.

Kenneth Vogt: Right now, I imagine you and everyone else out there who's ever worked in the lab would agree with the statement you didn't get there by accident, you had to work hard to get into the lab, would you agree with that statement.

Nick Oswald: um yeah.

Nick Oswald: I think that.

Nick Oswald: Certainly it's easier for some people, and others, for me, I was it was definitely our study hard scenario and.

Nick Oswald: My daughter's just got come out from you know our first round of exams in high school with 60s and everyone's like yeah that's, of course, it runs in the family.

Nick Oswald: I never got an eternal life, you know.

Kenneth Vogt: we're.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah don't broadcast that nobody knows.

Nick Oswald: Nobody.

Nick Oswald: doesn't say.

Nick Oswald: It doesn't matter it doesn't matter because it's.

Nick Oswald: You know it's it's what you do with what you've got it's important.

Nick Oswald: But yet to get into the lab.

Nick Oswald: Basically, all you have to do here is get a decent.

Nick Oswald: undergrad degree and you're off, but that it takes some dedication some work.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah.

Nick Oswald: But I mean I don't think it's a bit overhyped it's not it's not rocket science we're not making rockets know.

Nick Oswald: Maybe that's.

Nick Oswald: Maybe that's doing a disservice, but it was hard work, but not.

Kenneth Vogt: Good at that point you back to the episode an imposter syndrome.

Nick Oswald: Well that's possible okay.

Nick Oswald: that's the scottishness.

Nick Oswald: play everything.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, so the reason I brought that up as a candidate to segue to another question because he did make an effort to get into the lab and many people have but, yet you ended up out of the lab and in bite size fire, so if that happens.

Nick Oswald: That was kind of like.

Nick Oswald: My career path when ever decreasing circles you're like a spiral into closer and closer to what I wanted, I think, so I.

Nick Oswald: You know the kind of parted chronology is that so I finished my undergrads I did I was torn between do I tour with my band or do I try and get into the lab I wasn't sure whether I wanted to be in the lab so I tried to get.

Nick Oswald: A job in as a technician I find that impossible with a PhD no one wanted to look at your so I spent six months, I decided not to tour with the band were probably wasn't good enough anyway, but maybe maybe that's an assertion room and.

Nick Oswald: And I I tried I applied for every technician job that was available this is Scotland not you know the west coast of the US so there's less options, but still.

Nick Oswald: I couldn't get anything anyway, for whatever the reason was and I ended up working in a supermarket for six months.

Nick Oswald: While i'd been doing that all through my undergrad anyway, and so I, and so I contacted the university that I did my degree in which was my hometown university, so we had any PhDs That said, we have one left and.

Nick Oswald: So I took it.

Nick Oswald: that's not how to choose a PhD.

Nick Oswald: So I went and it was certainly an education let's put it that way for good and bad reasons and I slogged my way through it, I didn't enjoy it.

Nick Oswald: And, by the end of my PhD I made the decision that I didn't want to continue in academia anymore.

Nick Oswald: And, but I still want to still work, I would say I was gonna say I still wanted to be a scientist, but i'm not sure whether that was that was just I couldn't really think of another option that excited me oh that's.

Nick Oswald: Right yeah I was applying for jobs as a forensic scientist as well, but I couldn't seem to make that break either, so I got a job in industry, I went into industry, I got I really landed a fantastic job and a company in Denmark.

Nick Oswald: Who were making.

Nick Oswald: we're making automated devices for drug discovery we're inviting them from scratch, which was really, really unusual an interesting job to do.

Nick Oswald: I sit there for a couple years we had to move back for family reasons I got a job again just default what what I do i'm a molecular biologist i'll apply for molecular biology jobs, I got a job in another great company here in Edinburgh.

Nick Oswald: And I was in there for six or seven years, but all through that time and we're you know, an industry, I was kinda like this is an OK, for it but it's not a great fit for me I don't i'm not very green fingered always.

Nick Oswald: tended towards training people towards helping other people do well you know, to get the most out of themselves and that's what interested me.

Nick Oswald: And so 2007 blogs became a thing and and I thought I saw other people making blogs about things that they knew about and making little businesses over them, and so I thought well let's give that a go so for three years, I worked in.

Nick Oswald: still working in the lab on as a hobby.

Nick Oswald: While it was more than a hobby because I was getting up very early to write these things I would have two small kids at once market at the time.

Nick Oswald: And so I would get up at like 5am right for two hours get everyone ready for in the morning and go to work, and it did it, thank goodness, at the time, I did it uh you know, for once, in my life I had some discipline, I did that.

Nick Oswald: yeah in bite size by groups on legs, so the decision to kind of you know that's one big junction point for me and if I look back at my career path is.

Nick Oswald: That I just decided to follow, something that inspired me and because I was inspired I was able to do something stupid like get up at 5am every day for a year and write blogs and but I was really excited about us or give me the energy and.

Nick Oswald: And then two tickets on path, but even if bite size by your.

Nick Oswald: own.

Kenneth Vogt: Take a break here you just broke all up on I didn't hear any of your after you said, even if I say his bio and that was the end.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah there.

Kenneth Vogt: I don't hear you.

Georgios Giazitzis: yeah I lost make to hear him okay.


Nick Oswald: Am I clear, though.

Kenneth Vogt: I you are now.

Kenneth Vogt: i'm sorry.

Nick Oswald: Literally said that my device just malfunction.

Georgios Giazitzis: We cannot hear you from the usual Mike I think the other MIC is functioning now.

Nick Oswald: that's crazy.

Georgios Giazitzis: Now, I think I can hear you.

Nick Oswald: yeah you can hear me, because this is, from my headset.

Nick Oswald: speaker microphone another because my snowball is just.

Nick Oswald: Just decided that doesn't work anymore.

Georgios Giazitzis: fan of this normal for some reason.

Nick Oswald: I don't know I never really liked lots of people recommend it, so I thought I would.

Georgios Giazitzis: We can hear you pretty clearly now I can.

Georgios Giazitzis: Actually, to snowball.

Georgios Giazitzis: No.


Sir it's.


Nick Oswald: it's 27 degrees Celsius in here in this room, and you know snowballs don't like high temperatures email.

Nick Oswald: Alright, select a microphone yeah it's not coming up, can I do you think it's Okay, if I go with this.

Georgios Giazitzis: headset actually pretty clear okay.

Georgios Giazitzis: So let's just do that yeah.

I can just drop in the bucket when you're.

Georgios Giazitzis: Successful now I can hear you from far away.

Georgios Giazitzis: yeah this is good.

Nick Oswald: yeah I think it's switched the blue snowball here but we're not trusting this mobile anymore.

Nick Oswald: yeah i'm a good night actually.


Nick Oswald: So here.

Georgios Giazitzis: yep yeah it's.

Kenneth Vogt: A countdown keep going yep yep.

Nick Oswald: 321.

Nick Oswald: But even if bite size by itself and i've been successful just getting involved with bite sized bio and what I learned and the connections, I made would have changed my my job, my career trajectory anyway towards the direction that I wanted to go into so yeah it's an interesting.

Nick Oswald: junction and in my career, I think, if I look at it, as just making the decision that I wanted to do something different, and then acting on it.

Kenneth Vogt: mm hmm So here we are getting up at 5am you have no idea of where this is going to go, or if it's even going to go anywhere, are you happy.

Nick Oswald: I was tired, but I was really excited because I thought this.

Nick Oswald: it's at that point, the blogosphere if it was you want to call it, that was an actually publishing in general, was kind of like the Wild West and where it was there was just.

Nick Oswald: It was in such disruption that there was that there was a lot of opportunity there to establish yourself and, for some reason I latched onto that I saw that I can see other people doing it and I thought I was really excited about doing it.

Nick Oswald: So, in a way, happy, in a way, very tired, but yes still I was, I was glad to have the direction because before that I was stagnating in the lab and I was looking around I was applying for stuff I wasn't getting it and it was kind of a bit sad.

Kenneth Vogt: got it so now it's yours on by should you mentioned 2007.

Kenneth Vogt: And here we are in 2021 are you happy with it now.

Nick Oswald: uh.

Nick Oswald: it's.

Nick Oswald: yeah it's definitely different.

Nick Oswald: I put it this way I did make the right choice.

Nick Oswald: It doesn't mean that it's easy or all hearts and flowers.

Nick Oswald: it's a challenge to do this, but I, I would say it's, a challenge that I enjoy enjoy and it's mostly on my own terms, so I really appreciate that part of our alright cool.

Kenneth Vogt: So, now that now that you've had that the experience of going through this is there anything you would did different when you change how you how you've approached ah.

Nick Oswald: it's a bit like Okay, I used when I was doing my PhD right I lived on this road and.

Nick Oswald: in Dundee in Scotland and.

Nick Oswald: To get to my to get to the lab I had to walk up this hill they got more and more steep as I went up as we went up at all.

Nick Oswald: You got to near the top and it was just ridiculously steep and I always used to think that this was like the.

Nick Oswald: The illustration of what a PhD was like that and and because you get three quarters to the top you're committed, so you have to go and do that, however, but anyway and and I think, but I think that I know when I look back at my PhD at something that i'm really glad I did.

Nick Oswald: But.

Nick Oswald: I wouldn't want to have to go back and do it again, but I would, if I had to.

Nick Oswald: see what I mean and it's exactly the same as the business has been like run in bite size by it was a business or developing it.

Nick Oswald: into something that is commercially viable has been exactly the same experience, where it was just at something that there's been a lot of enjoyment, a lot of difficulty, a lot of sweat involved.

Nick Oswald: And I wouldn't do it differently, but I wouldn't like to have to do again.

Kenneth Vogt: Okay, fair enough so you've taken but maybe we call a non classical path in science you're not you, you didn't you know graduate and head to a lab and stay there for the rest of your career, so what would you say to somebody who'd like to be on that path themselves.

Nick Oswald: I would say that you know that classical path is is actually probably you know the classical path and courts that you get a job you get your PhD you're going to live, you could.

Nick Oswald: You do a post Grad a postdoc you bye bye carry on get a lab and all that stuff that's actually probably the minority minority of scientists do that now, because there are so many people do in science and so little.

Nick Oswald: You know comparatively little positions are built, especially senior positions So the first thing I would say, is to realize that, if you would have you know if you're at the early stage of a scientific career realize that.

Nick Oswald: That path is an option but it's not like it used to be, I think that the mindset when, certainly when I was in undergraduate admittedly quite a while ago last century, as I like to see, and then.

Nick Oswald: It was it was kind of like Well, this is probably what will happen is a bit unusual to do something else.

Nick Oswald: will have evolved from them, but I think that the prevailing mindset is still it still in the background that we still call them alternative careers in science and it's not actually just careers in science, or careers lot that you can launch into different science.

Kenneth Vogt: that's a very important distinction.

Nick Oswald: The fact that.

Nick Oswald: The fact that those that career path in academia, or you know, a parallel career path and industry exists.

Nick Oswald: doesn't mean that it's an again that talks to what you've put me the title of this talk is the lab to only be to be a scientist, or I said, I would say, as the lab as a career in the lab, the only way to.

Nick Oswald: develop your career your science elite career, because I wouldn't consider myself a scientist anymore, because i'm not doing science.

Nick Oswald: But I certainly have a scientific background so i'm in the industry, so I can understand have some understanding of what needs, and I can apply my skills to that to add value and that's what could you do this, how can you add value to whatever industry you're in.

Kenneth Vogt: So what would you think it'd be fair to say that perhaps it was a naive understanding of the world that.

Kenneth Vogt: might have caused you at one point to think that the only way, you can go forward is to be in the lab and maybe that was never true maybe that was never really the likely path, and we would have to broaden out our understanding if we wanted to make a life and science.

Nick Oswald: I think that that's partly true but probably not true, I really genuinely love the idea, the idea of being rpi and stuff and you know, having my own lab and and stuff like that.

Nick Oswald: Probably I had a naive naive understanding of what that would entail but mostly for me, mostly what didn't fit for me was.

Nick Oswald: I just didn't excite me when I started doing it, and so, then I can put in the I couldn't put in the.

Nick Oswald: The overdrive, if you like, that that the people that are that really excites can do so it's difficult to compete and when when I when I find the thing that really excited me then I was off, then I had the JET fuel and I could do I could do it myself.

Nick Oswald: Right, but I think that, so I think that having that kind of you know you're you're 19 2021 whatever and you can see, this path and you think it's exciting I think that's that's perfectly fine.

Nick Oswald: And I think nowadays there's more awareness made of you here this might not be a career in the lab for you, I mean that was there.

Nick Oswald: When I was doing it, but I thought that I would do it, I thought that I would I thought, of course, I thought that was going to cure cancer and stuff that was mine no That was the way that I went into it.

Nick Oswald: But I think having an awareness that that what this is a boat isn't about isn't.

Nick Oswald: pathways as such it's a series of choices, and you can relax into that and just keep looking around I think what people.

Nick Oswald: And I certainly was guilty of that a couple of points in my career as I didn't look around, I just took the next default step.

Nick Oswald: And, for example, when I took a job as a molecular biologist when I was kind of sure that I didn't enjoy science very much I didn't enjoy bench work very much, but I needed a job.

Kenneth Vogt: And so I.

Nick Oswald: Did that and so it's.

Nick Oswald: yeah I think I think it's it's about really getting a year you're.

Nick Oswald: Keeping your options open and being aware that there are other options at all times and just keep on choosing.

Nick Oswald: keep making conscious choices is the important thing, rather than having that naive here's a path we follow, and if you fall off your one of the unlucky ones, which is the kind of voice the prevailing wind, when I was involved in it anyway right.

Kenneth Vogt: So when when you were first learning, especially when you're first in university.

Kenneth Vogt: i'm sure you saw some things here are some foundational things I need to learn, I need to learn about chemistry, I need to learn about molecular biology, I need to learn about basic biology.

Kenneth Vogt: And you thought of those as the fundamentals, but what have you actually found are the real fundamentals for a career now.

Nick Oswald: yeah so I mean for me anyway and it's about being happy.

Nick Oswald: and about which is why one of the reasons why we have this podcast that happiness and and for happiness is a boat not fitting yourself to the job it's about.

Nick Oswald: That sounds naive, because you can't always fit your job to you know you can't make the job fit you that's what i've done, but I did it in a different way from probably.

Nick Oswald: I was gonna say it might not be available to but I guess it is available, how does he that So what are the.

Kenneth Vogt: fungibility we are here to inspire nick's compact competition, we would love to see what the next wave looks like that makes bite size by look like it's like it's old school.

Nick Oswald: that's coming.

Nick Oswald: It is coming that's why that's why bite size bio keeps trying to be new school.

Nick Oswald: But anyway, that that's a different matter, but the fundamentals are to keep you know, again, I would say, go back make your own choices in or keep making conscious choices keep looking out for are you inspired are you enjoying this.

Nick Oswald: When you're putting an extra what does it feel like a joy, or does it feel like a slog and if it feels like a slog then you're probably not putting your efforts in the direction of something that would inspiring so have a look around and it might take.

Nick Oswald: Different you know might mean taking a step back and before you take a step forward, but most of all it's just you need to have.

Nick Oswald: Something in front of you that's inspiring you so, whether at one point for me it was i'm going to cure cancer.

Nick Oswald: That was like great Okay, so I need to know all this stuff and that that drove me, you need that gives you the JET fuel and then that were off.

Nick Oswald: And so right, I need something else I need another thing to aim for the old that'll help me propel and the direction and again that that helps you to manage up to what's exciting for you and what and what you enjoy and then.

Nick Oswald: You know just keep.

Nick Oswald: Seeking skills that could help you, you know, keep adding skills don't stay in the same rock to keep trying stuff I mean when I was in.

Nick Oswald: The band I would always try different ways to do things and different ways to you know, improve my systems and improve my protocols and I guess hopefully everybody does that but, and maybe that's you know.

Nick Oswald: Teaching granny to suck eggs or whatever that expression is a box it's all about don't just follow other people make a blaze a path for yourself and one other thing as well about you know that keeping things in front of you, you know about.

Nick Oswald: You know, keeping staying inspired looking for opportunities as.

Nick Oswald: And I saw this at my kids school was a curious thing and I can't remember the exact Stat was, but it was something it was either three out of 10 or eight out of 10 but let's say it was three out of 10 three out of 10 jobs haven't even been invented yet.

Nick Oswald: 10 jobs that could become available to you haven't even been invented yet and actually thinking back that's what happened with me blogging.

Nick Oswald: Then on it hadn't been invented when I was an undergrad well had been invented by hadn't developed into anything, when I was.

Nick Oswald: When I was an undergrad and so, if you don't keep your eyes open, then you miss these opportunities as they come up I don't know whether that's too fluffy but that's that.

Nick Oswald: that's what I just keep saying to my kids it doesn't matter what you study I mean do you it doesn't matter what direction you say, is it yourself, and as long as you keep inspired and you just keep trying your hardest you keep putting your most Center.

Kenneth Vogt: So one thing I keep hearing here that I think that some people are going to react to you.

Kenneth Vogt: How is this not just being totally narcissistic like all it matters is what makes me happy and and what I like and.

Kenneth Vogt: How do you answer that that that criticism.

Nick Oswald: For me it's well.

Nick Oswald: it's that whole thing about if you can't put the you know you're setting in the plane doctrine mass comm don't you.

Nick Oswald: You put oxygen mask on the person setting the kids next year, and you fall over because you have any option, you have to look after yourself first, but at the same time i'm not you know i'm not doing i'm not.

Nick Oswald: running a loan sharking business or i'm not you know, a member of of a you know, whatever a criminal gang or something that i'm i'm doing something that we're I genuinely think is is my best contribution to this industry.

Nick Oswald: And the best contribution that I can passionately make with my specific skill set and my specific.

Nick Oswald: You know desire if i'm doing something that if i'm working in a job, where i'm not happy, I am not going to be able to give my most to that so that you know that that might be.

Nick Oswald: That you know walking away with something that you're not enjoying and kind of self flagellating to keep going on, even though you don't enjoy it that's not narcissism but it's kind of what is it it's kind of self it's martyrdom I suppose.

Kenneth Vogt: Right right.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah this This reminds me to of the first three episodes of the podcast talking about human needs your own human needs.

Kenneth Vogt: You need you do need to be aware of them, but you need to be aware of them for the the point that you make that so that you can do your best.

Kenneth Vogt: and presumably your best for the good of all, you know that the science is here to serve that it's it it's just that simple sciences and that self serving it is, it is all outbound.

Kenneth Vogt: So if you're going to be a part of that you're going to have to you're going to have to soak up your own fire, so you have something to give.

Nick Oswald: yep yeah that's the thing the best you can give is the thing would you are on fire, you know and you're not on fire, Malaysia inspired.

Kenneth Vogt: Sure, so so let's look at the opposite side of that, then what would you say, are some of the common barriers, you see that stop people from evolving their current a healthy way.

Nick Oswald: What if I look back to myself, then.

Nick Oswald: So I while I was still in the lab I wanted to get into I kind of had an idea that I wanted to get into some sort of publishing or training or something like that, where wasn't at the bench.

Nick Oswald: But I was supporting the people at the bench in it, which is what I was bear better are on one of the things that kind of made me stay in a minute take a while for me to get out of that was that I what I did was I just thought inside the box, if you want these are really trite expression.

Nick Oswald: I just what I did was anytime I saw a publishing job come up I applied for it anytime I saw a job that was training I would apply for it, and maybe I will do some speculative applications and think I was doing really well.

Nick Oswald: And those that's a fine thing to do.

Nick Oswald: But I didn't start to get any results and still as until I started.

Nick Oswald: Thinking about more laterally and, as I alluded to earlier, even just writing bite sized bio you know I picked up the keyboard the pain started writing started getting a little bit of traction even if no one had read this thing.

Nick Oswald: meant that, then I could go to a job interview and see.

Nick Oswald: Well here's my blog, and this is what I want to do you know, this is what i'm interested in I can tear something that i've done this out of the ordinary and.

Nick Oswald: And so that's evidence that i'm you know you know, although I don't have experience in publishing I am self starter and i'm i'm motivated and all that stuff and that that was enough for me to get my first move out of the lab was as the got a job as a journal editor.

Nick Oswald: And and literally The thing that sent me that got me that job was was bite sized bio and then I subsequently got a job for another publisher as a consultant they came to me.

Nick Oswald: which was quite astounding, and for me, anyway, at the time, and you know and offer me a consultancy consultancy job because of bite sized bio so again, however, that maps onto people's individual situations.

Nick Oswald: will be different, but the thing, but one of the you know one piece of advice would be to just try and think as lateral as possible and don't be boxed in by.

Nick Oswald: Only the opportunities that other people are presenting you obviously take a look at those opportunities but see what you can meet for yourself, even if it's just small you can stop something.

Nick Oswald: The famous quote I always say is that bite size bio started by a 500 word article and yeah and that's what got it moving and and it's still one of the biggest articles on the website for 14 years later, which is quite funny.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, that that goes to show it was enduring in some way.

Nick Oswald: yeah but anyway, I mean that doesn't my point to everyone else's situation, but the.

Nick Oswald: right kind of core message is is is trying just rattle the cage do what you can to start making some momentum for yourself.

Nick Oswald: And then the other thing that could have stopped me but luckily didn't well, to be fair, as you know, from the conversations we've had over the years.

Nick Oswald: It could have stopped me at any point in the last 14 years is fear is fear of the fear of taking the next step into the unknown, you have to trust yourself, you have to just shoot and and try and keep keep shooting and if stuff doesn't work keep taking shots and.

Nick Oswald: You know.

Nick Oswald: that's that I think that that is probably the number one reason why people don't get where they want to go is because they settle for something less than what they want, they just stop because it's too scary or.

Kenneth Vogt: right they try one thing it doesn't work out so that they don't try again.

Nick Oswald: yep or or the keep going they just run out of steam, and maybe part of that could be that the thing that you that you're aiming for is not inspiring enough for you so don't give you enough jet fuel yeah.

Kenneth Vogt: So yeah you've met we've mentioned obviously being in the lab is one possible career path and other publishing but are there other possibilities for what somebody might do and still have a career in science.

Nick Oswald: I mean there are endless possibilities that probably again a lot of them, probably haven't even been invented yet, but.

Nick Oswald: You know that will appear in the next 510 years so it's important to keep your eyes open in that regard, but I mean people there are people more qualified than me to talk about the variety of options, but, and I think, to be field that university is no are much better.

Nick Oswald: Sure, showing people what these options are you know the same traditionally, for you know when I was at university, it was.

Nick Oswald: You know, you could do anything from you can move into market, and you can be an accountant, you can be a lawyer, you could you know specializing in science, all sorts of stuff.

Nick Oswald: But it just grows every year there's more things every year, you can do and there's also probably more option to.

Nick Oswald: To take risk and do something for yourself as well.

Nick Oswald: As well right.

Kenneth Vogt: Well hello, there we have it, and you know folks if you go to if you go to linkedin you look up Nick as well and you're going to see a pretty interesting resume.

Kenneth Vogt: But i'll I will venture to guess that there are plenty of people out there with interesting resumes they've done a lot of different things yeah and it's that's that's not actually all that exceptional.

Kenneth Vogt: it's what happens it's how you make your career it's how your career becomes more rich is because you tried different things and.

Kenneth Vogt: In some of them stick and you can't worry about the fact that not all of them stick sometimes you try something and and you know it, it runs its course and that's the end of that well that's fine move on to the next thing.

Kenneth Vogt: Well then, I will ask you then knickers the final question is there anything you'd like to say to to wrap up this notion of how to have a career in science.

Nick Oswald: I would say, one of the things that we can do as as people rather than saying is try it and taken.

Nick Oswald: Like one thing i've done over the last 10 years is read hundreds of books about different aspects of perform we're getting the most out of yourself different ways of looking at the world different ways of.

Nick Oswald: You know, ways to live your life and so on, and those just again it stops you from getting stuck in your own perspective, and you know gives you.

Nick Oswald: I think what i've morning most important skills i've developed is to try and be again i'm not putting myself as anything like the pair there's still plenty of flows they're not mean anything like that, but that.

Nick Oswald: i'm quite able to kind of look at other people's point of view and see how it would work if I looked in that way, if you, if you like, and so that means that you can derive you can derive value from literally anyone's perspective on the world if you can get yourself to do that.

Nick Oswald: shortcut yep and what's one book.

Nick Oswald: That I will you know that sticks out above the rest for me, that is an accessible way to break open how you look at your your career it's a bit cold.

Nick Oswald: Okay, so again this isn't a perfect fit for science, but these things don't have to be you just have to be able to take lightly take on the perspective and see how that can inform.

Nick Oswald: What you do so or the way you approach things so this because called be as a catchy title, be a free range human escape escape the nine to five.

Nick Oswald: create the LIFE you love and still pay the bills Okay, so this is about, you know running your own business, which might not be what people want to do, but actually that's just a marketing thing fundamentally it's about.

Nick Oswald: What is a career and what is a job, and how can you add value in a way that suits you and and still you know you know give you know, be a contribution to the world so as.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, get a link to that in.

Nick Oswald: The show notes by a woman called Marianne cantwell so again it's one of these things that will be bits that you read it and go no but ignore those just taking the good parts and there was anything for you.

Kenneth Vogt: yeah just like when you were in Grad school and you were sitting there and lecture.

Kenneth Vogt: it's all the same.


Kenneth Vogt: All right, well excellent all right, well, thank you very much, Nick for letting us pick your brain and and being it being a guinea pig for those of.

Kenneth Vogt: Those out there, that would like to see what how else they might develop their career in science and since he walked the road it's nice for you to share yeah.

Nick Oswald: Thank you enjoyed that you have a good interviewer can.

Nick Oswald: She do that more or.

Kenneth Vogt: Less, you will have to do one in the future on you as a rock star because there's plenty to talk about there okay.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, and it will apply, I will make it apply back to science, I promise you it's going.

Kenneth Vogt: to work out, I know, Nick is skeptical right now but i'm not I mean i'm gonna make this happen.

Kenneth Vogt: Alright, so there's a few other things, then to to mention that the the end of this episode of course you can always come.

Kenneth Vogt: see more about the happy scientists that writers slash the happy scientist you'll see every episode listed there and.

Kenneth Vogt: You can you can dig in you can you can you can talk to us when we can we can have some conversation back and forth get also find us on slash the happy scientist club.

Kenneth Vogt: So there's there's a couple different ways that you can interact with the the campaign here that happy scientist and we want to remind you that.

Kenneth Vogt: The first nine episodes of this podcast are fundamental fundamental they are foundational principles.

Kenneth Vogt: that everyone should learn, and you should you really you really ought to take the opportunity to listen, then the first three are on human needs, the second three our encore mindsets and the final three around charisma factors now if any of those things.

Kenneth Vogt: sparked something in you, if you care about what you need if you care about your mindset or other people's mindsets and, if you think Chris might be useful in your world.

Kenneth Vogt: You should check these out because you'll probably have noted, we refer to them all the time, but but.

Kenneth Vogt: there's there's so much there just in those episodes that we couldn't cover despite commenting in ongoing episodes so please go back and listen to those one through nine and get an understanding of these life changing concepts and, hopefully, as a result, you can be a happy scientist.

Nick Oswald: yeah and I would say, if the if you charisma doesn't feel like a thing that you weren't the interest you or whatever get over it just listen to the sound.

Nick Oswald: Of of what I said about the fear in human book just trying to absorb this thing that stuff that people are offering you and get what you can, if you get one thing out of everything you've listened to one tiny green of of Aha or progress or whatever, then then it's worth it.

Kenneth Vogt: Well, there you go well you've heard it from the horse's mouth today folks so we'd like to thank you for visiting us, and so, at this point we'll sign us, so thank you, Nick.

Kenneth Vogt: Thank you okay bye now bye.

Is the Lab the Only Way to Be a Scientist?