As I've noted on these pages before, my sole detectable talent for this career is the ability to take a punch.
There are a lot of punches in academic science. A lot of rejection and the congratulations for a job well done are few and far between. Nobody ever tells you that you are doing enough.
"Looking good, Assistant Professor! Just keep this up, maybe even chill a little now and then, and tenure will be no problem!" - said no Chair ever.
My concern is that resilience in the face of constant rejection, belittling and unkind comparisons of your science to the true rock stars in a Lake Wobegon approach can have a selection effect. Only certain personality types can stand this.
I happen to have one of these personality types but it is not something of any particular credit. I was born and/or made this way by my upbringing. I cannot say anyone helped to train me in this way as an academic scientist*.
So I am at a complete loss as to how to help my trainees with this.
Have you any insights Dear Reader? From your own development as a scientist or as a supervisor of other scientists?
Related Reading: Tales of postdocs past: what did I learn?
*well maybe indirectly. And not in a way I care to extend to any trainee of mine thankyewveerymuch.