Aptitude for different roles in academic science is a tricky business. Until a person has been serving in a particular capacity, we never really know how well they will do. Sometimes one is very surprised, on both the "more capable"and "unexpected disaster" fronts.
And yes, I am fully aware that Imposter Syndrome gets in the way of self-assessment.
I am also aware of the Peter Principle.
Nevertheless the question of the day is whether you think about those future roles that you might reasonably be considered to fill. Do you have a firm idea of your strengths and weaknesses as an academic/scientist? Are there certain roles you could never do, wouldn't be good at? Are there other ones you just *know* are right for you if only given the chance?
I think that I do. At my stage, these next-steps are mostly leadership roles for which I am utterly unsuited. I know this about myself and there is no way I would pursue them or feel slighted if passed over for that behind-the-scenes grooming/encouraging process.
I see other people who I think are eminently suited to be leaders of larger collectives. I've been able to observe several people who ascended to power (ahem) from petty to very grand indeed. I think I know what sorts of people do well and I am not that. At all.
Of course this post isn't really about me but rather about those that do not seem to be aware of themselves. I marvel at that phenotype that doesn't seem to recognize their own skill set and the strengths and limits that they express.
This got me to pondering and of course I am now curious about your experience, Dear Reader.
Do you feel as though you have a good assessment of your suitability for various next-roles that might lie ahead of you?