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How ambitious are you? Do you ever feel pressure to be more/less ambitious than you actually are?

Greenland 2020

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Ans by vetra_nyxx

It depends on how you define as ambitious. Status, money, fame? No, thanks. But at the same time, I like to test myself and find the fullest extent of my skills and hone my abilities just for myself. Kind of like feeling really good about running a marathon but not really caring about any medals or telling people what a good runner you are.

So I think I’m relatively ambitious compared to the general population, but less ambitious than my peers. My drive to find the extent of my skills landed me in a doctorate program, and the people around me are way more ambitious than me.

I’ve now established I’m an excellent researcher, and the faculty in my department think quite highly of me, but I’m leaving academia because my ambition isn’t great enough to keep up 100 hour work weeks to get tenure (especially since a lot of that work won’t be advancing my skills but a lot of busywork to get more accolades and funding and status blah blah blah).

Even now, my peers talk about how they motivate themselves by thinking about how cool it will be to be called “Dr.”, and I don’t give a shit about that. I’d rather people just called me by my first name forever, haha. So, yeah, I feel pressure to be more ambitious than I am and that just makes me feel more sure of the path I’m taking out of academia now.