Sep 062016
A picture of the best scientist in the world

I have been told that my advice is the best in the office. My office mates have told me that I have improved their lives so much that I should move to another office to help the people there. The best thing about open plan offices is that as soon as you think about advice you can pop your head up over the sad, grey dividers and instantly say it before you get a chance to double guess yourself. You have to say it loud enough so that they can hear it over the headphones they always wear.

Because I am so good at giving advice and everyone is jealous of my career, here are some things that have really helped me over the years:

1.Only take career advice from your academic supervisors

The only way to be successful is to listen in minute detail to what they have to say. These people have been through it all and have the emotional battle scars/alcoholics nose to prove it. Your academic supervisors know exactly what you want to do with your life because it’s exactly the same as what they wanted to do with their life. The key thing to remember about every academic relationship is the more successful they become, the more successful you become – it’s just how the system works. Spend your time helping them and success will follow. Look at their cheeky little faces. How could something so asymmetrically adorable not have your best interests at heart?

2. Spend all 7 days of the week in the lab

How on earth are you meant to get that Nobel Prize if you don’t absolutely dedicate your life to science? It’s time to cut out the people who want to spend anytime with you, at all. These people will drain valuable energy that could otherwise be funneled towards your one true love – research. What’s more important: seeing your new born niece or nephew for the first time or writing a research paper? Well, unless that baby is going to format that graph for you you’d better start writing. The baby won’t even remember you anyway. Wait until it’s lucid (about 13 – 14 years old) then ask it to format your graph for you. If you are reading this, I’m actually mad you are not actively doing science.

3. Sleep your way to the top

The good thing about the push for gender equality in academia is that it’s equally easy for hot young scientists (like me) of either sex (not like me) to sleep their way to the top of the academic pile-on. Listen up, you have to make sure you are alone with your supervisor as often as possible. At each successive encounter your aim is to reduce the distance between you and your supervisor until they have entered you or you have entered them. There are also some steps in the middle but they are less important. The warm rush of feel-good hormones people experience during intimate contact will ensure you are their favorite when it comes to promotion time.

4. Only do the hard experiments

Who the fuck wants to read about boring science? NO-ONE! Get rid of all that preliminary shit and launch into the experiments with “quantum” or “nano” in the name. Preliminary stuff NEVER leads to more interesting stuff. I can’t imagine anyone at the Large Hadron Collider saying “we’ll just warm it up first and do some checks”. They wouldn’t because they’re not losers. If your experiment doesn’t include lasers or expensive equipment you’re doing it all wrong and you should be ashamed of your science, because science is ashamed of you. Hard experiments often require extensive occupational health and safety sheet to be filled out. These are boring and pointless. Do not fill them out. They only matter if something goes wrong and you are clever enough that if something does go wrong you’ll be able to cover it up.

5. Take everything to heart

How are your superiors meant to know you really want this if you’re not crying in their office at least once a day? Didn’t get that grant? Cry. Experiment failed? Cry. Someone asks you to leave their office: cry. This also means if anyone else in the group is successful you definitely CANNOT be happy for them. Draw attention back to yourself by suggesting the only reason they are successful is because they satisfy a quota the university/government has to fill. Top tip: everything is about you.

By following these, and only these rules, you will be sure to have a long and prosperous science career that everyone will be jealous of.

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