This week, we introduce Working Life, a weekly column in Science produced by Science Careers.

I was valedictorian of a large public high school in Florida, attended a top liberal arts college—Swarthmore—and majored in physics. After a short, post-college stint as a small-town journalist, I entered the physics Ph.D. program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I connected early with a research project that allowed me to publish often and well, although I did not love the work. I finished my Ph.D. fairly quickly—faster than I needed to really because my wife, a chemist, was still in graduate school. So I stayed in the same lab for a postdoc, doing the same work, funding the position with a grant proposal written by me and submitted in my adviser's name. From graduate school on, I do not remember receiving a single piece of career advice. (Keep reading at Science.)

 

Top Image: CREDIT: Marc Rosenthal

Jim Austin is the editor of Science Careers. @SciCareerEditor on Twitter

10.1126/science.caredit.a1400128