Work Hacks for and from a Young Science Writer

When I entered the ~workforce~ at 21, with a degree in planetary science (the degree where you learn the LEAST practical life/social skills), I had to learn a ton of stuff on the fly. Yes, a lot about science writing and office culture, but also a surprising amount about sweat and spilling coffee. So I made this lil list about the latter, my important corporate life hacks that won’t make you a better writer or anything but that WILL make you a tiny bit less of a frazzled noob.

  1. Always carry a tissue whenever you go into meetings because a big serious staff meeting is when you are scientifically* the most likely to get a loud sniffly runny nose. Same logic behind going to the bathroom before every meeting.
  2. For interviews across campus and/or up stairs, always arrive about five minutes early so that you can go to the nearest bathroom and catch your breath and/or stop sweating. If it’s summer, arrive 10 minutes early. If it’s winter, take your bulky jacket off before you enter the researcher’s office to avoid mid-interview sweats. If you’re just not a sweaty person…. what are you even doing reading my blog
  3. When you go into the interview, if you’re holding a coffee/notebook/phone/jacket/etc, hold it in your left hand because the worst thing ever is that awkward juggle when you go to shake the researcher’s hand.
  4. HOLD HANDRAILS WHEN YOU’RE GOING DOWN STAIRS especially the marble ones in the Broad building my god please trust me on this one
  5. Don’t ask how old people are at the office birthday parties.

Good luck out there, fellow dweebs.


*obviously, not actually scientifically

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