April SgWIS event: Coaching to achieve your career goals

This last month Dr. Tara Huber shared her career story, which was at first a conventional linear academic career, but now a much more complex career filled with pivots and growth. She started with how her love of discovery and scientific details led her to become an academic. How she studied a PhD and eventually found a niche for her research here in Singapore as a group leader. What she found at the ‘end’ of this path though was that the role didn’t fit the person she was or the person that she wanted to be.

She then explained how she made the difficult choice to step aside from an academic career with the assistance of communities of support and career coaching. Her first pivot was to Assistant Director of Research Administration. This job let her continue to learn and to grow her professional skills, developing career interests outside of the confines of an academic role. She has since pivoted and upskilled as a coach who helps scientifically-trained professionals to develop their careers and navigate transitions (within and outside academia). Now working as a ‘solo-preneur’ she gets to see the full expression of her personal talents put to use through her job. Tara reflected on the difficulty of transitioning from one identity to build a new one, and the periods of grief that can accompany the process. But ultimately spoke of the great opportunities that were opened up through the process, and the successes and accomplishments that she has achieved in each new role. And if anyone asks, she definitely still considers herself a scientist even though she left bench work behind a long time ago.