Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.
We asked Michaela Musilova from ESERO Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:
For those of you interested in becoming astrobiologists, then I would advise you to study multidisciplinary subjects relevant to astrobiology (everything from astrophysics, geology to biochemistry). Get as much experience doing research in this field as possible, for instance by doing internships during your studies, doing extracurricular projects, attending international conferences and reading a lot about what in particular interests you the most in astrobiology.
Finally, don't hesitate to approach people experienced in the field, like myself, to ask for advice. In terms of becoming a senior research advisor/consultant or even a chair/vice-chair of an organisation, this will take a lot of determination and hard work. On top of being very skilled researchers, you will need to acquire managerial, teamwork and leadership skills (described in more detail above). For this, you will need to take part in interdisciplinary and ideally international projects, work with people from varied backgrounds and learn how to become a good and fair leader through these experiences.
What are your interests?
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.