I´m collecting here suggestions for young researchers, re-thinking to the “obstacles” I have found in my career. I hope this will be useful.
1) Hard work on your CV
The CV is your business card. It must be written very accurately, short enough but at the same time very detailed. You must show what you have done but also what capabilities you have. You must guide the reviewer to quickly read the important information with bullets and bold font. The CV must be addressed and shaped for the position or objective you are running for. You must think to all your life, what you have done (even not professionally) that could show to the reviewer what he wants to know. Just an example: when I submitted my first Marie Curie proposal one evaluator wrote about me “the applicant has demonstrated independent thinking and leadership qualities by taking the initiative and lead of several proposal applications and projects”. However at that time I never led projects or groups in my professional activity, but I did it for my hobbies such as voluntary workcamps and sport events. I knew that this point was evaluated by the reviewers and I decided to write it on that CV.
2) Don’t be shy!
Always try. Do you want to propose your idea or your experience for a position? Do it, there is no risk, the worst you can get is a “no”.
3) You deserve what you got
Nobody hires you for fun or for giving you a present, if you get a position it is because you deserve it and because the supervisor needs you. Sometimes it could happen that supervisors or other people tell you that they did a lot for you, trying to make you feeling guilty. Don´t listen them and go ahead, it is just a funny technique for them to feel more important than what they are.
4) Don’t be too modest
Don´t evaluate yourself and your career until someone else doing this job will do it. Sometimes the life and the working environment can limit your capabilities and a quick assessment of your career could not look that good. Let other people evaluate it, propose your ideas and show all your potentialities, you could get nice surprises!
5) Believe in your work and in yourself
If you think your job is well done nobody can stop you. If you think your idea is a pioneering idea go ahead and propose it, the definition of top researcher is very flexible, nobody is too young or too old for being or becoming a top researcher … unless you already received a very bad feedback from an international proposal reviewers panel, in that case you could maybe think to give up
More suggestions will come soon!