How to be a successful postdoc


I am starting my postdoc very soon. During my PhD, I used to be a very straightforward person. It did not help me at all ! Once, I showed my supervisor his mistake (in his work). It hurt his ego so much that I am still suffering. I want to know how to deal with postdoc stress and still become successful?

Avatar for rewt

As a PhD student I am probably not the best person to answer this. Though from the outsiders perspective the better post-docs at my university are consistent and focused on getting results. I think there is a weird dynamic after your submit your thesis, where you suddenly no-longer have to worry about your thesis and can focus on research with less distractions, which is a bit strange. You probably have a 1-3 year project, so you have time to develop a routine and once you start producing results people will leave you alone. Being straightforward at the start of your postdoc until you have results will probably be good and then you can move on to bigger things.

Also, depending on your lab/research group, you will have more respect than as a PhD student and people will expect more from you. I have seen it go both ways but if you act confident, people will assume that you are competent because you are a Dr and give you the benefit of the doubt. I don't know how helpful that is but goodluck anyway!


I am in my second year as a post-doc- 1st year 1 post-doc in one lab - now on a 4-year postdoc. I can't say I have had post-doc stress. My first post-doc is resulting in 4 papers, I know this one will be two years before I have anything published. Be straight but don't insult the PI. Offer help and support to PhD students and be a team player. Remember it's a paid job so if you're not performing- you won't last long.
I agree with rewt, you do get more respect- but remember to treat everyone as you equally- You never know when you will need a student or RA help.
Are you starting in a new lab? what stress are you worried about?


You might be a PhD student , but you might be wiser than me. I appreciate your answer, thank you very much.


Thank you very much for the suggestions..I will apply these..yes, it's a new lab. it's different than my PhD topic. So I am a bit stressed.