Do these strengths and weaknesses fit into any work settings well or should I just focus on improving my weaknesses?
I’m doing a lot of soul searching lately as I’m not certain about my college major. The thing I am certain about is that my chosen field will be in science, engineering, or technology.
I started off college intending to major in physics, and while I still have passion about that subject, I would really prefer a major that doesn’t require me to get a higher degree in order to be employable in the field. I may go for my master’s someday but I don’t want to be obligated to. Now I’m thinking about robotics engineering, which is very interesting to me as well and would be useful as a bachelor’s, but I don’t feel it plays to my strengths well at all. Let me explain:
I am confident in my “blackboard” smarts. I can ace a calculus test no problem. The theoretical stuff is definitely my strong point. When I have a lab, though, or something else that requires hands-on work, I am an absolute mess. I struggle to finish on time and my data always seems to come out sloppy. Part of it is anxiety about feeling “watched.” If someone stands over my shoulder while I do a math problem that I would otherwise have no problem with, I will sweat and shake and not do well at all. I think that is part of what is going on with me in lab. The other part of it is that I am, for some reason, just a slow worker. I have real issues getting things done both quickly and well. Given as much time as I need, and if allowed to be in the lab alone, I am confident I would do just fine.
Anyway, knowing what I know about me, I am less than confident in my abilities to make a good engineer, a very hands-on job. And of course the lack of confidence isn’t helping me any since a lot of my trouble is anxiety related. Ideally I should try and overcome these problems, and I will try, but I also think maybe I should pursue a major that plays to my strengths. What I’m wondering, and I know this is a very general question, is if my strengths are even useful in any jobs outside academia. If not, then I know I need to redouble my efforts to get past my anxiety.