I would like to share with you, dear future generations of women tourism researchers, a few considerations and tips based on my 26-year career experience, that can perhaps contribute to enrich your reflections and improve the way you carry out your professional research activities:
- Seek to capacitate yourselves on adding new skills to the basic training you already have, whether in the area of technologies (for example, at the level of software, data analysis, content production or sharing of results) or in other disciplinary areas in which it makes sense to look at tourism or for tourism. Go beyond the status “I have a degree in…” and demonstrate real willingness and availability to learn throughout life…
- Seek to find pleasure and a sense of accomplishment in the research work you develop, as it keeps your motivation high and your professional day-to-day takes on more meaning and purpose. Feeling passionate enough about work, without forgetting other dimensions of your social and personal life, enables a significant contribution to making your life more beautiful and joyful.
- Seek to work in an organization whose mission and values are aligned with your professional purpose, in which your contribution to science and working methods can be more easily recognized and, too, in which you feel emotionally and physically comfortable and also materially rewarded.
- Seek to value teamwork and have the ability to relate well and cordiality to collaborate in order to create synergies in the context of the same project. The growing complexity of the social context we are investigating requires work in teams made up of people with different, but complementary, training and research profiles.
- Seek to share not only the joys and goals achieved with your teammates, but also the adversities that arise in any investigation process. In this way, you can better understand the situations and, above all, will help you to relativize the impact that eventual frustrations may have on a motivational level to continue the investigation or remain in the team.
- Seek to capitalize on your sense of dedication, curiosity and creativity. Remember to pay attention to details during the research process, as they can help to differentiate your work, to be entrepreneurial in the conception of innovative perspectives to analyze reality and, in this way, to trigger more opportunities for new research projects more rapidly.
- Seek to value your communication skills. It is increasingly important to communicate the information about the projects in which you take part in a clear and precise manner, the methodologies developed and the results obtained, to ensure as much as possible that this sharing reaches a greater number of audiences and that the information is easily accessible and integrated into other research and professional contexts.
- Seek to value professional ethics, even in adverse organizational and career development contexts. If you are in an organizational environment where the policy of valuing human resources does not exist or is unclear, make an effort to maintain emotional balance, focus on the objective, assertiveness and be optimistic.
In short, wherever you are doing research, strive daily on building your own path to success and recognition in the profession! Understand tourism research as a way of making art and you will see that everything becomes easier. Live and enjoy the processes on a daily basis and don’t forget to be happy…
With best regards
Maria do Rosário Borges
CIDEHUS – University of Évora, Portugal
CIDEHUS – This work was funded by national funds through the Foundation for Science and Technology, under the project UIDB/00057/2020.