Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Down? Up?

So the management thing is looking more promising to go through, apart from the internal hire/promotion freeze that goes into effect in Matt's company tomorrow. Which means he's getting the job, but in mid January, after we get back from Thanksgiving, and he burns through the rest of his vacation time, he gets to go on leave without pay and we get to tap our emergency fund for mortgage money. Thankfully we have an emergency fund. This does allow more time for other job possibilities to come to fruition, he was sort of being rushed into this gig because his supervisor wanted to keep him in the company. Still, sucks to be off the payroll just in time for Christmas, even if it does mean he gets a little extra unpaid vacation in the mix.

Me? I'm casting about to see what my option are/would be if I end up making a change. I keep thinking "grad school" then wanting to hide under something. What if I don't get accepted? What if I DO get accepted and crash and burn like the BSc that nearly-never-was? It's hard to imagine finding another position with all the good aspects that I have here, my job title often gets lumped in as a brainless wage-slave who gets handed the shitwork and the benchwork, but not permitted or expected to actively participate in the science. Most of this is probably the depression talking. Now that I know it's there, and that it does a lot of the talking, I'm more aware as it's happening. That doesn't seem to make it go away, I just get upset that I'm getting upset and off I go into a spiral. I'm sure the spiralling is fuelled by the double dose of uncertainty regarding our household income(s) right now. I just need to crowbar myself some breathing space to get a handle on some basic things that will help me get out of this vicious cycle and start making real progress towards stability.


Kyrwyn said...

Having just done the job search thing myself (as a Research Associate I, which I assume is a similar title), lemme tell you some good things. If you itemize your responsibilities in your lab on your resume, people will actually read them. And it gives you an opportunity to say things like "Purchasing, Ordering and Receiving" or "Managed undergraduate assistants" or to briefly describe your independent research--all of which make you look like a lot more than just a bench monkey.

Also... most hiring managers realize that bench monkeys do a lot more after their 1 year mark than their job description suggests. Everywhere I applied asked me about the pseudo-management work I'd done, and were impressed to hear about lab-manager-esque responsibilities (this gets you more pay, usually, even if you stay in research).

There ARE jobs out there, and good opportunities. You've been out of school long enough that you're in the 3-5 year experience pool, which might jump you to RA II/ Sr. RA when you're hired (which is usually a substantial pay grade increase).

You interview well, too (remember Aurora when you first got here?).

I found that interviewing was actually a very positive influence on my self-image. I'd been in the same lab so long without much managerial commentary that applying to companies/positions that are more in-line with my skillset gave me an opportunity for positive feedback from people I respect. I wish you the same opportunities and experiences. isn't a bad place to start looking, either.


Rosemary Grace said...

Thanks, my end of the job uncertainty might not even be uncertain, I don't know yet! Though I'm considering looking anyway to see what's out there. Clinical research positions pay more than basic science, there's a state certification process I'm trying to find out more about.