I long ago abandoned this blog, new job and family life and many other things replacing the time I used to have when I was in the lab.... Many things have changed since my last post 1.5 years ago... and lots of things are still the same! I took that job I last posted about, and am still there. Most days I mostly like it. Some days i HATE it, and other days I LOVE it... so I figure, as long as those LOVE days keep coming, even if they are few and far between, I'm not doing so bad :) On a personal note, we welcomed baby boy number 2 in 2012, healthy and happy and such a joy. Work is now much less about 'career and advancement' and more about having something outside of family to call my own, avoiding a gaping hole on my CV, and earning a bit of cash (a tiny little bit, after paying daycare for TWO). It's far from what I imagined for myself when I started this blog, but most days I think I can honestly say I'm pretty happy with my life. I get to use my PhD and I have an awesome team of 4 other women PhDs as coworkers and mentors who I really admire. Sometimes life takes you on twists and turns you couldn't predict. And sometimes those paths lead you to just the place you're supposed to be....
If anyone actually reads this, especially if you've also long since abandoned your blog, send me an update, I'd love to hear what life has brought for you too in the last few years.
Has it really been nearly 2 months again? I admit, I have been avoiding this blog at all costs. Rather ashamed at my lack of progress in the job-finding department, rather annoyed at myself for the total lack of motivation I've been experiencing, rather ticked off at life's pace and the bumps along the way, I'd chosen to just pretend it didn't exist.
In the last 2 months I have applied (and been turned down, again) for multiple positions.
I also had 2 interviews.
One potential future boss (for a clinical postdoc position I applied for in JANUARY) called in a frantic rush on a Wednesday and wanted me to come visit on Friday, then called 2 days later to change our interview appointment, and was supposed to let me know 2 weeks after the interview what hir decision was, ignores and fails to return my messages and as it has now been more than 4 weeks since the interview with no contact, I am assuming that door is slammed shut. Would it kill hir to at least send a 1 line email? Even "I haven't made a decision yet, sorry, I'll get back to you at some point" would be better than nothing. Why do some people just have no manners? Jerk. I wouldn't want to work for you anyway so there! (Wow, I sound so mature here, people, don't you think?!)
The second interview was much more professional, though, bizarrely, scheduled 6 weeks in advance (see my last post). I throughly enjoyed discussing with all the people I met on my visit to the company, and a quick thank you email the following day was answered with a job offer.... the job and salary are not necessarily what dreams are made of, but, quite frankly, it's the only opportunity anyone has been willing to give me in the last nearly 8 months, I really liked many aspects of the work, especially the people I would be working with, and so, I decided to accept the position. The contract is not yet signed, there are still some details to work out, so I'm not really willing to celebrate just yet, but I am looking forward to a fresh start.
So that's my update... some days I'm still wondering how this is all going to turn out, but I guess there's only one way to find out :)
I was standing in the dairy section of our local super market last Thursday when my phone rang.... I didn't recognize the number and decided to answer anyway. (Would you have answered or let it go to the message box when you're not in a situation that allows you to have a conversation professionally?) It was a company I had applied to for that sales position back at the beginning of March... they had some questions for me and would it be a good time to talk? um, no. Not in a crowded supermarket with my nearly 18 month old grabbing at my phone from the shopping cart. So I was honest and said no, and could I call them back in the afternoon. We set a time and hung up.
A job call - someone actually was interested enough in my application to CALL ME. Albeit after more than a month, but hey, just when you've assumed you didn't get a job.... I did a happy dance, called Husband and raced home to feed LittleOne and put him to bed (praying he would still be asleep during the planned phone call) and I went to work researching some background info about the company and its suppliers. Turns out it could be interesting. Among other things, they sell very cool live cell imaging equipment (right up my scientific alley...). I was glad I took the time because when I called back, though the conversation lasted a whole 3.5 minutes, I was able to anticipate their questions, already have knowledge about how my experience fits with their company's goals, and fill that time with interesting things to say.
And the next day - I got invited for an interview - in another 6 weeks. This is a LOOOOONG hiring process. Nearly 3 months between date of application and date of interview. Problem being: Friend is visiting from out of country for just 3.5 days and is leaving the day of the interview. I would have to abadon Friend and Friend'sKid early morning to drop LittleOne off with the InLaws and make it to the interview location (we're talking 3+ hours of travel one way...). Plus, when would I have time to get ready? Prepare and practice my interview question answers? Freak out last minute? I wrote to see if it was possible to move the interview to another date, but haven't heard back in more than 24 hours. I'm hoping it's a case of part time workers, holidays around Easter, or something similar that accounts for the delay and not that they were pissed I asked for another appointment (I just said I had a conflict that day and was it possible to set another date). I could make it work (I could make Husband take the day off work...), but I'd really like to be at my best for my so far one and only shot at a job in this crazy place. And I can't tell Friend to cancel her trip. Why, when I have no plans for MONTHS on end, do 2 things have to happen at exactly the same time?
Anyway, it's a chance. Is it my dream job? No, not by a long shot (at least, I don't think so, there can always be pleasant surprises in life...) But, it's the one and only thing I've had a chance at in nearly 6 months. Now, to find something to wear... :)
Sent out a few more in the last 2 days, including one for a sales position I never would have considered, but found somehow strangely attractive yesterday...
Also contacted a life science recruiting firm to try to make an appointment to meet with one of their recruiters so they can get to know me personally.
Also signed up with another recruiting agency that I found out hires for a big pharma in the region.
Will anything actually work out? Probably not, but at least I did more than sit on my butt. I really hope the recruiting firm is willing to set up a meeting with me. Maybe they can shine some light on the black hole that has become my job search in this place.
A side note - reading lots of blog posts these days through google reader, but therefore not often commenting. Thanks to everyone who still pops in here every once in a while and gives me their encouragement. It helps!
Hey Been sick, nasty stuff (nothing too serious, and improving daily), also been very lazy.
FINALLY re-did my CV (again!), modeled after a former co-worker (we finished our PhDs in the same building about a year apart, her a year AFTER me) who just got her first pharma-related job (sales manager)... It's now much closer to my academic CV, much more detailed (and hopefully not too crowded with excess info to be attractive?!). I feel like it better represents me to future employers, but I'm not so sure if they're going to like this version of "me". Then again, they obviously didn't like the more recent versions of "me" either since I haven't had a job interview since last Fall and NONE in NewCountry. So... it's a gamble. Meh, at least I feel like I tried something different.
My new cover letters are also more detailed, and tell more about ME and my past rather than generic future employee they are looking for. We'll see
I sent out 4 (I think?!) different sets of applications today.
OK, so with the last post, I got a second (third? thirtieth?) wind (and a nice swift kick in the pants) to DO something about this not working thing again. No more waiting around. Be proactive dammit! So I finally sent an email to my former colleague's contact in industry, and wrote to volunteer my services to a cool company I found locally that runs camps and parties for kids to discover science. It's something small, but at least it's SOMETHING. There's also the nature reserve we visited a few weeks ago that apparently looks for biologist volunteers from time to time... I think I'll look up their website and see if I can find an address to write to. I guess sciencey-type Volunteer activities are better than a gaping hole in a CV right?
...yup, finally heard back from the mentoring program to help immigrants integrate into the work force in NewCountry. And I'm not the right kind of immigrant, so they can't help me. What's one more?
I haven't posted in a while cause I've been under the weather. Have this strange headache and dizzy all the time thing going on. Guess this is my initiation point into NewCountry's medical system? Some days I really just want to go home...