Monday, January 31, 2011


....was a big part of why I re-started blogging. So, here goes.

I haven't done anything productive for a job hunt since my last blog post.

I unpacked 1.5 boxes, together with husband during the entire weekend (that's not nearly enough).

I met a new scienc-ey contact over the weekend, who seems to me, to be THE very definition of professional career woman (academic) scientist mother. Four years into a Tenure-Track position, married to another TT scientist, with a house and 2 kids... Finally, someone to look up to, to show me that you CAN have it all. And it left me feeling like a huge failure. Not only am I not like her, I don't want to be. And that's hard to wrap my head around. She COULDN'T WAIT to get back to her job after baby #2 was born 10 months ago. She gets so BORED at home, she needs MORE in her life than just that. She has more IMPORTANT things to do with her time. She would never subscribe to the equivalent of NewCountry's Martha Stewart Magazine (It was one of my favorite Christmas gifts) or waste her time reading grocery store newsletters for new recipes. She knows what she wants, she goes after it, at work and at home. Me, I thought I knew. I thought I was a "professional career woman (academic) scientist mother" but I want MORE than that. I WANT to spend my time making a home for my family. I ENJOY domestic-ey things like sewing and baking. I get all excited inside when my new magazine appears in my mailbox. And if it's at the expense of my career, well, I'm not happy about it, but there's only 100% of me. I can't be 200% of a person. I guess in order to make room for the non-science-y things that make me smile inside, the % of my time devoted to science-y things has to go down. I wish that didn't make me feel like a failure with no ambition, no life goals, nothing important to talk about. And, in walks more demotivation... It's a slump, a rough spot. I'll get over it. Writing helps. How do I learn to accept the "real" me and stop idolizing the ideal I've been holding up for so long?

Friday, January 28, 2011

A new contact!

So, my former colleague who also comes from NewCountry gave me the name of someone he used to work with that is now in industry. So I gained a new contact. Yeah! Now I need to figure out what to put in an email to NewContact. I want it to be short, with direct questions, but I'm not sure what to say. I have a feeling on a phone call it would be easier, but all I have is an email address. Any suggestions?

That's all I've got though... No interesting job ads in the last few days again, no time to work on any spontaneous applications either.

On a different note, this week/weekend I'm determined to empty the rest (or at least a good chunk of the rest) of the still unpacked boxes from our move at the beginning of November (yes, that's 3 months of living around boxes and I'm soooo tired of it!). I'm tempted to just trash them or put them up in storage because if we haven't needed the things inside by now, do we really need to keep them? But it's a lot of books (we love books) that I just need shelves for, and some summer clothes that I know we will go looking for in a few months time. LittleOne is napping now so I'm hesitant to make noise and wake him up moving stuff around, but really I think that's an excuse...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A not so productive day ( at least not work wise...)

So it's mid afternoon and I've yet to do anything "work" related, besides the daily check of my Reader updates for the local job listing websites I check (how did I not discover Google Reader until this month?!)... I re-visited a job posting I had marked last week and realized that I missed the all so important "Must have at least 10 years experience" section of the job description. Blah.

BUT!!!! I took myself out to lunch today. Alone! I never do that. And it was ok (and delicious)! And then I finally took the time to visit a shop having a huge January sale and scored a pair of jeans and a pair of nice gray pants for 70% off! AND a package I ordered back when I was still living in PhDLand (yes, it's been a long time coming) finally arrived today. It was my first full non-Mom day since LittleOne was born and it was great. Though I'll be pretty happy to see him when he arrives back home at supper time. Apparently he slept in until 9:30am for Husband's mom. He NEVER sleeps that late at home. Guess he's happy there :)

Katie had a great suggestion in the comments on yesterday's post. I'm off to send a few emails and see if I can work some connections. Thanks blog friends. I've missed you!

UPDATE: I did do something work related after all!

1. I searched through part of a database I found containing local biotech companies

2. Drafted a cover letter for spontaneous applications (this will obviously be tailored to each company)

3. I sent 1 spontaneous application

Monday, January 24, 2011

Comment Clean Up

Just a technical question:

Does anyone know how to delete comments from spammers faster than one at a time? If I'm going to revive this place I thought I could at least do some house cleaning first...


Feeling low....

It's been a long time, again.
Yet, I'm still pretty much in the same place in life, only with a new language(!), a new address(!), a longer gap of unemployment(!), and less desire than ever to return to the bench.

Husband, LittleOne and I packed up our home from the last 6 years in PhDLand and, on LittleOne's 1st Birthday, flew to a new (to me) country (NewCountry) where Husband could start postdoc #2 (after an unsuccessful tenure-track job hunt and a loooooooong 16 months of unemployment). One main attractive feature though: it's Husband's home country, where his family still live, and where he is a native speaker. This dramatically simplifies important things like immigration and housing applications. My abilities in NewLanguage are pretty decent, at least on the social level, but I've never had professional experience in a NewLanguage environment. I'm hopeful that my NewLanguage skills will improve with more time spent here, but as it stands, I spend 90% of my time home alone with now 15 month old LittleOne, who is (not yet) the greatest conversationalist. Husband and I speak English together, and I don't yet know any NewLanguage speakers in our new town, so my progress is pretty limited to food ordering and shopping skills and short chats with the sweet grandmotherly lady who runs the little grocery store down the street.

On the job front, I was pleasantly surprised when my work visa arrived much faster than anticipated and immediately started applying for any and all industry jobs I thought I was remotely qualified for, plus numerous spontaneous applications with local pharma and biotech companies. And... after 3 months, I haven't had a single interview. Most haven't even replied that they filled the job with someone else (at least form PFO letters allowed me to close the door on applications and slide yet another folder form the "Open Applications" folder to the "Jobs I didn't get" folder on my laptop. How much longer can I keep this up? I was initially giving myself 6 months, but at the half way point, I'm already feeling pretty low.

Husband's parents took LittleOne for his very first sleepover at their house tonight to give me more than the usual hour-long bursts of job hunting time while LittleOne naps, in order to re-work my CV and re-think my job hunt. Trouble is, I don't know what to change. I don't know how things work here in NewCountry. And until now, I've only replied to job postings in English, and not those in NewLanguage. So at least one way to start is to make a NewLanguage version of my CV.

Why why why does this have to be so hard? A lot of days I love being home with LittleOne, but one crappy postdoc salary is just not going to cut it in the long run in stupid-expensive NewCountry, and I'm getting desperate for some non-mom aspect to my life.

So... I decided to try to revive this blog, if nothing more than as an outlet for job hunting frustrations, and, in an effort to motivate myself more, a place to record my job hunt progress so that I feel accountable for my time. So, bear with me. I'll try to post each time I apply to something new or make some sort of progress in Project GetAJob, and maybe some other stuff in between.

Today I applied for a position with this job title:

1. Regulatory Affairs CMC Specialist (limited 1 year contract)

And I did these job hunting tasks:

1. Updated my English CV for January 2011

2. Re-designed a cover letter template with a more active voice, shorter, more concise sentences, and bullet form lists showing I understood the job posting and how I fulfilled each point

Now, to enjoy a baby-free evening with Husband (whenever he gets home from the lab). There's a little pub down the street from our new place that I've been wanting to try out since we moved here. I'll try not to miss LittleOne too much (and maybe call to check up on him after bed time...)