Oh Look, Krill!

Oh don't worry. Whales don't eat clownfish, they eat krill.

Like A Rat On A Sinking Ship

When you look around and all your friends have left. When you see that the people that you used to see every day at work are gone. When you see empty lab benches, when you hear about other labs closing, the ultimatums issued to other institutes, won’t you get scared?

Won’t you feel like, despite the fact that you have a job, it’s not as secured as you thought it was?

I’m starting to feel like I should abandon ship as soon as an opportunity presents itself because I don’t see things getting better here.

It’s bad, across the board. Everyone in this industry here, is affected by the major changes that they just dropped into our laps last year.

I’m starting to feel like things are only going to get worse. I see that everyone is stressed out just trying to keep their jobs.

I need to leave and I need to leave as soon as possible, I just don’t know what I’m looking for. I don’t know if I want to do the same thing like I’m doing now or try something new because frankly though, as much as I love the lab, I’m a little burnt out.

I’m trying to find a full-time, permanent position. So far, I’ve only been to one interview but I’m going to keep trying. There’s bound to be a job out there for me.

Scientific Epiphany II

Three years ago I had an epiphany with regards to science and my working life. This morning, while I was sitting through a weekly research update at my work place, I had another one. I was looking at the slides that were being presented and I knew then that I wanted to stay in research.

I know, I know, I’ve said that I’m looking for a change and that I’m a little burnt out from research. Truthfully I am but today’s talk made me realise how much I love being in the lab. Yes, I complain, moan and despair at the job sometimes but underneath it all, I enjoy it. I love it even. I want to stay in the lab and I love working with the machines, with my hands, pipetting and all that jazz. The only problem is that I need direction.

What I need is a mentor to guide me. Not so much in the hand holding but in showing me where I went wrong and motivation. I learned from my graduate studies that while I can work independently, I still need someone to tell me if I’m on the right track or of I’m way off course. Not hint at me on what to do but full out tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I can do to get back on course.

I want to be the one to do the work, to produce the results and learn how to analyse the data. I don’t want to be the one stuck in the office, writing grant proposals, holding meetings after meetings and just end up being an administrator. I want to stay in the lab, so going forward with a PhD may not be the best thing for me. Also, I don’t think I have the fortitude for it.

So how do I go about getting what I want? I think it’s time to find another lab. I have strong technical skills, as long as they’re not biochemistry but I’m willing to learn. I’m adaptable (after some whining and whinging, that’s my process, deal with it) and I’m good with my hands. I want to continue learning and be the best damn researcher without a PhD that I can be. Now, to find another lab who’s willing to pay me more than what I’m getting now.

It’s May! A New Beginning?

Which means, I’m back at work. My three months of leave are over and here I am, sitting in the office, wishing that I’m back in bed since it’s storming outside.

Three months of spending days at home and at school are done. I’ve gained 2kg in pudge around the tummy. I’m hoping that when I get back to work, I’d lose that pudge. I’m going to start living healthier too. At least I hope so. Trying to cut down on all the processed food stuff, junk food and caffeine just makes me want it even more.

I really, really want to start swimming again. I want my body back; that hot, trim body from 2009.

Now that school is over, I’m a little lost. I’m not sure what my next step should be.

I’m looking at job availability but I’m not really sure what I want. I’ll definitely be updating my resume and sending it out to see how the job market is like. Doesn’t hurt, right?

I’d like a change. I’ve been where I am for far too long and I think it’s time to grow.

So here’s to a new start.

Almost A Decade Later

I’m still into my first job and I just signed another three-year contract with the company. I think that for most people, they would have had at least two different jobs in those ten years. I’m still here.

One of the main reasons I’ve not left is mainly due to not wanting to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve been sitting at this exact desk, working at the exact same lab bench for the last nine years. Every thing is where I want it to be and I know where everything is.

That doesn’t mean that I’ve been doing the exact same thing in the last almost decade. I’m currently on my third boss, since they seem to leave every couple of years. As these principle investigators have different research scopes or areas of interest, I’ve been involved in many different kinds of research, different technology platforms and best of all, I had the chance to learn a number of different techniques that I’ve never heard of before or something that I’ve only read in research papers.

It’s not so bad actually.

Though, I don’t know if I’ll still be here at the end of this new contract. The main reason for me to sign a new one is so that I will at least have a job to return to when I’m done with my short sabbatical to complete my Masters research project. With the way that the scientific job market looks like, I needed the job security net.

Once I’ve graduated, if an opportunity presents itself for me to move to a different area of science (with better pay, perks and not so bad a work load *well, I can dream right?*), I might move there but in the mean time, I’ll stay where I am and make the best of it.

Whinging, Because I Need It

These past couple of weeks have been hectic. Work basically drained so much of my energy that I barely have energy, or time, to do anything else.

The flash fiction that is due tomorrow isn’t going to get written because well, it’s due tomorrow and I haven’t even started writing yet.

Most importantly, my school stuff has been in the back burner for a while. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I’m supposed to read on. I should at least do a rough draft of my protocol but the perfectionist in me wants the complete, perfect protocol. It feels like an albatross hanging around my neck.

On top of that, work wise, so many things that need to be done and I’ve only got 2 hands.

I really don’t feel like doing anything productive.

GAH! Seriously. I need more time and motivation to get things moving.

To make up for this whinge, here’s a clip from my favourite Buffy episode.

The Trouble With Being Away From Work For Too Long

You just don’t feel like getting back into the gear of working.

I was away from work the last few weeks of December and I had such an enjoyable time. So coming back to work was such a drag. I have work to do but I’ve been procrastinating. I finally got around to doing what I need to do but I just realised how confusing it is, so I’m taking a break by writing up this totally plot-less blogpost. Yes, yes, I’m still procrastinating.

I just wish work wasn’t so boring to do.

Have You Felt Like You’re Running Out Of Time?

That’s what I’m feeling; so many things to do, so little time. I feel out of sorts and rushing around to finish things. I think that my seminar module has a lot to do with what I’m going through; an essay question released every week and due two weeks after it’s been put up. So I’ve been rushing to get the literature search, the reading and the writing, on top of the readings for the other module and trying to finish up my day job stuff.

I know that I’ve been complaining a lot about the essays this semester but I’ve never been so busy like this before. It feels like a never ending cycle of essays and readings, that I have barely enough time to do other things like blogging.

My NaNoWriMo project has slid to the background since I just don’t have enough time to write. A part of me is screaming for me to write the story, just right the damn story already, but everything else is a higher priority that trying to exorcise the plot bunny jumping around in my head.

The schedule for this coming week is so packed that I’m having slight panic attacks just thinking about it. I’ve got experiments to finish up, people to train, papers to look for and read and essays to write, and classes to attend. I’m tired enough and stressed out enough that I just want to lie down and not do anything.

I was supposed to read my papers and at least clean up the living room but I’m just too tired and I’m not even sure if I have the time to do it before Wednesday. Seriously, I just want this semester to be over.