Tag: jobsearching

Focusing on the career: updating social pages, writing, and research

So the moon will be transitioning through the Sagittarius constellation tonight—marking the sixth full moon of the year; and we’re almost half way through June.

The Sagittarius moon is known for giving off ‘fun energy’, and while that is nice going into the summer months, and while I could say I’m hoping that it won’t lead to a spike in cases–we’re already spiking again due to the various omicron variants…so I’ll be spending the time reflecting and working towards either the transition to a remote communications position or starting a freelance business.

Sagittarius Reflection Questions from the Book: Moonology: Working with Magic of Lunar Cycles by Yasmin Boland

Have I been too flippant, or carefree to the point of being careless, irresponsible, even?

Have I been letting myself down by allowing myself get distracted and bored?

Have I been overconfident to the point of arrogance, or too preachy?

Have I been a commitment-phobe, to my own detriment?

Have I been seeing the bigger picture?

If I were to number the above questions 1-5, my answers would be as follows:

My Answers/(Yours of course will be different):

  1. In terms of finances, yes I have probably been a little too ‘carefree’ lately. I’ve realized that the past nine-to-ten months I’ve reverted to spending money when I’m stressed/anxious/depressed—and since we lost Rolex last month (due to a relapse of hemolytic anemia); Russia is still invading Ukraine (and probably won’t stop there); and it just seems the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Now I’m aiming to just be at least 1-5 days better than the previous month in terms of ‘no-spending’.
  2. Yes, I have been allowing myself to get distracted (I won’t really say bored, but more of a ‘fear of failure’/’imposter syndrome’) more often lately. I’m actually going to be drafting writing ideas on this topic. I do allow myself to get distracted; though since starting the content development challenge and participating in #socialsaturday on LinkedIn—I haven’t been quite as ‘bored’. Still working on time and project management.
  3. Nope, I have not been overconfident to the point of arrogance or being too preachy.
  4. I liked last years answer, so I’m going to ‘recycle’ it. This answer again depends on which aspect of life we’re talking about. Am I being a commitment-phobe to myself (i.e. not doing my workouts, eating well, and so forth)? Or a commitment-phobe to someone else? If we’re talking to about the first (myself)—then yes, I have been a commitment-phobe to my own detriment. I’m working on getting better at it though. If we’re talking about being a commitment-phobe to someone else—nope (can’t be a commitment phobe if you aren’t in a relationship, and I’m currently not in a relationship).
  5. Which bigger picture are we talking? Trying to figure out my life in say five to twenty years? The current societal picture? The global picture? The current global/societal picture sucks…There is an illegal war going on (only because the aggressor has nukes and no one wants them going off—but what happens when they turn their eyes to other countries?), we’re still dealing with the SARS-CoV2 pandemic (don’t care if people are allowed to travel—the virus hasn’t disappeared), and we’re also dealing with the gun violence epidemic as well as numerous other issues. If the global society can’t stop the illegal war—it could very well erupt into the third world war. I’m seriously wondering now if we’re going to be able to survive as a society and be ‘recognized’ as society in say fifteen to twenty years.

What Zone/House is Sagittarius traveling through (for me)?

In addition to the fact that the moon has entered into Sagittarius, at least for me it has moved into my second house (or the cash, property, and values zone). This full moon brings about feelings of one’s financial security and stability, and self worth.

It means that we’re suppose to find a balance between various aspects of life—are we tired of working for others and wanting to strike out on our own—now would be the time to start planning it, have we been neglecting ourselves and focusing on others??

This zone is popping up at a time when I need to really start ‘job searching’ and finish reformatting the blog/website. While I know I can probably find a job on campus if I really need one—I’d prefer to have a remote communications job or possibly one or two freelance clients and starting my own business.

In addition, I’m going to look into different ways of earning small amounts of cash (taking surveys, selling DVDs back, possibly sell photography prints or homemade jewelry).

So, while I’m still going to treat this time as a period of self-reflection, I’m also going to be doing other things that I need to do to really get the job search up and going….

So what are my goals for the Sagittarius Full Moon? They include:

  1. Finish updating my LinkedIn profile…While I’ve ‘technically’ have taken a career break the past two years—I’ve also been trying my hand at blogging and content creation…so I have to decide how to put that in…plus figure out the ‘transferable skill’ title for previous jobs…fun times….
  2. Create a functional resume template for science/medical communication jobs…
  3. Finish updating the few pages on the website that I haven’t updated, start doing some serious SEO research for the site, writing, and so forth…
  4. Continue with my 90-day content creation challenge
  5. And if I have time: roll the dice and see what the next adventure (or adventures) will be in terms of personal and professional development.

I’m working on ‘closing’ the previous chapters of my life (at least in terms of career) and write the next one as a ‘blockbuster’ chapter…

What is one of your Sagittarius goals?


No Comments AstrologycareerFull Moon Goalsjob searchingPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflections

Nature’s Whispers: Days Eleven to Fifteen of Oracle Card Challenge

So today marks day fifteen of the oracle card challenge, and that means there are only 105 (or 563) days left in the challenge. Today also marks the halfway point for the second deck of cards chosen: Nature’s Whispers by Angela Hartfield.

Day Eleven Oracle Card Draw

The card chosen for the eleventh day was ‘be in service’. It is a reminder to give back to the world, and while life is give and take—harmony is achieved when they’re balanced.

A kind word, holding a door, or even an email inquiring how things are going are all simple acts of being in service.

I’ve been bouncing ideas around on how to use my degree/education more and ‘be in service’ and have touched on the topic of science communication. There is a deep rift between how science is communicated between scientists and how they communicate it to the rest of the world—I want to help bridge that rift.

Day Twelve Oracle Card

The card chosen for the twelfth day was ‘higher ground’. It is a reminder that if things seem out of balance, or not going your way—all you may need is to look at it from ‘higher ground’. Sometimes we miss ‘the forest’ because we’re focused on ‘the trees’ and vice versa.

For years I’d been focused on ‘research at the bench’, that I had ‘forgotten’ that research doesn’t have to be just at the bench, but it can be done away from the bench and therefore take on various forms. I’m slowly ‘embracing’ research away from the bench, and looking for the ‘topics’ that I find interesting and enjoy.

Day Thirteen Oracle Card

The card chosen for the thirteenth day was ‘illumination’. It is a reminder that while we all have ‘guardian angels’ willing to help—we still need to believe in ourselves as well. Knowing that we are capable of achieving dreams (old or new) as long as we are willing to put in the work and believe that it is possible.

We also shouldn’t compare our journey to others—everyone has their own path to walk, and some may be ahead, some may be behind, and others may look like they’re walking along side.

While worry and fear have their places in life—one should try not to let them overwhelm. That has been a problem in the past; I’ve let worry and fear overrun my life too many times to count. Now, I simply try to acknowledge their presence, give them space and work through the emotions and the ‘blocks’.

I realize that I will be harboring these emotions frequently as I try to edge my way into a new career—one that may become full-time, or may only become part-time. While acknowledging their presence, I’m also going to work at ensuring they don’t keep me tethered to my comfort zone.

Day Fourteen Oracle Card

The card chosen for the fourteenth day was ‘make a decision’. There are times when it would be nice to turn the clock back to where the biggest decision one had to make was cereal or waffles for breakfast. It becomes difficult at times to see the variety of choices one has once that ‘degree’ is chosen in college, or when the program is decided on for graduate school.

I’ve realized one reason why I’d been a somewhat ‘passive’ player in my career—the ‘goals’ had somewhat already been mapped. Deviating from that course, now means I need to figure out what the goals, benchmarks, and milestones moving forward and that can be somewhat scary.

But I do have the wisdom to create a ‘new’ path, without totally ‘destroying’ the old—but it will take a little more time to figure out the goals, benchmarks, milestones moving forward will be, but that is also part of the fun. Creating something new, melding it with the old, and making it my own.

Day Fifteen Oracle Card

The card chosen for the fifteenth day was the ‘empowerment’ card. It is a reminder that while we can handle things as they come—sometimes it is nice to have the guidance and support of others (especially in our careers).

As we move through life (especially in our careers), we at times have to go looking for the guidance and support of others, while at other times both are always there.

Everyone says one should have mentors—both ones that you talk to (either via phone, email, or zoom), and others that you end up finding online and following their online presence.

For an introvert (with anxiety)—finding mentors that you talk to is semi-difficult, especially when you’re still trying to determine the direction that you want to go in. Finding the ‘virtual’ ones is easy, though I’m starting to go back through and ask myself ‘am I following this person because I truly find them inspiring, or am I following them because they’re the ‘person’ to follow?

This is yet another puzzle piece that I am working on figuring out the shape of, slow but steady.

These cards are slightly different from the enchanted map and others in that they ‘don’t’ tell a story, per say. What I mean by ‘story’ is that card’s meaning is general—so depending on your ‘question’ or situation the ‘story’ or outlook may differ from reading to reading.

These cards are still helping me move forward with the goal of freelance work—they’re reminding me of things that I need to work on (such as finding mentors, not letting fear and anxiety run the show, and asking for (and accepting) help when needed).

Here’s to the next five days of the Nature’s Whispers Oracle deck challenge.

I asked this question on both LinkedIn and Instagram, and only received a single answer (climate change)—so I’ll ask it here as well: what science topic do you wish was communicated better? Also who are some of your favorite people to follow (and why)?

No Comments AstrologycareerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthjob searchingLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesoracle cardsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Check-in on 101 goals

So we’re officially a little over halfway through 2019, which means that there are 815 days left in this challenge (as today is July 5th 2019). So I decided that I should probably do a check-in on the goals and see where I’m at with them. Updates are in bold.

The dates for my 101 goal challenges are:

So my original start and finish dates were:

Start Date: January 1 2018

Finish Date: September 28 2020

My new start and finish dates:

Start Date: January 1, 2019

Finish Date: September 28, 2021

Here are my 101 goals for the next 1001 days (random and non-grouped):

  1. Transition into a biotech or biopharma company as a research scientist
  2. Become fluent in Spanish
  3. Become fluent in German
  4. Learn to program (R and maybe python)
  5. Visit at least three new countries (0/3)
  6. Finish the various other e-course bundles that I bought (list out later)
  7. Move to a new(ish) city for #1
  8. Make it through at least 250 days of beachbody workouts (share on twitter?) (0/250) *Luckily it doesn’t have to be consecutive days (though I would like that)—I haven’t done a Beachbody workout in awhile (I also can’t remember how many I’d done before I hit my slump).
  9. Paint & frame at least one original painting (0/1)
  10. Finish the Dream Job Hack program
  11. Finish the Youtube for bosses course
  12. Finish the Youtube course creation for bosses course
  13. Launch a youtube channel
  14. Launch a online course
  15. Get blog traffic to 500+ views/day
  16. Publish 5-10 scientific blog posts (0/10)
  17. Practice more photography (1-2 posts a week) I’ve managed to stick with the photography challenge so far, so at least on the blog there have been new pictures post on a semi-constant basis (at least for the past three-four months).
  18. Get instagram followers to 800+
  19. Showcase crafts on blog (afghans, artwork, jewelry)
  20. Learn to make my own jewelry
  21. Re-pierce my ears
  22. Finish at least 200 personal/professional development books (and post reviews) (35/200) *So out of the 274 books I have on my book reading list for both personal and professional development (and this number is growing)—I’ve read 20 in 2018, and 15 so far in 2019—that means I only have another 238 books to read to finish the list (and that is only if I don’t add anymore books to the list).
  23. Interact more on Linkedin (actually network with connections) (at least 4 a week) (0/140)
  24. Reach at least 14,014,000 steps (0/14,014,000); though if I add in the steps from 2018—this could actually be closer to 20,000,000 steps (goal—19,124,000 by Sept 28 2021 (as of yesterday (07/04/19) 8,047,645/19,124,000).
  25. Visit at least one new national (or state) park (0/1)
  26. Visit at least one new national (or state) monument (0/1)
  27. 5 pushups on toes (0/5)
  28. 10 pushups on toes (0/10)
  29. Fly/land at least 3 new airports
  30. Visit one new city & state (US) (0/1; 0/1)
  31. Go to one or more scientific conferences (0/1)
  32. Go to a blogging conference (0/1)
  33. See the Northern Lights
  34. Present at a scientific conference (0/1)
  35. Post free monthly challenges in facebook groups
  36. Write (or start) a book
  37. Complete a 365 day photography challenge (137/365) I started the challenge a little late this year, or more accurately it took me awhile to build momentum to continue posting a daily picture.
  38. Learn to cross-stitch
  39. Reach 400+ followers on pintrest
  40. Reach 1000+ followers on twitter
  41. Publish at least two blog series (0/2)
  42. Mediate at least 5 minutes a day  (0/1001) This one has been an off and on success—there have been at least one or two weeks when I didn’t feel like meditating nightly, and therefore I didn’t—but I’m slowly getting back into the routine.
  43. No extra snacks at work (i.e. no hitting the coffee shop for cookies in the morning) This one is a work in progress, there are some days when I’m really good at not getting extra snacks at work, and there are other days when I cave and get chocolate.
  44. Declutter the movies in the house
  45. Create an editorial calendar for blog (0/33) Well I’m slowly starting to try creating editorial calendars, but have only been really good at posting certain topics (new/full moon goals & updates, monthly updates & photography challenge). This is something I still need to work on.
  46. Credit card debt down to less than $500 a month (and getting paid off monthly in full) This is almost happening—I do have my debt at a level that I can pay off monthly, though some bills get a little higher than planned.
  47. Monthly budget (plus list of monthly recurring charges on credit cards) (0/33) I’ve been doing this, though not listing the recurring charges on my credit cards.
  48. Learn to give mani/pedi and give myself one a month (0/33) This one is off the list—because I have yet to do it, and while I might in the future I don’t see me doing it quite yet.
  49. Get a new sewing machine and make a new quilt for bed. This one is on hold until I move and then I’ll be buying a new sewing machine.
  50. Make my new moon & full moon goals (0/66) I’ve been keeping up with this one. Though I may not hit all the goals for both the new moon & the full moon—I’m at least putting my intentions out there for the universe to hear.
  51. Buy a new couch and chair for my living room. This one and #s 52-54 are dependent on success with #1 & #7
  52. Buy a new dresser for my bedroom
  53. Buy a new mattress & box-spring for my bed
  54. Buy a new TV & stand for living room
  55. Reorganize my storage unit
  56. Buy fabric & foam and make new cushions for rocking chair
  57. Create a posting schedule (editorial calendar) for facebook pages (0/66) I’m behind on this.
  58. Generate at least three months of memes for facebook pages (0/3)
  59. Create posting schedule (editorial calendar) for instagram (0/33) Behind on this.
  60. Learn to use photoshop for memes & posts
  61. Make a 30-day Zumba schedule & stick with it (0/30) Haven’t done this yet.
  62. Visit one or more new zoos (0/1)
  63. Visit one or more new aquariums (0/1)
  64. Make a top 10 favorite author list (for different genera; romance, fantasy/sci-fi, mystery/thriller, non-fiction) for blog
  65. Write and share at least two posts on linkedin every two months (0/32) Behind on this as well.
  66. Ask for endorsements from 6 well known connections on linkedin (0/6) Behind on this well.
  67. Endorse 3 to 5 people on linkedin every four months (0/40) Behind on this.
  68. Renew professional memberships (0/6) Need to do this soon.
  69. Get into the “best shape” of my life. This is one of the things I’m going to try to focus on more, and maybe should be moved higher in the list.
  70. Finish reading books on scientific writing (review and post) (0/7)
  71. Take a multivitamin & supplements daily (0/1001). There have been several days (going on to a week) that I’ve missed taking my multivitamin & supplements.
  72. Design a logo for my blog/website
  73. Finish 3 hidden object games without using hints, or the strategy guide
  74. Go to a author-reader conference and meet authors
  75. Write in journal daily (0/1001). There have been several weeks that I didn’t do this (mainly due to my current mood—even though I know when I’m feeling down or in a funk that is actually a good time to journal).
  76. Complete my book of Sudoku puzzles (minus the ones crossed out)
  77. Drink 70 oz of water a day (0/1001). There have been quite a few days when this hasn’t happened.
  78. Color in two coloring books (0/2) (pictures on blog/instagram)
  79. Knit another afghan (diamond pattern) This has been started, and hopefully will be finished this coming winter.
  80. Watch all the episodes of Hawaii 5-0
  81. Go to at least 2 professional networking events (0/2)
  82. Update Linkedin profile (0/2)
  83. Watch all the episodes of Grimm
  84. Design a science based board game
  85. Hold a two minute plank (on forearms)
  86. Hold a 90 second plank (full)
  87. Go at least one weekend a month without social media (0/33) This hasn’t happened yet, though with the way the world is going I might start doing it.
  88. Create (and update) a vision board. I’ve created and updated a digital vision board, and will probably try to update it at least every two to three months.
  89. Create my own altar (wiccan/pagan)
  90. Learn basic sign language
  91. Create job searching/networking editorial calendar (0/12)
  92. Get an additional external hard drive to back up the laptop & external DVD drive for installing printer program on laptop
  93. Create my own coffee table photography book
  94. Touch base with friends that I haven’t talked to lately
  95. Savings up another 20K (0/20K)
  96. Get at least three plants and keep them alive (0/3)
  97. Stretch daily (0/1001)
  98. Watch all the episodes of The Librarians
  99. Watch all the episodes of Once Upon A Time
  100. Get Fit with Jessi to 1000+ likes
  101. Get BecomingJessi to 1000+ likes

I’ve only removed one goal from the list—giving myself a mani/pedi monthly. I’ve never been the type to fuss with their nails (though I know with job searching, I do need to start taking better care of my nails, and this does include painting them every so often). I’ve realized that I have fallen behind on some of the daily goals (taking my multivitamins, drinking a certain amount of water a day, and writing in my journal every day)—but at least I do start back up, even if it tampers off, and then starts again.

I also know that there are goals that I haven’t started on, and others that require another goal to be accomplished before they are looked at. I know where I need to try to focus for the next few months (personal care—mental and physical health, and slowly figuring out my career objectives), and once these are on track, I think the others will follow suit.

No Comments 101 GoalsBooksCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthjob searchingLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentspiritualitytravel

April in Review: we’re a third of the way through the year.

So we’re officially through with a third of the year. Spring is here in full force, and summer is around the corner. I’ve realized several things over the past couple of weeks in terms of how I go about doing my personal and professional development: 1) I still have no idea of what I want to do job wise (though I have a couple of ideas). I also realize that this statement can be taken literally, and it isn’t meant to be—all I mean is that I haven’t decided which direction I want to go as a “specialist” and which direction I want to go as a “generalist”. 2) I still have yet to find a good balance between things—I seem to be either all in or barely in at all; and 3) I really need to work on getting the anxiety and stress under control.

But as we now move into the second “third” of the year (or the second month of the second quarter), it is also time to reflect back on the goals that I set for April. As I’ve mentioned previously—the goals are going to be staying the same (more or less)—that way I can continue trying to reach them monthly, and once they become an habit—then I can switch them up.

So the goals for April included:

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

Reading (or finishing) at least three non-fiction books

Continuing with the photography challenge

Being more active on linkedin

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

So how did I do with each one?

At least 434,000 steps (breaks down to 14K/day).

           I managed to reach the step goal, even with having about five or six days were I was under the target of 14K/day. I just realized that the April goal step should have been 420,000 steps (as there are only 30 days in April). With it being 434,000—it came to roughly 14,467 steps a day. The final step total for the month of April was 444,566 steps. This brings me to a yearly total of 1,773,704 steps. As long as I can reach at least 15K steps Monday-Friday I should be good at reaching the yearly goal of 5 million steps. I’ve realized that if I don’t do a walk all the around Boomer Lake on the weekend I usually don’t get in all my steps on the weekend (I just haven’t been in the mood to march in place in the evenings to a movie lately).

Reading (or finishing) at least three non-fiction books

            Finished: The Year of Less: How I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy by Cait Flanders

I’ve started several other books and made headway with each of them, but since several also have “exercises” associated with them—I’m not done with them yet. Though I’m thinking that the answers to some of these “exercises” may become blog posts in the near future.

Continuing with the photography challenge

            I’ve managed to keep up with the photography challenge, though what I’ve been doing is the following—taking walks on the weekend and practicing my photography and getting enough pictures that I can post something new every day. Some days I do take new pictures with my phone, but for the most part it’s being based off of my weekend walks and older pictures that I haven’t shared on the blog or social media.

Being more active on linkedin

            I’m slowly starting to be more active on linkedin. This is something that I had been good at doing for awhile, and then I took a break and now I need to get back on board of being more active. I know what needs to be done (sharing articles, commenting, and connecting)—I just really need to schedule in the time to do so (block it out and make a commitment to doing “X” amount of work/time per day on the site).

Working out daily (hopefully starting transformation: 20 or another round of LIIFT4)—or at least on a consistent basis. I’m not going to push myself if I know I’m not feeling well—so there has to be balance.

            I managed about two weeks of working out on a somewhat consistent basis earlier in the month. I’ve also found that for some reason beachbody’s online workout platform is now “scheduling” workout times, even though they are dates I didn’t log in. One minor issue has been the Internet connections at home—it’s hard to stream a workout when you worry if the Internet is going to behave for the thirty or forty minutes you’re wanting to workout. I may have to go between trying to stream and then doing workouts via DVDs.

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

            I managed to go at least three days a week without buying things on campus for the most part. I’ve realized that when my stress and anxiety levels get high, while I will go take a walk—I’ll walk to the student union and then buy some chocolate. One thing I’ve managed this month is to almost determine what some of my triggers are for spending money: with the top three being: I’m tired, stressed, or my anxiety has ramped up to where I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack and I want chocolate.

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

            So this is something I started working on—at least trying to narrow down the cities (I decided to start here and see what the average rent cost for a 1bed/bath apartment would be)—and I gave myself an anxiety attack. I then realized that part of the problem is that I still am undecided in what I want to do—but I’m now thinking of a way to merge both a “specialist” direction with a “generalist” direction. This way hopefully can try to get the best of both sides.

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

            I have read an article or two from the websites (and I’m also starting to include in biospace as well), but I haven’t been taking notes. One thing I’m going to start doing is trying to share the articles that I find interesting on different social media sites (including linkedin and twitter) and try to build my “professional” brand this way as well.

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

            This one has been a no go this month—mainly because I couldn’t decide on a topic for the month in terms of the type of scientific paper(s) I would be starting to read. This goes hand in hand with main issue of the job search—knowing that I should aim to be a “specialist” but wanting to stay a “generalist” so that I don’t lose my enjoyment of science.

So I’ve managed to make some headway in terms of some of the monthly goals. Reading is a little slow (only because some of the books again have “exercises” and I’m actually trying to work through them as I read the book; and I also go back and forth between several books and then my fiction books as well). I’ve realized where some of the mental blocks are in terms of the job search/transition are also coming from and I’m going to try to work on “dismantling” those blocks over the next few months as well.

Therefore the goals for May are going to include:

At least 434,000 steps (again breaking down to 14K/day)

Continue with the photography challenge

Start back on a workout schedule (potentially alternating between weight training & cardio).

Read (or finish) at least 3 non-fiction books

Aim for two weeks of no spending (keep a money log)

Continue to try to interact more on linkedin

Continue working through the various e-courses/groups and transition plan (making notes, narrowing down on cities, looking into companies, and figuring out my superpower trifecta)

Read at least one article on FiercePharma and/or FierceBiotech (weekly and work up to daily) and make notes so that I can do a blog post (or weekly recap of what I’ve read).

Read at least one scientific article a week and write a 500-word summary for a potential blog/science post.

The goals are more or less the same for May as they were for April–but that is because I’m still working on being a little better than I was yesterday. For the most part the step goal should be in the bag (though I know from experience that if I let myself slide too much I won’t reach the year end goal). The reading goal is always slowly moving forward (one problem with bouncing book to book). The others are ones that I need to figure out the best method of “attack” so that I don’t work myself into an anxiety or stress induced anxiety attack.

No Comments Month in Reviewno spend challengesPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Libra Full Moon Goals and wishing everyone a Happy Spring Equinox

So the next full moon is happening today (March 20), which is also the spring equinox.  It is the time to transition between seasons (winter to spring), though I’m sure that there will still be one or two snowstorms across the country during the next few weeks. So the moon is transitioning through Libra over the next few days, and as such there are several questions that one can ask themselves during this time (questions are taken from “Moonology: working with the magic of lunar cycles” by Yasmin Boland). So depending on your sign that you associate most with (rising, star, or moon), this period may be easy on you or it could be difficult on you. For me personally, my rising sign is Scorpio, my star sign is Virgo, and my moon sign is Pisces—none of which usually have an easy time under the Libra full moons. So I won’t be too surprised if I have a hard couple of days this week.

The questions from the book are:

            Have I been too concerned with appearances in general?

            Have I been thinking too much about others and neglecting my own needs?

            Have I been too easily influenced, gullible, or unable to decide for myself?

            Have I been living my life through someone else?

            Have I spent enough time beautifying my life?

So if I were to number the questions 1-5, my answers would be as followed:

  1. I can confidently say that I have not been concerned with appearances in general lately (or really ever). I have always been one to dress for comfort and while I will try to look presentable when needed—I don’t go with the latest trends. I’m much more comfortable in jeans and sneakers than I am dressing up in dress clothes, and even then I will usually try to match the clothes with low heeled shoes as I don’t care for wearing high heels. I also don’t care for wearing makeup either (and probably other than needing to ensure that when I go on job interviews [and possibly even informational interviews] to remember to have my nails done, and may wear a light foundation).
  2. In terms of this one, I have been know at times to always try to be a team player and probably to the sacrifice of my own needs. This is something I’m trying to work on—striking a balance between helping others and putting myself first at times.
  3. I don’t think that I’m easily influenced or gullible. Unable to make decisions about certain things—yes, I have been know (and still do) overthink things to a point where I don’t make the decision (or just let someone else make the decision and follow along). I am trying to get better at this—especially with my job search and transition.
  4. Do book characters count? I know that there is more to life than just working—but I was brought up to have a strong work ethic and I know that at times becomes a problem for me trying to convince myself to take some time off. I realize that I need to figure out what I want out of life and start living the life I want—not the life that others think I should be living.
  5. I probably could do with more plants in my life. I am currently trying to slowly declutter what I own as I realize that most of the stuff probably won’t make me happy in thirty or forty years. I also know that when I move, I’ll be back in a decent size apartment—and I had way to much stuff living in Boston, and therefore I need to cut back on stuff (mainly movies and clothes).

The Libra constellation also coincides with my 12th house (according to my rising sign Scorpio), and is also known as the secrets zone. This is marks another time of reflection, where one can sit and think back on things during the past few months—what worked, what didn’t, and what corrections/fixes/changes can one do to help them move towards their goals.

            For me this means looking back on my transition plan, making notes of where I feel like I made progress, and where I could do more. I also know that I could go back through it and reread some of the questions and possibly expand or add additional insights to my answers. I know that I should update my digital vision board (I’m keeping it digital as it makes it easier to store and I can look at it on my computer daily). I should also look at how my fitness/nutrition journey is going and make notes on how I can improve on that portion of my life as well.

So my goal list of the Libra full moon period includes:

            Rereading and modifying my transition plan as needed.

            Continue making the lists/goals for the set of job titles that I’ve initially chosen so that I can narrow it down to say three to four (out of the seven).

            Rework my fitness/nutrition plan/goals and make another long-term list (including rewards for hitting certain benchmarks).

This is a short list—but that increases the chances of being able to accomplish all three goals over the next few weeks (in addition to goals set for the month of March, and then the new goals that will getting set for the month of April next weekend).

As the days start to get longer, that will hopefully mean more time outside doing things and at the same time hopefully more energy to get other things done as well.

Happy Spring Equinox to everyone, and enjoy the longer days outside and the nicer temperatures that will hopefully be accompanying the daylight.

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Working on the transition plan: determining and focusing in on a small set of values.

There are different definitions of the word value, depending on whether or not the word is being used as a noun or as a verb. When used as a noun (especially in terms of job searching, professional, and personal development) the definition of value then can be considered: “a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment on what is important in life”.

Everyone can share certain values and then also have completely different values as well. This is one important aspect of both personal and professional development that one has to think on throughout their lives and careers. Truthfully, this is one area that I’ve always been weak on (namely because I’ve always had a hard time trying to figure out what I want to do with my degree and what direction my career should go).

So over the past year and half, I’ve read several different personal/professional development books and worked through some e-courses, and they all had one exercise in common: picking out words from a list that resonated with you in terms of both your personal life and your professional life. Some told you to pick words that resonated with both (or to have a short list that encompassed both aspects), others had you do the activity twice: once for personal and then again for professional.

So while I’m including three of my value lists (one done from a book, one from an e-course, and the other from another program). They are in picture format (love using word cloud to make pictures out of words). There are words that show up multiple times, and now it is time for me to merge these lists into one list, and hopefully then get a “core list” and an “additional” value list made from these three.

So the first list of value words came from an exercise from the book: “Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking” by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport. This was one of the first personal development books that I read last year after being laid off. It has wonderful insights and exercises for one to do, and I’m slowly starting to stop worrying about things that I can’t control and learning how to re-frame my negative thoughts into more positive ones.

This exercise had you make a list of values for both your personal and professional lifestyles (going with first your personal and then your professional). I will admit that the list for professional was shorter than the list for personal (but this is again due to me still trying to figure out the type of professional lifestyle that I would like to have).

Word cloud of my personal and professional values from the book

My second list of core values come from my transition plan that I’ve been developing and modifying via of my enrollment and involvement in the Cheeky Scientist Association (which is an company/association that helps people with PhDs (and Masters) degrees transition into industry positions). This list is smaller than the other two, because I was trying to limit the list to no more than ten or twelve values (and one way I did this was by finding values that also could be considered combinations of other values together). This shorter list of values include:

Vitality (combination of health & fitness),

Synergy (combination of teamwork & collaboration),








Intuition, and finally


The final list comes from an e-course that I took on the topic of career development/searching for the right job. The actual title of the course is: Deciding your career path—even if you have no idea how! on udemy.com. I found this to be a little bit of a refresher course, though it did offer one new trick on trying to match your skills with the skills that the job posting has listed (but that is a topic for another post). This short refresher (at least for me) asked that you make a list of the values that resonated with you, and then rank them to find your top five to seven. Below is my unranked list of values that I listed (and I have them covering again both personal and professional):

So as you can see—I have basically one very large list of values (both personal and professional), now I have to either rank them or choose the ones that resonate the most with me to focus on during this current career transition.

When you use a program that groups or changes the size of the word depending on the number of times you have it listed, you can get a cool picture.

I’ve also realized that there are several values added to the image that aren’t found on the list (or I’ve added in the word again); but that I also left off hard work from my value list. This isn’t to say that I don’t value

One thing I thought of doing was grouping some together under an overarching theme, and I think that the current theme could be continuous improvement (which can mean numerous things in terms of both personal and professional development). So while I’m sure that I could continue to add to the above lists in terms of things that resonate with me, the ones that I’m going to focus on for the next few years include:

            Learning, Creativity, Variety, Vitality, Synergy, Honesty, happiness, adventure, and economic security

            Learning can encompass knowledge and education

            Vitality can encompass fitness, health, and nutrition

            Synergy can encompass collaboration and teamwork

So I think that I need to be looking for companies that have a sense of community, and also programs to help employees grow as professionals. In addition if I stick with research, going a different direction from what I’ve been doing will be another way to ensure that I’m continuing to learn and gain knowledge.

So to summarize, I’m going to be focusing on aspects/values that will allow me to continue to grow and learn (something that I pushed aside for awhile after finishing graduate school), and become a better me. Those values again are:

Now to start looking for companies that will allow me to focus on both these values and also have the type of professional lifestyle that I probably would enjoy. That lifestyle I think is a mixture of both lab work and data analysis (I don’t think I really want to be sitting behind a desk all the time; and I do miss being at the bench and actually working on “my” research). In addition, while there may be some long days (and/or weekends) of work, I am duly compensated for that time. There is also an company culture that emphasizes the balance of both work and having a life away from the business (i.e. you don’t have to worry about checking emails after hours, on the weekends, or on holidays). So I am slowly starting make the progress needed for my transition from academia to industry.

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Weekly Update on Job Transition Plan

So I’m currently in the process of trying to move my job transition into industry into a higher gear than what I’ve been doing for the past year. I’ve realized that I’ve allowed having a job to give me a little too much breathing room, and that I need to start acting like the job is going to be ending and kick things into high gear.

So one thing I’m going to be trying to do is write at least one weekly summary of some of the things I’ve been doing over the week in pushing the transition forward. Read More

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Update on Job Transition: Trying to Narrow down the List

So while I’ve been slowly trying to figure out my transition plan, it seems that the universe is giving me a nudge to get everything moving a little faster (I won’t get into that topic here). So over the weekend I went back through both the career guide map and the handbook to see what titles/jobs sounded interesting and I’m still looking between six to eight different titles/positions:

R&D scientist (or R&D project manager)—the scientist position would almost be me staying within my comfort zone (research), though I’m thinking of looking at other industries other than biomedical/biopharma. Trying for the project manager position would be stepping outside of my comfort zone but at the same time staying within research (I have bought a project management e-bundle course through e-courses4you (and it also comes with a certificate) I just haven’t finished it yet)).

The others would all be stepping outside of my comfort zone (which is something that the more I think about it—the more appealing it is, scary but at the same time I’d be learning more than if I just stayed within “normal research”).

The other positions include:

Operation Research Analyst

Health Economist and Outcome Research

Market Research Analyst

Marketing Communication Specialist

Clinical Data Manager

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Specialist

Quantitative Analyst

I know that most will require some base knowledge of programming (which is why I’ve also bought several programming e-courses off of stackskills that I have to still work through). While writing still isn’t my most favorite thing in the world to do, I know that in order to get better at it, I need to do it—so some of the positions would be pushing me out my comfort zone that way (in addition to my posting on my blog; though these for the most part are photos with a small blurb).

My new goals are that by the end of September (and while I know that seven weeks away—it will be here before I know it); I’ve determined within the R&D question which industry sector & companies I would want to work for, as well as looking into the companies for the other positions as well. At the same time I’m going to add value to connections (and continue growing my linkedin network as well); that way hopefully by early October I can set up a few informational interviews, leading to referrals and hopeful on site interviews throughout the winter. My main goal is to hopefully transition into an industry position in the spring. My current position is guaranteed through Thanksgiving (and possibly the New Year), but I have decided that I’m tired of the toxic environment that academia has become, the fact that this position is a dead-end position, and the fact that I have let myself be bogged down both by fear of the unknown and the fear of possible failure.

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July in Review

Well the weather is still definitely on the warmer side of things now. We are well and truly into the last half of the year. July is over, and before we know it-it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then the Christmas holidays. I had seriously hoped at the beginning of the year that by the time August rolled around, I would have had several different informational interviews to help narrow down my job search (needless to say that this hasn’t happened yet). I’m trying to get better at time management (if I just make the time during the workday to get some things done, I think I’d be doing a lot better). There is now just two months left for the third quarter of the year, and I think that I might need to look at my Level 10 life and see how things are progressing, and maybe add in one or two things from that to my goal list of August. But in terms of how this past month has gone, lets take a look at what I set as my goals and if I met them or not.

So my goals for July included:

At least 434,000 steps (basically back to trying to get 14,000 steps/day).

Shakeology daily (breakfast or dinner)

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books & writing (and posting) the reviews

Writing & posting the reviews for all other non-fiction books I’ve read, but haven’t reviewed yet.

Packing my lunch daily

Starting to get my storage unit in order

Walking around Boomer Lake at least once on the weekends (early morning)

Keeping a money log & having at least two consecutive no spend days

Continue working through the various e-courses that I’ve bought

Figuring out the best workout plan and implementing it this month

Continue working on my transition plan

Networking & adding value to my online connections; though trying to be strategic in doing so—realizing that I can’t add value to over 1200 people in a month.

Restart my photography challenge (daily posts to instagram & twitter; then I will do a weekly recap for my blog and facebook pages)

So how did I do with each one?

Getting at least 434,000 steps in: I have managed to surpass the monthly goal of 434,000 steps. I have been getting anywhere from the 14,000 upwards of 20,000 (or more) daily. There were a few days that I didn’t hit the minimal goal of 14,000 (but since there were days at or above 20,000—its balanced out). The final total for the month was 499,633 (I was so close to accidently getting to 500k this month in steps). This has me at a total of 3,116,437 and that means to reach my goal of 5 million steps by December 31st I only need to basically do 12,311 steps a day (I’m still going to be aiming for 14k though).

Having shakeology daily (for either breakfast or dinner): I have managed to have my shakeology for breakfast everyday this month. It is one nice thing about summer—it’s hot and the shakeology is nice and cold. The only thing that I really need to start doing is to properly measure how much plain Greek yogurt and all natural peanut butter I’m actually adding into my shake on a daily basis.

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books & writing (and posting) the reviews: Well this one (and the following one) are two that I did not manage to get even a little part done on. I did add a few more books to my to-be-read digital pile, but I haven’t finished any from that list this month. I have been reading both fiction and non-fiction, but just haven’t finished any non-fiction books (they do at times take a little more brain power than reading a fiction book). So this one (and the following one) will probably be going back onto the goal list for August.

Writing and posting the reviews for all the other non-fiction books I’ve read this year, but haven’t reviewed yet: Nope, haven’t written (and posted) book reviews yet. I have documents started for several of the books that I need to review (I did that back in the beginning of June)—I just need to sit down and (1) see if I highlighted any quotes or phrases in any of the books (I do love that little part of the kindle); and then (2) if I haven’t probably go back through and skim the book for those little nuggets that I should have highlighted the first time.

So the books that still need a review written on them include:

Science of Intelligent Achievement by Isaiah Hankel

Self Talk: How to train your brain to turn negative thinking into positive thinking & practice self love by Aston Sanderson

Minimalist Living: Declutter your home, schedule, and digital life for simple living (and discover why less is more) by Aston Sanderson

Rewire your Habits: Establish Goals, Evolve your habits, & improve your relationships, health, finances, and free time by Zoe McKey

Thinking in Bets: making smart decisions when you don’t have all the facts by Annie Duke.

Packing my lunch daily: This one has been a success. I guess there is one little benefit for being on the stupid damn timesheet—you bring your lunch to make sure that you aren’t going to be going over your one hour lunch and having to work late. Though I also need to start packing more snacks for the day (that way I won’t feel tempted to go to the union to buy some type of sweets).

Starting to get my storage unit in order: Did this the day after the Fourth of July. I managed to get everything rearranged, and now I just need to start getting boxes that way once I take off another couple of days, I can start repacking the boxes that have fallen apart and be able to get a little more stuff in there as well (including the recliner from Arick’s room).

Walking around Boomer Lake at least once on the weekends (early morning walk): This one I’ve basically managed to get up to Boomer Lake either both Saturday and Sunday, or at least one of the two (depending on the weather). I haven’t really done the full walk around Boomer, since I’m taking photographs—I realized it would probably be an almost two hour (if not closer to three) walk if I tried to go all the way around the lake (though I might try that maybe today [July 29th]. I have managed to get pictures of the great blue herons, the scissortail flycatchers, the ducks & geese in the mornings. Occasionally I will see the green heron as well. I do enjoy seeing the rabbits out and about in the early mornings as well.

Keeping a money log & trying to have at least two consecutive no spend days: I have more or less managed to keep a money log going this month (and my no-spend days were basically at the beginning of the month). I’ve realized that I probably should try to see if I can make it through a workday with just a mug of tea (because even getting a “normal” coffee is still a little over two dollars), and I truthfully really don’t need the extra sweets that I’d also been buying. In addition I’m thinking of deleting the match three games off my kindle again, as I seem to be willing to spend the money every so often (and at times quite frequently) for getting extra turns and lives to continue playing the games. This is another challenge that I’m going to keep going for awhile to see if I can get better at curbing my random spending and start saving more.

Continue working through the various e-courses that I’ve bought: I’m slowly working through the different courses that I’ve bought (which now includes courses [and access to websites] that are devoted to coding for webpage development. Coding is something that will be beneficial for me to know, no matter what direction I go with my career. I’m hoping that I can get through a few more of the smaller courses through August, and then in September and October dedicate time for some that will take a little more time.

Figuring out the best workout plan & implementing it this month: Decided to go with LIIFT4. This is a new resistant training with HIIT intervals in it, and it’s only four days with the workouts ranging from about 30 to 45 minutes. I missed this pass Monday due to the site being down, but was able to start it the next day, and we shall see if it’s a good idea to have a leg day HIIT program on the weekend.

Continue working on my transition plan: I managed to try to develop a new way of thinking about my transition plan—I drew some bubble maps on what I considered my safety zone (research) and those positions that I was consider that were totally outside my zone of comfort, and how they could also be connected to things that I enjoy doing. I still need to work on the plan (one of the books that I’ve started reading has these little “homework” assignments of writing down your goals and putting them in a timeline, so I need to start doing that as well)—but the big priority for August is to determine the direction that I think I want to go (research [if so the sector] or other direction), that way I can really start trying to network better.

Networking & adding value: I’m still slowing working on this. If you look above, I’m putting a deadline (hopefully) of when basically September being the month that I really try to start networking more (though I not sure that I really want to be moving possibly back to the east coast during winter), to hopefully find something for the spring.

Restarting my photography challenge: This one I started, but then stopped doing sometime after the fifth of the month. I mainly stopped because my phone was acting up (and still is). Basically I need to make sure that all photos are downloaded to my computer and delete a lot of them from my phone (I keep getting the message that I don’t have enough memory for taking photos). In addition I need to plan out what each week may consist of that way I have a better idea of what I may want to take a picture of; though I do like doing freestyle photography of what ever catches my eye and attention. So—this is something that I need work on still. But I think I’m getting better with the camera during my morning walks at Boomer.

So my goals for August will included:


At least 434,000 steps (truthfully could be lower, but I started the year saying 14K/day, so I’m going to stick with it).

Shakeology daily (breakfast or dinner)

Reading (or finishing) at least 3 non-fiction books & writing (and posting) the reviews

Writing & posting the reviews for all other non-fiction books I’ve read, but haven’t reviewed yet (currently at five).

Packing my lunch daily and trying to include more healthy snacks.

Getting new boxes and trying to repack at least three or four boxes in the storage unit.

Walking around Boomer Lake at least once on the weekends (early morning; weather permitting)

Keeping a money log & having at least two consecutive no spend days

Continue working through the various e-courses that I’ve bought

Continue with LIIFT4 (try to work up to holding the bear movement for thirty seconds)

Continue working on my transition plan

Networking & adding value to my online connections; though trying to be strategic in doing so.

Restart my photography challenge (daily posts to instagram & twitter (and possibly to the blog); then I will do a weekly recap for my facebook pages and possibly the blog as well–this might vary week to week)

Basically the goals are more or less the same for August as they were for July (with a few changes). If I want to transition by April of 2019—I have eight months to make that happen, so I really do need to start making lists and checking things off.

No Comments fitnessHealthjob searchingMonth in ReviewPersonal Developmentprofessional development

Bubble thought approach to job searching

So July is here, and that means that in theory I have less than four months to figure out my transition plan if I want to get a job in industry this fall. As many know this is something that I’ve been slowly trying to figure out since I started this blog last fall—hard to believe it’s almost been a year for that (but that is totally another post for a later date).

One of my biggest problems has been trying to decide if I want to stay within my comfort zone (which would be on the bench doing research) or if I want to start venturing outside of my comfort zone and try something else. Lately I’ve been thinking more and more of trying to venture outside of my comfort zone, but at the same time be “within” other comfort zones (i.e. not taking a job that requires a lot of travel time).

So I decided that I’d try a different way of looking at this—I drew a bubble diagram. You remember those times in English class, when you needed to try to write a story and you tried to connect different ideas together to see which direction you wanted the story to go?? Well that is what I did—I wanted to see if there any ways of trying to connect career paths with things I already enjoyed doing.

Bubble thoughts

So with having basically my hobbies at the bottom of the page, I noticed that I could potentially have more interest in the health economics and outreach research position (as I am trying to focus more on my own health and fitness right now—I don’t want to feel like a hypocrite going into that position (trying to help figure out how to help improve the health of others while ignoring my own); or trying to go into a policy position. If I wanted to try to do that—it would be a position that either helped within the field of conservation biology or science education. As much as I’ve been thinking of getting my alternative certification for teaching science in a K-12 atmosphere—I don’t want to have worry about the potential of school shootings so this one is still a potential, but it’s on the back burner for now.

I wouldn’t mind going into a project management position, as it would still allow me to be close to research, but not necessarily the one doing it. I’ve also decided that if I was going to stay within research, I should think of going into a different sector (background is mainly biomedical/basic life science) and go either agricultural (biofuel or GMO) or potentially into cosmetic or something of that nature.

I know that writing will become a large part of any new position (and probably data analysis as well), so I am going to be trying to post longer blog posts (or new pages) here to help get back into writing. I know that there is a huge difference between creative writing and scientific writing (and that is where my troubles lay) and therefore will be trying to see how many either different types of reviews or even mini articles I can get written and posted this site over the next few months.

In addition, I know that I really do need to start brushing up on the business/healthcare/clinical side of things with the potential of trying to switch to an health economics position. So I made another bubble diagram of things that would be beneficial for me to start trying to either learn or start brushing up on for my transition.

Things to start brushing up on and/or learning

I have already started online courses in both web page design and project management (I just have to finish both courses). The web page design will help in both a science career and also as a potential side business (building web pages for other people). The project management course and certification will help in trying to get into a project management position.

I know that programming will be useful to know (so again I have bought some e-courses; I just have to go sit down and watch all the videos and take notes). I also know that I need to take an statistics course (which I will probably do on-line), and then there are difference business areas that I should at least be familiar with, such as economics (with various sub-fields) and marketing. I’m also going to start trying to brush up on a foreign language or two as well. It’s time to push myself to continue learning and progressing if I don’t want to be stuck in the same place for years. Learning is a life long process, I’m now just trying to un-stick myself from the stagnation that I’ve allowed myself to fall into lately.

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