Tag: jobsearching

April In Review

Somehow the month of April is over. I want to say that I’ve gotten better at time management so that I can get more accomplished each day, but I haven’t gotten there yet. My goals really haven’t been changing all that much (the step goal changes by about 14,000 [depending on the number of days in the month]), and then I adjust all the other goals so that I can add in one or two other ones that I think I can accomplish that month.

So, my goals for April included:

At least 420,000 steps

Having Shakeology daily for breakfast

Read at least 4 non fiction books (and write reviews)

Write the reviews for books I’ve read this year (but haven’t reviewed)

Pack my lunch daily

Have at least 2 no spend days in a row, and work up to a no spend week

Exercise 6 days a week (get through Yoga Booty Ballet)

Continue networking

Finish up the modules for the SMBA, and then continue working through the other numerous online courses that I’ve bought.

Keep a money log

Finalize my top three industry position choices and start drafting a Linkedin summary that could encompass all three positions.

So how many did I manage to completely accomplish this month? Read More

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Saturday Thoughts

Well had lunch with a friend today, and it was great to chat with someone who understands the pains of being in the sciences right now. We were both grad students at the same time, but since graduation our lives have gone different directions, and while we’re both dealing with the hands that life has dealt us–I have to admit, I’ll stick with my hand that has been dealt.

So I decided that since May is right around the corner, I needed to find some motivational sayings/quotes to try to give me the extra push needed to really start up the job searching again and to get back on track with the personal and professional development. Therefore I’ve picked several different sayings that will hopefully push me to creep out of my comfort zone and go for the type of job position that I want.

The first is a saying that is at least contributed to John Rockefeller. This is striking a cord with me, because with the job search this is one of the things that I’ve been worried about–am I going to be settling for a job because I’m scared to go for another one that is more interesting or challenging? Currently I’m thinking of going for research positions, that while they’re in my comfort zone–they would let me get into industry and I might be able to change paths once I’ve got my foot in the door.

This one speaks to me in knowing that as long as I put in consistent (and positive) effort–my dreams can come true. The main thing is to focus on the good dreams and aim to achieve them. On my vision board I have the saying “get into the best shape of my life” along with guide book for hiking the Grand Canyon–something that I have on my bucket list. I know that I have to get my nutrition dialed in and my fitness back on track and I can get into the best shape of my life (while nutrition wasn’t 100% today–I did have my shakeology for dinner instead the grilled sausage links).

So out of all those metaphorical ships that are cruising around the oceans and docking for people–I know that mine is out there somewhere, but I think it’s cloaked in a pea-soup fog, waiting for me to determine my path. Once the path is determined, if the ship doesn’t make it to port, then I’ll swim out to meet it.

This particular saying almost reminds me of Yoda from Star Wars: “Do or do not, there is no try”. This is something else that I need to work on reminding myself that “failure is just an learning experience”. I know that not every interview is going to go great, and that things will mess up on the job, and in life. I know that I can’t “fail” at my job search–either I manage to find something in industry, or I don’t; and if I don’t I will have to determine the new alternative job strategy.

The final motivational saying–basically is to remind me that I need to start going a little outside my comfort zone to be able to live life to the fullest. Does this mean that I will overcome some of my major issues??  Probably not, but I know that staying within my comfort zone is equal to “an ordinary life”–stepping out side that a little, will make it my “new” ordinary–which may not be extraordinary but will be different from what it is now.

So to sum it up, I know that I need to start edging out of my comfort zone (and will be doing this through networking), and reminding myself that staying where I’m at isn’t an option for much longer, and that there is something bigger out there for me, I just have to go and track it down.

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Focusing back on a new job search

The New Year has started with a new job—though the job may or may not be there for the next year (have to love budget cuts to higher education). So I’m back on task for trying to determine what it is exactly I want to do within science (or outside of science), since I really can’t see myself slaving away to try to land one of the coveted assistant professor positions and then work my way up the academic ladder.

So now there are some key questions that I need to ask myself as I continue on this journey of professional development and transitioning into a different job in industry.

One of the huge questions that I need to decided on the answer to is—do I stay within my comfort zone or do I start edging out of my comfort zone. Now everyone has numerous different comfort zones when it comes to work and personal life. The one I’m going to be contemplating here is my professional comfort zone of doing research.

Being a research scientist is something that I love. I’ve always considered the role of a research scientist as someone who is slowly trying to put together a massive jigsaw puzzle without a picture or knowing how many pieces you’re suppose to be working with.  There are others helping you put together that puzzle, and over time they leave to work on other puzzles, or you might even get bored with that particular puzzle and head off to help other people with their puzzles. You might learn new skills by moving from puzzle to puzzle (or you might not).

With the way funding is going these days, if I’m going to stick with research—it will be within an industry setting. I picture those puzzles are a little bit more defined by the project managers and senior scientists—so at least when you come in there should be the frame of the puzzle already put together.

Going outside of my comfort zone would open up a lot of different doors for me to peek through to see which one would be a good fit. I’ll be talking more about those positions in later posts. But for now the other positions I’m thinking of include health economist, technology assessment & alliance officer, technology transfer officer, epidemiologist, or possibly quantitative research analyst.

Another key question I will have to ask myself, is do I want a job that I know may require long evenings or the occasional weekend? I know that scientific research isn’t just a nine to five job Monday thru Friday. But at the same time, I do like knowing that I can go home at the same time everyday and not have to take work with me (for the most part).

I know that any of the positions may require evening and/or weekend work (and even possibly travel), but I want to make sure that the work is worth having to “give up” some of the valuable “personal/me time” that needs to be carved into our days.

Another question is where do I want to live? I know that going into industry will require moving again (there just aren’t that many biotech type jobs in Oklahoma that I’m interested in). So then it is a matter of trying to decide: Where on the East Coast (NYC, Boston, somewhere else), the upper Midwest (MN or WI), or maybe the Pacific Northwest?

I have one major requirement when it comes to moving to a new city—there needs to be a good (or should I say decent) public transportation system. The reason for this is that I don’t drive (anxiety issues with being behind the wheel), and will be needing to be close to a bus or subway stop for getting to both work and various stores.

Now before you say anything—this is how I survived in Boston for my first postdoc. I lived near one of the subway lines, which gave me access to pretty much the entire city and the surrounding suburbs. Yes it took longer to get to work with the way I went—but that gave me time to wake up in the mornings. Going home at night was a pain, especially if there were sporting events in the city—and weekends getting to and from work were even worse (but I tried to plan my weeks to where weekend work was minimally needed).

Once I figure out comfort zone or not, which geographical area (city), and then which company I want to work for—I’ll start the next fun step of tailoring my resume and cover letter to fit each job application.

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