Friday, 9 March 2012

Between Postdocs

So I can't really do any "day in the life of a scientist" posts as I'm currently unemployed although a far better way of looking at it is that I'm very carefully considering the options available before choosing the "right" position for me. That's dedication considering I'm forsaking any income while making such noble choices.

In an ideal world I'd have had this all sorted so that I rolled straight into the next position, however that's assuming quite a few things. First of all, there's the small matter of finishing the work that's currently underway. In science it's very rare that something wraps up neatly - you could argue that there's something very wrong with the research if it doesn't lead you down other paths as you've either reached a dead-end or miraculously answered absolutely everything in that area of research. Realistically what finishing means is "desperately finishing that paper or getting the results to look like they are the foundations of a paper".
As such those final months before a contract ends is usually consumed with getting things resembling "wrapped up" as possible, leaving little time to thoroughly search for other positions.

The other assumption is that the next position that suits you the best is just sitting there waiting for you, and only you, as soon as you want to start it. This is maybe possible for those nobel-prize winners in the making but for us mere mortal scientists the world doesn't really work out that way. The frustrating thing is when that ideal job doesn't exist until 6 months or a year after your existing contract ends.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that this won't be a useful feature until I'm actually at a bench again. The good news is that shouldn't be too far away now.

Maybe I could do a "day in the life of an unemployed scientist" post? It would probably look very lazy though as it's hard to think of ways that "Batman: Arkham" city is a productive thing. I have been watching "Game of Thrones" on DVD and my knowledge of genetics allowed me to solve a central mystery in the show.

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