Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Losing my job: sad & exciting

I found out today that my time in my current job/lab is coming to an end. Not because I'm bad at my job, in fact my boss speaks very highly of me especially to other people, but because the big grant that my salary has come from for the last couple of years has ended. 
During my time in my lab I basically took the research they already did, started my own project and generated a ton of data that was written up as another big grant in my bosses name. I wrote the research proposal on the understanding that I'd have another year of salary in return. Well the result from the application came back today. It scored in the 11th percentile....really good for the first grant I've ever (co)written, not funded but with a different agency it might have been. So the first person to go in a mostly graduate student (who can teach for salary) lab is the relatively expensive postdoc. 

I'm really sad, I struggled to be professional and prevent myself from crying when I found out. I knew it was a long shot but I guess today was the climax of months of stress. 99% of days I love my research project, my boss and the people I work with...a rare combination for a post-doctoral researcher. My last day while not until mid-November will be a hard one. I'm crying just writing this...big baby!!!

 A lot of the upset I'm feeling is fear. I don't have another job to go to. I'm going to be unemployed for a while, at least 3-4 months, while I transition from being on my own visa to being authorized to work on Martina's. It could be a good thing, an avenue to career options I can't even picture right now but the control freak in me is afraid.

In good news:
It's probably time I'm forced to move on and find something else, in a different geographical area I probably would have by now. My job just doesn't challenge me in a way that keeps me on my toes anymore. Writing grants, coming up with research ideas etc. does but it's not really a major part of my job. I do all of that. I just can't dedicate myself to it full time, that's part of my bosses job.

Related to that, I'm not going to look for another postdoc job. I don't want to continue with the lack of job security, poor salary and mountains of stress. Ideally, I'd like to teach (with little to no research) or research in industry full time. Polar opposites I know. Depending on when Martina is ready to move I'm going to try get some more teaching experience, even if it's only part time, to see if teaching is a viable option.

I get to go home to Ireland (to change visa status, hopefully successfully) for 3 weeks over Christmas and see my family. The thought of stepping foot on Irish soil after 3 years is overwhelming. I miss it terribly. The people, the country and the FOOD. My moms dog is about to give birth to puppies so as an added bonus I might get to snuggle then while I'm away from my own doggy.

I get a few months were I can work out a lot AND have a clean house. It seems stupid but I'm going to get into a routine to keep myself busy from one end of the day to the other. Maybe I should sign up for another marathon...lots of training time.

So that's my news for today...pretty life changing!


  1. Aww man! Sorry you didn't get the grant! My BiL recently had to switch labs because the one he was a postdoc in stopped getting grants. He was job searching until he found out he could work in that other lab.

    I am excited to see what opportunities you find, and especially that you get to go home for the holidays! Good luck!

    1. Thanks. This science business while awesome also sucks at this stage career wise, its difficult to transition to the next step. Looking forward to the trip!

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