Tuesday, June 9, 2015


It's been way to long but I am back and promise to post more. I apologize for leaving, but the last year has been rough and I needed a different outlet to cope. I am finally ready to share some of what happened, hopefully so others can learn from some of the mistakes I made.

Sadly, not much has changed in the past year and half since I last posted (I can't believe it's been THAT long, smh...). I still work at the same place for the same person, although there is less open hostility towards me. Which I suppose is a nice change. Where I work feels like an academic sinking ship with people leaving in droves with no signs of hiring replacements. I think I'm stuck in a horrible game of career survivor, only now I'm the only castaway left, living with the rats and trying to steer a coarse towards safety.

Professionally, I am in a state of limbo. I am grant funded for less than one month, but no one will tell me what will happen next. Will they rehire me? Give me a title other than postdoc so I can apply to grants? Will I have a salary?New supervisor? These are important questions to me and I am frustrated that no one seems to care enough to explain anything to me. This, and has caused tremendous stress for me and part of my haitus was used to repair the damage that stress inflicted on my family. Thankfully I think (or hope) we've turned a corner and are headed in the right direction.

However, things are looking up. Despite not being allowed to work on any projects in the lab, I will have 6 publications in the last 2.5 years. 3 Reviews, 2 co-authored papers, and a first author research paper that I will resubmit in a month. I also have two academic job offers. Yes, I still prefer an industry position, but these opportunities make sense for me in the short term (the family still needs to eat, no?). One is a Research Assistant Professor and comes with a raise (~15%) and familiarity of the research (PhD research). Unfortunately, it also comes with a cross-country move and a need for my wife to quit her job. She currently makes as much as this new job is offering for me. The second job is a local (no move) Research Associate, pays the same as my current job, and ties directly to my previous postdoc. I love the PI (we've collaborated in the past), but this position is only guaranteed for 1 year, unless miracles exist and grants roll in. The PI fully supports my industrial job search, and will help my local networking efforts.

With that, I am signing off. But I WILL be back to share some of what has happened in the past year.

PS. Please let me know what you think about these job opportunities. Although I've pretty much already decided which opportunity I will pursue, neither is set in stone yet. It would also be nice to see if anyone is listening....


  1. Nice to see you back around!

    As for the job opportunities, I'm biased. I would go with the local job-- unless it would be easy for your wife to get a new job where the RAP position is located. Good luck!

    1. I'm actually very excited to be back and am ready to share the next chapter in my career/life. I missed these interactions more than I realized.

      As for the jobs.... Theoretically my wife can get a job anywhere - she's an incredibly talented marketing professional. In practice, however, we don't know. It's a bigger job market where the RAP is, but there is also increased competition....

      I forgot to mention that although I am currently located in a relatively small state, there is a serious push toward retaining tech/biotech jobs here and I am well-connected to several networking groups. Also, being on the East Coast, I can drive less than an hour to get to some major pharma/biotech industry jobs. These options don't exist in RAP state as far as I know and I don't have many connections there.

  2. smart move to drop a comment and tick the "what's he up too, is he back?" ;) happy to see your new post. Indeed, a hiatus can be good to focus and restructure. Your description of the position and "is it up in a month or not" reminds me of my time as such. In that case, the PI didn't talk to me about it, I planned as if my job was over and it turned out that it wasn't.... got another few years on a contract and kept going. What I bring from that experience? I'll never uproot my life again before having the "so, when is my last day - I need a date"conversation.

    as for your options, i'd go with gut feeling (although, I don't have a partner and two small ones to take care of). And my gut is usually poised towards "less risk and maximizing opportunities for future". Your short sentences about this points me to the "stay local, take a year, see what pans out in the network and other opportunities in industry" - if nothing else that it is less stressful on family to restart everyone but "only you and your job"? Then again, it could be a pot of gold in the end of the rainbow with the move?

    1. It's so glad to hear from you again! One update - I got an official termination letter (job ends at the end of the month) at 4pm on Friday. I was pissed they waited until now to let me know, but on reflection I realized I don't know what was happening behind the scenes. Maybe they were looking for money, maybe not. Better to not dwell on it and look into unemployment instead. Unless HR at these new jobs kicks it up a notch....

      Your last two sentences summarize my dilemma quite nicely,lol. I think the main thing for me is that I'm not sure I still have the passion to succeed in a RAP position. To hustle enough to succeed without feeling like I'm missing out on life, relationships, fun, something.... And that is a HUGE problem. Gut is still saying local is the better option...