OK, so by now it's probably become more or less obvious that I don't blog much about my personal life at all. For all any of you know, I could be the garden gnome in your yard, sneaking in to bang away at your keyboard while you slumber. This isn't because I'm just a brain on a stick, although I'll admit that at times it is nice to retreat into that mode and cavort about in a marshmallow buttercup landscape of knowledge. Rather, I tend to be more of a stubborn introvert like Prof-like Substance, Science Bear, and (my Giga-Nefarious Mega-Archenemy) Hermitage. I'm not comfortable spreading myself out there in public like Dr. Isis and Juniper Shoemaker; it makes me nervous and jittery, although I can turn on the charm as needed and doing so has gotten me out of many scrapes. As such, writing this is somewhat difficult.
It has become starkly apparent that it would be prudent for me to start looking for another job. This isn't due to problems within the lab or with my boss, we all generally get along quite swimmingly and do some really awesome science and I have been lucky enough to get the responsibility to plan, coordinate, execute, and quantify some rather complex experiments. Unfortunately our science doesn't yield publishable results very quickly, and because of this (at least in part) we're not sure how much longer we can keep the lab open. We've been waiting with panicky, bated breath to hear back about the latest grant applications. We're still waiting. I've been nervously checking our reagent stocks and material supplies, questioning whether we really need something at that very moment. Every experiment I have been planning has been as cheap as possible, and I've been afraid to start new projects because I fear wasting precious reagents if it doesn't work. Despite this I have learned a LOT in this job, not least of which has been how to clean up and reorganize the lab's legacy of messy pack rats.
But my boss pulled me into her office today to let me know that, since we've yet to hear about current grant applications, it might be in my best interests to start looking for another job.
I'm hopeful that, what with ARRA and the NIH getting more funds for challenge grants, people will be hiring again. I'm fortunate to live in a town with lots of biotech, both academic and industrial, which is rare enough in the Midwest. Nonetheless, I'm still somewhat at a loss. I mean, I've been looking at the postings, trying to reassure myself at the slightly increased rate of local postings, but still: I really like the work I've been getting to do*. But liking what I've been doing doesn't buy food or pay for rent.
So how best to move forward? Nothing is set in stone here, it's all risk management. But how can I formulate my resume or format my experiences to make then extra shiny? I know that I should personalize the objective in my resume when possible (most internal institution job postings do not include a PI or lab name). But what else can I do? Essentially, how best can I sell my skills and potential to PIs hungry for data?
Let me know what you think, if you'd be so kind. I'd really appreciate it.
*It helps to have an early bird boss who understands that I'm irredeemably a night owl.
Music for the Revolution
4 weeks ago