27 and a PhD

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Daily Archives: August 18, 2011

Looking back at the first weeks at work

Konichiwa bitchez, to borrow my new favourite phrase. How are you doing? I’ve been busy and doing tons of new things at work, trying to find my place within a new organization and trying to keep up. Though lately it’s been very quiet, so I’m hoping to have some time on some of the instruments in the lab that I’m not familiar with and see what they’re all about.

Work is good, I can honestly say that almost two months in I’m feeling happy I made the move (except for the fact that honey and 27andaphd-kitty aren’t with me). I try to spend most of my day thinking and focusing on work, because I may burst in tears if I think too much about missing hon and kitty. I know sacrifices have to be made to move forward, but it sucks not to have your best friend by your side at home (well, the apartment, home is still Canada for me), or in school.

I’ve been trying to keep busy by signing up for discussion groups, training sessions, etc. I’ve been trying to do the same with my life outside the lab. I’ve gone to a couple of small, but very interesting events, like a film festival (featuring robots!!!), getting to know the city and my surroundings, getting used to taking public transportation and living on a whole lot less.

In a strange way I feel happy (well, except for when we have staff meetings, which are long, and boring, and sometimes tense, but heck, something had to give right?). I’m getting used to talking to vendors, asking technicians how things work, and helping users. It gets crazy at times, especially when someone new comes in and they want all your time and attention, yet you have to answer the phone, and remember to send the chemical inventory to the main office, oh and sign up people for an instrument because the scheduler is down and you’re one of the ones who has behind-the-scenes access to things.

Things feel rewarding and I hope I go up from here. I still have to learn to get out of my shell in the lab and ask my (extremely nice) co-workers to show me equipment they know, especially all the bugs and ways to work around. The only person that worries me a bit is my boss, and that’s because there may be some micro-managing issues that may not go as well with me. My guess is that I have to learn to tame that lion, much like I did in school back when I was a student.

I like the city and sometimes I pinch myself thinking that I’m a short ride away from several awesome places. Food is good, I’ve made friends, and I found an apartment (with a roommate, let’s hope I survive, I’m extremely picky but she seems nice). Now my next big hurdle is saving $$$ to move my things from Canada to here. We’ll see when that happens.

Another cool thing is that social media is super awesome, so I’ve been able to meet with tweeps I’d known for some time, or just met. All of them, in one way or the other have been instrumental in helping to adapt to a new environment, from extending an invitation to dinner, to opening their houses (or balconies) for a beer and a BBQ during a holiday weekend. I’m humbled by people’s kindness and concern for my well-being.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know this update is kinda lame, but I’m taking one day at a time, and enjoying and learning as much as I can, hence my absence from the blogosphere.

One last (but not least) note is that I’ll be guest blogging over at 1DegreeBio. My second entry is up, where I discuss my experience losing a good friend while in grad school and overcoming her death. I hope to write some more on my experience looking for work, what I did, what I didn’t do and other tidbits of life on the fringes of academia.