Friday, June 27, 2008

what do I want to be when I grow up?

Things went well today. I met with two women involved in the project that I would be overseeing. They were wonderful, very nice and really trying hard to determine whether this was a good fit for both of us. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be offered the job, they asked for my references and salary requirements and by the time I had returned home they had sent me the benefits summary.

I feel really conflicted right now. I may have to make a decision about this job before I know whether the grant that Post Doc Mentor and I wrote will be funded. We're close, but won't know for sure for about 3 weeks!!

I am just now starting to feel like part of the family in my lab. I love the research I'm doing and everyone I'm working with. A year is just not enough time in any one place, and my experiences here are moving me in the exact direction I wanted to go in terms of finding a kick ass tenure track position. However, there are no guarantees that I'd be able to find a job in a location close to home state, never mind home state itself. I would have to go through all the hoopla of an academic job search (which gives me dry heaves just thinking about it), I would have to work my ass off on the tenure track and being leery of feeling settled down. DH would have to change jobs yet again (this is the third state we've lived in since marrying all due to my academic persuits, and we're finally home).

However, non-academic job is really amazing. It's applied research so I'd utilize my 10 years worth of research experience while learning a whole new way of doing things. New analysis, new language (writing for policy makers and stakeholders rather than academics), new research area. However, I will not have the freedom to chose what I study, I would be pretty far removed from the data collection process, and would probably never do another experimental study at least as long as I stay with them. Salary is almost double what I make as a post-doc, and it would guarantee that DH and I would be able to stay in home state. We both long to be close to family and feel settled.

I know, I know right now I don't have either option and I should put off the worry until I have even one offer but we all know that just isn't going to happen. Ugh I hate stress.

I am off to the beach for the weekend with my sister and her kids so there will probably be not blogging for me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

RBOC: Soooooooooo Tired Edition

  • Ran my study today for the first time with new Interns.
  • Interns rock!! Summer participants suck, 8 people scheduled, 3 people run... need I say more?
  • I don't understand the no call/no email/no show. Dude, call me at 11pm and leave a message or hit reply to the email I sent to confirm your appointment and just say sorry can't make it.
  • Another full schedule tomorrow, if only 3 show up I might start pulling people from the street to give my poor interns some running experience.
  • I need to look over the damn homework reports tomorrow night before my interview on Friday.
  • Post Doc Mentor got grant score... it's close... may or may not be funded, won't know for about 3 weeks.
  • YIKES.... I may soon have to make a major job decision, however I'm too busy and tired to think about that right now.
  • YAWN.. I'm going to bed. g'night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In person Interview!

Just got invited for an in-person interview for job interview 1 position. I am psyched, it will be on Friday afternoon.

Had huge migraine and left work early yesterday.

More later...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Noooo the weekend can't be over!!

I still have so much to do to get ready for tomorrow. I am actually helping to run a meeting I did not know I was involved in so there goes 1.5 hours in the morning that I thought I'd have to prep for some training I'm doing in the afternoon. So frustrating!!

I am proud to say that I did not do any work related stuff on Friday (other than the interview), and although I did a little work yesterday I managed to work in about 5 hours of beach time! I so missed the beach, grad school was in a landlocked state and I only saw the beach maybe 3-4 times during my 4 years there. On my list of things I must have for the next move is less than 1 hour commute to the ocean, preferably the Atlantic!

I'm probably going to do some job search stuff tonight too. After the interview flop on Friday and the fact that I haven't heard anything from job interview #1 in 2 weeks I'm starting to feel a little antsy about not having applied for anything in about a month.

I really want Sushi for dinner. I hope I can convince DH that it's a good idea.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Unique thoughts not necessary

Well my interview is over. I think it went okay, having a phone interview with 4 people is really hard and they only allowed 30 minutes so I felt a little rushed to get my questions and answers in.

They really don't do much peer reviewed publishing at all (3 papers in 7 years). In terms of grant writing, I'd basically be reviewing all of their statistics. The director kept saying how it would be nice for the lead researcher (the position I was interviewing for) to come up with unique ideas it wasn't required. Um.. hello, I am a PhD level experimental psychologist, you're not going to sell me on a job where unique ideas are not required.

I don't really get why they aren't looking for a statistician, that's really what they need. Frankly I'm not interested in sitting in an office combing through SPSS files all day, every day.

Oh, and towards the end when I asked about benefits and salary they told me to go to the university affiliated webpage to see about benefits and director said we could talk about the salary privately as their was such a wide range given that a PhD was preferred but not required.
They all seemed very nice and the one person who actually works for affiliated university already kept pointing out how my commute would be so short (I live in same town as university), again, so not the way to sell me on this job. Weird.

Pajama Pants & Flip Flops

That is my wordrobe for my interview today. Doesn't that just scream "I don't give a shit?" I am still exhausted from my week of craziness and just can't seem to muster a whole lot of energy.

Although I did just have a cool thought about how my research interests fit in with this organization, I wonder if they'll even ask about my interests.

I'm going to review my prep materials one more time and then the interview is at 10:30am. I'll do my best to update afterwards, I have a lunch date with my grandmother so it may have to wait until I get back if the interview runs long.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Job Interview Prep

I came home from work today and slept for about an hour, I was so exhausted I felt nauseous. I am so glad that my interview tomorrow is over the phone and not until 10:30am.

I've been prepping for my job interview tomorrow for a couple of hours and I've come to conclude that I really don't want this job. As a matter of fact, I'm no longer quite sure why I applied other than my angst about not applying for anything during long periods of time. One of my main criteria for a non-academic research position is that I can stay active in ways that would allow me to return to academia if I so choose. It seems that this job would not entail producing peer-reviewed publication, presentations at national conferences that would allow me to interact with academics nor does it allow any room for the person in this position to put forth some of their own ideas. From what I've read so far they want a kick ass statistician and public speaker to analyze their data and present their results to the public. Um.. yeah, this is so not me.

I am going to go through the interview, try to keep an open mind in case I'm getting some weirdly skewed picture of this job and try to seem very enthusiastic. After all, even if I don't want them, I want them to want me. :) If the job does turn out to be what I picture right now then I will probably turn down the in-person interview if they offer me one.

Still no word from job interview #1 place, which is starting to get on my nerves. Even if they haven't made any decisions, they could at least respond to my email saying I have questions about the reports they sent me. After all when they sent me the damn million page reports they said "let us know if you have any questions".

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"No real update" update

I am so tired. I had a work party to attend after I finished up my 10 hour ! day of training interns. Tomorrow is the last official day of training and I am so looking forward to being done. I have 10 interns who are my very own team to train for my study, but training 10 people at one time is just CRAZY!! I don't know how I haven't lost my voice, I've been speaking pretty much 10 hours/day for the last 3 days.

No job updates other than I feel stressed about how little prepping time I've had for my Friday interview. I did look up the bios of everyone who will be on the phone tonight, that is something right?!!

Did I mention how they sent me a question that they'll be asking all of their interviewees? I've been slowing making my way through the materials they created last year to come up with a game plan for how I'd approach this project myself. But I've been doing it in such small chunks that I haven't gotten very far in coming up with any sort of analysis strategy. The good news is that I prepped pretty good for the last interview I had (2 weeks ago now) and I can use many of the same questions that I thought of for this interview.

I am getting my hair cut and highlighted on Saturday! I am very excited about this. I am in love with the highlight color "Celtic copper" and I am hoping my hairdresser will be able to find it for me. If she does I'll take pics of the top of my head. :)

Ok, just wanted to give everyone my non-update, now I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is a short day so hopefully I will have plenty of time for prepping after work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

RBOC: the catching up after vacation version

  • Vacation was FABULOUS. I slept a lot, even tried to sleep through thunder and lightening on the beach, my sisters thought this was a bad idea and woke me up.
  • I wish I could have had another day or two, once I was done sleeping off my exhaustion it would have been nice to do something other than sleeping. :)
  • The thing about vacation is that it makes me want to plan my next one. Maybe if I can get a job (or a grant to stay in my current job) DH and I can go somewhere in September. Any suggestions?? :)
  • Came into work yesterday to meet our 20 summer interns. They're great but it's going to be a shit load of work to get them all trained and get our studies up and running. I've worked 10 hours each of the last 2 days, just training these guys, and I have two more days of this ahead of me.
  • Post doc advisor told me yesterday that she had a breakthrough on PD MS 1 and now we have a game plan for which journal we are going to target. She's still working on it and will send it to me soon.
  • Job Interview #2 is on Friday. I received an email from the director on Friday asking for a writing sample (sent MA thesis manuscript that was just published in Feb) and then gave me a question that they're going to ask all interviewees. It required reading material they have generated in the past and coming up with a future analysis plan. It's a good way to get a feel for stuff I'd be doing in this position, however I have no friggen time to deal with this right now so I've been trying to read their past materials during any and all free time.
  • No word from the people from Job Interview #1. I have had a chance to skim through the 200+ page documents they sent me, and sent an email yesterday saying I had some general questions and wondered whether I should email them or set up a call. Frankly, if I'm not going any further in their interview process I'm not interested in discussing the reports. Of course they're isn't any nice way to say that so I'm waiting to see what their response is to the email. A week ago Friday they said they would contact me next week and that did not happen. However, they have been a least a little late in each of their interactions with me so I'm not yet giving up hope that I'll get the job.
  • Post doc mentor has been giving me more and more responsibility lately, supervising new lab manager, training personnel from a collaborators lab, assigning me tutorials for our interns. It makes me wonder whether she's trying to entice me to stay, or just thinks I will if we get one of these grants regardless of my non-academic options.
  • Speaking of the grants, no word yet but it should be VERY soon.

Ok, I have a collaborator phone meeting in 15 mintues and have some stuff I have look through. There is my update thus far, I promise to post more as soon as I hear.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I just did this huge catch up post and it didn't publish!!

I don't have time to re-create it. I am so pissed!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I leave for Florida tomorrow for a little extended weekend with my sisters. Friday includes a spa morning (manicure, pedicure, massage & facials), and the rest of the weekend includes sitting by the pool with drinks in our hands...And occasionally napping. I can't wait. This is the first non-working vacation I've taken since I started my post doc in September and oh boy do I need it.

I haven't decided if I'll take my computer. I am definitely not working, but might want it for directions and stuff while in FL. If I take it I'll definitely post, if not.. until Sunday!

Still no word from last week's interview place. They said they looked forward to speaking to me this week so we'll see, they've been off in timing for most of my interactions with them so I wouldn't be surprised if the contact came next week. I can't decide whether I should email them tomorrow and let them know I'm headed out of town for a few days or if I should just wait and see if they call/email me. I will set my email to a vacation message. Any suggestions about whether I should contact them or not?

Monday, June 9, 2008


I received a follow up email on Friday from the job interview on Wed with some example reports for me to look over. I am on page 23/278 of the first one, the second one is only 234 pages. Holy Shit!! I hope they don't expect me to commit any of this to memory It's generally interesting to see the materials they have to produce, but it's a lot to take in. I wanted to make sure to at least look through some of it as I should hear from them later this week and wanted to have a question or two ready about the reports when they call.

What degree should I get?

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)

You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.

You'd make a talented professor or writer.

Does Psychology count as a liberal art? Hm.. good thing I already got that degree.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's hot...

Drove by a bank around 4:30pm, it said it was 102 degrees out. I'm pretty sure I melted a bit today.

I finally got around to writing and submitting that article review. I'll keep you guys posted on the editors response. I basically followed the advice from the comments on that previous post except I did all I could to also evaluate the science. However, I made it very clear that this article was not publishable in any journal targeting an English speaking audience. And in the anonymous comments to the editor I made it clear that I would only agree to review a revised version if the journal editor could assure me that they had read it and it was free all the earlier writing issues.

I got the supplemental materials from the people I interviewed with on Wed, it's example reports that they have to submit every so many months to give me an idea of what that part of the job would entail. I haven't had a chance to look at them yet but will do it over the next day or two.

The conference was good. It was a really small (<250 people) meeting which was nice on one hand but I'm not really interested in the specific topic the conference was on so it was a little weird for me to be there. It was sponsored by my university and I have two friends from grad school town staying with me so it was worth it to go.

I do find I make some crazy social comparisons when I attend conferences. It makes me anxious about getting my manuscripts out and doing more research. Of course, if I get one of these non-academic jobs this won't be the standard anymore... but then again will I ever be able to kick those comparisons.

Friday, June 6, 2008

RBOC: because I'm too tired to give it to you in real posts

  • Job Interview #1 was actually fun (foreshadowing another bullet here!) . We were on the phone for about 45 minutes and I was so glad they called because the job is so much better than I thought. They're a non-profit research organization and the research I'd be doing for them would be right up my alley, salary & benefits rock, they're way more flexible about what I'd be doing than I ever imagined and it would be an even closer commute than my current job!
  • Heard from people at job interview #1 today with additional materials, email ended with "looking forward to speaking with you next week", I think it's a good sign.
  • Now for Job Interview #2, that's right, I have another interview, this time for a university affiliated research position. This request came through yesterday afternoon. It's a research organization established at another University out of state that is starting up a new branch here in my state so I'll be doing a phone interview with the director on the 20th and they'll do face to face interviews on July 7th for their short list.
  • Mentor told me today that the 2 grants that I am a named post-doc on will be reviewed next week! June is a busy month for me. My worst fear is with all this job buzz right now I'll end up with nothing. Ugh, pessimism sucks! anyway... on to better things.
  • Baseball- way overindulged in my 2 games in 2 nights. I don't know how season ticket holders do it. It was fun though, my team won both games! Can't wait to go again.
  • Have a mini-conference this weekend (it's local) but I am exhausted so I went to the keynote tonight, I'm bailing on tomorrow and I'll go to all the talks on Sunday and see my friends present then too.
  • Next week I am jam packed with participants M, T, W and leave for my sister's weekend in Florida on Thursday so blogging may be light but I'll try and keep up as best I can.

Ok, I'm going to have some pizza and hit my bed soon.

Thanks for all of your well wishes everyone! It's so nice to know there's people out there reading my blog and wishing me well.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I love baseball, went to a MLB game tonight and have tickets for tomorrow too. I know it's keeping me away from blogging but my love for baseball runs deep.

I will say I think the job interview went well. The job rocks and I'm pretty sure I'll take it if offered. Won't know until next week. I'll tell you more about the interview and my thoughts later (when I've had less ballpark beer).


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Weird day

Tomorrow is phone interview day. I have done some research (of course!!) today to prepare. I read through their web page, printed out the job ad and my application materials and prepared a list of what I think are articulate and appropriately interested and enthusiastic questions. I've also prepared some answers to questions I expect they might ask me (and I have my fingers crossed they don't ask where I see myself in 5 years).

In the mean time, my lab is gearing up for our summer research program. We have between 20-30 interns coming in to work in the lab for 10 weeks. I'm stoked because my study will be DONE and I'll have all the data in my hot little hands. But at the same time it was totally weird for me today to do all this planning for the summer (volunteering for training, getting a good study running schedule, offering to do some of our tutorials) knowing that tomorrow I'll be talking to someone about leaving all of this behind.

I wonder how much I'll know tomorrow. I am not expecting to be offered the job with just a phone interview so I'm assuming even if they think I rock, they'll ask me to come into the office. I thought it was a little weird that they asked me for a phone interview when I am local and probably could have just as easily stopped by the office.

10am EST is the interview. I'll try to get on here and post as soon as possible, although I do have participants scheduled tomorrow afternoon so it might not be until later tomorrow night. So no news is not necessarily bad news. :)

Think good thoughts for me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tired and Busy

I ran participants today, back to back with a bunch of RAs. This always exhausts me. Tomorrow is all day meetings to figure out a game plan for the summer. Then Wed is job interview morning. I'm pretty sure I'm going to take the call in my office (need to run participants in the afternoon). Nobody else will be around as they call come in really late.

The good news about the crazy schedule is no time to obsess about the interview. I'm going to spend some time tomorrow going through their website and writing out questions that I want to ask them. It's been a long time since I've interviewed for a real job? Any questions that you think one should ask at every interview, I'd love to hear suggestions?