Not suited to research??

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Postby D.B. » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:56 am

When I changed labs, I also missed the great group of people (7 of us). It took me four months to really get over it and I still miss them from time to time. If you really feel isolated in your lab, I suggest you try to join post-doc activities that are offerred by your institution. Or maybe there are a few other post-docs next door (in anonther lab) that you can talk to or have lunch with on occassion. You might find a good friend and get some good advice. Good luck.
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Postby Baoloa » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:18 am


You have a lot on your plate at the moment, and the advice to try to keep your current job for the time being seems fair, if difficult... However, just to ease your mind on one thing, though: you don't need the job to maintain legal status in the US since you are married to a US citizen. However, you do need to file a small amount paperwork before your current status runs out. This avoids some major neadaches later.
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Postby L. D. » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:24 am

I'm so sorry to hear this latest update. I think that for now, because of the pregnancy, you need to stick it out in the lab. Did your P.I. give you concrete ways to improve your work, or just the old you aren't working hard enogh? I would work with him if possible (I know it's not always!) on a concrete plan of what you will be doing for the next few months. He's probably looking at your working and rightly thinking that the output will only drop off once you have the baby. Possibly offer to work on a different project, one that needs another set of hands, just so he can feel that you are back to being productive. Also discuss the plan for maternity leave. Be as up front and organized as possible
I would not tackle the adjunct thing until after the baby. You say that the class is only 3 hours a week- that's in class time. That doesn't count the hours to prep each lecture, write and grade tests etc. Teaching is a time consuming an demanding job. I think that taking on a new baby,. teaching, and lab work all at the same time is setting yourself up for disaster.
Finally, take a deep breath, this happens to lots of people. My nasty PI recently gave me 6 weeks notice that he wasn't re-upping my fellowship. Luckily I had already started looking for other things. Keep us posted, but right now I would focus on what you need for the next few months, untill the baby comes and your husband finds a new job.
L. D.
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Postby Kelly » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:53 am

I know it seems impossible to go into a job everyday that makes you miserable. I have been in that position (a project that the PI would not let me drop, that I knew was going no where and I had no interest in the outcome one way or another). But the PI was paying half my salary/benefits, I need those so I had to stay on the project. The only other option I was given was to live on half salary and lose benefits.

So I "de-invested" my emotional self in the project. I was still trying to make it work and hoped that it would but I adjusted my expectations to what the previous 2-3 months had taught me: this project was a deadend.

We have to do this a lot; to decide which components of our life we are going to allow to impact on us emotionally. Let's look at your upsides:

On a personal level,
1. you have a spouse/a supportive relationship. Those are very difficult to come by and they are a blessing.
2. you have a child on the way; one of the single most exciting days in all of your life is right around the bend.

Try think about your current job in the context of what it does for those two very wonderful aspects of your life.

3. you now KNOW what you want to do (teach). It can be frightening to leave the bench but now you know what you want to do, and you figured it out without all those long years of post-doc. Some people spend 6-7 years in post-doc before deciding that bench work isn't for them. You figured out early; that is a huge thing. Very soon you can move on to crafting the life you want.

The next couple of months will be rough. But if you can focus on what is coming right around the bend in 6-10 months, you can stay sane. Next year at this time, you will have a teaching job you want, a healthy child and this next interval in the lab will be drowned out by the sunshine of your new life.
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