Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fool me twice.....

So today it will happen....the word coming down is that my particular biotech position - you know the one I left a long academic career for hoping for better job stability - will be terminated. Yup, after a banner year on my part for the company, I'm about to be axed. What you probably don't know is that this happened last year just about this time but when the company president got wind of the firings, he reversed that decision and demoted the person who made that decision. That won't happen again this year - the difference probably being the economy. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice....well maybe shame on me for not pursuing other possible job options during this past year.

So I find that I now have to ask "what can I do"? I can try to get back into academics but SciDad and I felt that one person scraping for NIH dollars was enough for this family. So I will look at different ways to use my academic research background OR I may decide to dump science all together and see what sort of life I can eek out coaching figure skating more or less full time.

It promises to be an interesting, albeit challenging start to 2009.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My New Year's Resolutions

I don't often make resolutions at the beginning of the year but this time, it seems appropriate. Here are my top 4:

1. PUT MYSELF FIRST MORE OFTEN: I do have this tendency to take care of everyone else and put everyone's needs before mine. Last year taught me that if I don't find some time to do some things for just me, I may never get around to it. I'm learning from SciDad who bought a motorcycle a few months ago and now once a month, he informs me when he's going for a ride with some pals. He loves it and I don't begrudge him that time but I'm terrible at taking that kind of time for myself. This year this will change. It will feel selfish and I'll tell myself it's OK.

2. MAKE TIME FOR A ONCE A MONTH DATE WITH SCIDAD: Another selfish one but it follows my first resolution. We never go out together just us. Despite always saying we're going to do it, neither of us makes it our job to see that it happens. I will take this one on because if I do, it will happen.

3. EXERCISE 2x A WEEK: I know from a breast cancer, diet and exercise study I was in last year that I'm pretty good at getting in 2 workouts a week; 3 I never seemed to make. One of these I want to be an hour of ice skating. I was on the ice several times with my kids over the holidays and I really enjoyed it. After my treatment was over, I stopped working out all together and all the weight I lost of chemo came back.

4. TRY TO SPEAK MORE PATIENTLY TO THE KIDS: Life is crazy, even more so now that I'm back traveling for work. I can be short with them sometimes when they really don't deserve it.

There it is. Maybe since I put these in writing, they'll actually stick. I have already acted on #1 when I hired our housekeeper to come every week instead of every other week. If we have money for a motorcycle payment, we have the money to help me out with cleaning and laundry. And yes, SciDad supported my decision.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Waiting for the Shoe to Drop

It's now 2009 and I'm doing something that I hate doing. I'm waiting to see what my company is going to do with respect to my job. This is something I never experienced as an academic scientist. With the economy in a tailspin, obviously companies are looking for ways to trim costs. As I support a product line in the life sciences division of a company whose bread and butter is clinical diagnostics, we're always on the bubble at the beginning of the year. In fact last year at this time, I had been fired and rehired all in a span of 48 hours and only 8 months after making the jump from academics to biotech! How's that for instilling confidence in one's job choice.

Despite going through treatment for breast cancer in 2008, I had a great year with the company and exceeded my goals. This experience speaks to the great group of colleagues I worked with. But it also shows how my personal circumstances required me to refine my focus and organizational skills. Even with that however, I still sit here worried about whether I'll have a job in the next few weeks.

I sometimes think about returning to academics but I'm not sure I want that grant-writing panic again. But then here I am sitting here worrying about my current job anyway. Oh well, the shoe will drop eventually.