Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's freezing all around us

My interview for that academic administration job has now officially been cancelled. Just as I was starting to get excited about meeting and interviewing with all the important decision makers, the Institution went into "freeze mode". By that I mean a hiring freeze was put in place across the board. Apparently you can't even hire in a postdoc that you have funding for on a grant. There's no set plan for when this freeze will be lifted but it seems to have been put into place with a wide swipe of the hand. The position I was applying for they really do need someone but maybe now they will look closer within the Institute and promote up. It could open up again in the future but I think I can't count on that anymore.
I'm now in a situation I've never been in before - doing a job I don't enjoy but currently without other options. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful to have a job in this economy. And it's not particularly difficult for me to do this job either. But it doesn't give purpose to my day and that's what always drove me in my academic position. I'm not prepared to give up on my future dreams just yet but I do understand that I'm no spring chicken and the longer I'm in my current position, the less marketable I will be for the types of jobs I would want to do for the second half of my career.
It's an interesting place for me to be. I knew I was gambling when I left my academic job two years ago but it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't be doing something fulfilling. I had great hopes for my move to this company. Although I can look for other positions at other companies, I have a certain amount of "clout" at my current company and I'm not sure it would be smart to move somewhere where I have to build that all over again. Some days I feel confident something good is coming down the pike for me; other days I'd like to turn back the clock and go back to academics.
Thankfully though this week will be a short working week. The family is heading home to New England midweek to celebrate the parental unit's 50th wedding anniversary. It's actually their 51st but they postponed the party last year because I was in the middle of the tough chemo and couldn't travel. I'm looking forward to the party and seeing my parents but not looking forward to schlepping SciYing and SciYang half way across the country.
Honestly I'm turning into such a curmudgeon.

1 comment:

The bean-mom said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the freeze on the academic position.

Something similar happened to me last fall... Not an institute-wide freeze, but the funding for my position was in doubt. I'd applied and received an enthusiastic response... and then silence. When I inquired, they kept putting me off, then finally admitted that there were funding issues and "forces at play" and that they really could't say anymore at the present. I gave the position up for lost, and then about three months after my initial application was called in for an interview after all...

Hopefully the freeze at this institute will end soon and they'll call you up at that point! I know that it's so frustrating... I'm wishing you luck in finding a career path you find fulfilling...

(and have fun at the anniversary party!)