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venting - oh ffs... looking for work.


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#1 vetticus3

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 04:13 AM

Venting

 

I'm looking for a new postdoc job.  and i'm fed up with being rejected or the reserve or second choice.

nyaahhh.

ok, i got stuck with a project from hell atm, but i've been making the most of it.  i'm being positive and moving everything forward, even when i had the assistant from hell, and no equipment.  i've started working on new topics and had them handed off to new students because they don't have any projects to work on etc etc.  still moving on.  working it all through, all out, getting data for publications... having a manuscript sit on the bosses desk for 6 months, because he likes to play favourites with people in the lab.  fine, whatever... i work late, i start early.  i get things working smoothly.  i got the paper out.

 

after 2 years of struggling, my boss finally saw that the assistant wasn't there most of the time and when he was - didn't do anything.  also my boss finally decided to buy the equipment that we need.  so now that everything is readily available - my contract is ending.  oh but now i'm leaving, i don't have to take care of the equipment - and it's getting dirty and ruined because my replacement can't be bothered to maintain the room.

 

the project i joined the group for - didn't work on it.  why?  because i had to train people constantly - and then repeat their experiments after they left because they made a pigs breakfast of it all.  or someone refused to do the in vivo experiments, and because I have the experience, it falls to me.  not my project, but i can set that aside, right?  so, i've been unhappy - but productive - for 3 years.  i've had a horrible time.

 

now, i'm looking to get out.  and, i've got a pretty good publication record.  i'm bloody good at what I do.  so why the hell am i always the second choice?

I just got passed up on a job that I am *perfect* for - all the experience they need - but they took someone who has "more experience working in fish".  fu.  what they want is exactly what i do - exactly.  what, did the other person teach the fish to dance?  they wanted live cell imaging - i do live cell imaging.  they want signaling pathways, i do signaling pathways. 

 

i've been passed up on mol. biol. jobs because the supervisors think: because i've just finished a fish project, i don't know how to run a western blot.

ok, the guy who is replacing me at my current job doesn't know anything about human cells, or how to do pcrs, etc, but he's charismatic ... so i guess it's alright. 

but, did the pi i applied with even looked at my cv?  it looks like he didn't.  dude, i rock at PCR and chip and nuclear run on...  anway, after that interview, i didn't want to work with him.

 

I just don't know what i'm doing wrong.  compared with the people I graduated with - i have about 3x the number of publications they have.  i have experience in vivo (mouse & zebrafish), as well as pretty much everything else required for a post doc in a molecular biology lab.  i've got poster awards,  i've done speaches at international conferences, and i've won travel grants... the interviews go well... to the point they ask when i could start etc.... but when push comes to shove, i'm always second choice.  i don't understand why i'm always second.

 

they're nice about it... it's always a difficult decision.  but really? 

 

I'm beginning to suspect that the reference i have from my current boss isn't great. 

 

when i first started - straight out of school with nearly no lab experience - i was passed up on a project and was given over to another lab.  years later, that supervisor said he regretted the decision: i was the most productive student the institute had ever seen. 

 

just venting.  need to breathe.



#2 pito

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:20 PM

I just wonder: havent you been to a lot of scientific meetings?

 

Most of the people I know got their post doc/job because of people they met during those conventions...

 

And "that the reference from your boss" ... You only have 1 reference???

 

Anyway, I think you are stressing for nothing... it might take some time... so give it some time.

 

I wonder: are you now looking for jobs outside your home country too? or not?


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#3 mdfenko

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:24 PM

are you sure that when they said they wanted experience with fish they didn't mean fluorescence in situ hybridization?

 

a lot of times job postings are made with someone specific in mind so you would, of course, come in second.

 

have you considered looking for a permanent position rather than post-doc?


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#4 vetticus3

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:20 AM

I have at least 3 references, but i think the one from my current boss isn't great.  he pulled the same stunt with another girl in the lab, and then refused to provide a reference at all.  this is what started me worrying about the quality of mine. 

 

i've been to a lot of conferences, and i talk to the PIs, and they all like me... and say if there a position come's up they'll think of me... but, so far nothing.

 

I think you're right about writing the positions for someone specific... one of the first positions i applied for, and came in second for, was given to a friend of their lab.  they said it was a hard decision - but her previous boss was besties with these guys.

 

i do know the difference between fish and zebrafish.  rolleyes.gif

 

i am stressing over nothing.  i've tried for a couple of permanent jobs, but they said i had too much experience for their openings, but not enough for the other jobs they had.  it seems like they wanted either fresh phds, or someone with at least 10 years experience in a lab. 

 

i've applied in multiple countries... ph34r.png

 

anyway, i was just stressing over nothing.  i spoke to my ex-pi, and he's going to help me out.



#5 pito

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:34 AM

I have at least 3 references, but i think the one from my current boss isn't great.  he pulled the same stunt with another girl in the lab, and then refused to provide a reference at all.  this is what started me worrying about the quality of mine. 

 

i've been to a lot of conferences, and i talk to the PIs, and they all like me... and say if there a position come's up they'll think of me... but, so far nothing.

 

I think you're right about writing the positions for someone specific... one of the first positions i applied for, and came in second for, was given to a friend of their lab.  they said it was a hard decision - but her previous boss was besties with these guys.

 

i do know the difference between fish and zebrafish.  rolleyes.gif

 

i am stressing over nothing.  i've tried for a couple of permanent jobs, but they said i had too much experience for their openings, but not enough for the other jobs they had.  it seems like they wanted either fresh phds, or someone with at least 10 years experience in a lab. 

 

i've applied in multiple countries... ph34r.png

 

anyway, i was just stressing over nothing.  i spoke to my ex-pi, and he's going to help me out.

 

 

Ok: you say they all like you and will contact you... but! (and this is important): have you taken the time to contact them now to inform them about your situation? Do you keep in tocuh with them ? Ask them!

Dont wait too passively!

 

BTW, you pretty much stated it yourself:

I think you're right about writing the positions for someone specific... one of the first positions i applied for, and came in second for, was given to a friend of their lab.  they said it was a hard decision - but her previous boss was besties with these guys.

.....

Read between the lines.. its not that hard...

Often they hire people they know from...

 

Same with you: work your contacts!

 

If I need another job, first thing I do is start talking to the people I know ...... I know many of them are interested in me....

You have to do the same: get in touch... question them... hear around if they know a place somewhere...

 

Reacting on openings is good, but many of these openings are just there because it has to be official, while they already know who will get the job....

 

BTW 3 references? Seems low.. especially for your experience....

A reference doesnt necessary has to be from one that you worked for/with for many years...

I have one person as a reference with whom I never really worked with.. I was just in the same lab as he was and we had a lot of interesting discussions during lunch...but he is one the best references I have since he knows pretty much all the higher placed people in some famous institutes... I know that if needed, he can cal really move something up there for me...

 

I dont like how it works, but its all about who knows who.....

An objective system is not really the system we have.. especially not in science, in a small community where people know people ....


If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#6 Inbox

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 01:30 AM

Many places prefer for fresh PhD students. I don't know logic. Mdfenko is right we have to search for permanent position after certain time, though often its trade off between research interest and job security.



#7 Ameya P

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:12 AM

Hey V, 

 

Hang in there! All this frustration build up always ends well, with the kind of position, you are really interested in. 

 

Just like your PhD, then your post=doc, you need to be persistent and not lose hope! 

 

It is indeed sad that jobs are awarded before adverts and all the effort that one puts into the application seems to have gone in vain. Yet, there will be someplace, which thinks differently, some one who looking for the experience you have and your skill set. You just have to find that lab! 

 

Good luck in your search and always keep us updated! :) 


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#8 pito

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:40 AM

Many places prefer for fresh PhD students. I don't know logic. Mdfenko is right we have to search for permanent position after certain time, though often its trade off between research interest and job security.

Fresh PhD students are often cheaper.


If you don't know it, then ask it! Better to ask and look foolish to some than not ask and stay stupid.


#9 Inbox

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 02:08 AM

@ pito: Is it only reason or it's requirement of new horse to race?



#10 pito

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 02:31 AM

@ pito: Is it only reason or it's requirement of new horse to race?

I dont know how it is in your country, but in my country they are cheaper + easier to get (funds) them accepted by the governement.

 

+ they work harder and often publish more...

 

I have heard this a lot => when they get the PhD ... they "relax" a bit more and do less hours/work.

 

But its mainly a money issue.

Not sure how it is in your country.


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#11 Inbox

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 10:39 PM

In my countryph34r.png  people here are more fond of permanent jobs. Those who don't get permanent position are paid quiet less money and respect.wink.png


Edited by Inbox, 14 September 2013 - 10:53 PM.


#12 vetticus3

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:08 AM

Well... i've been offered 2 jobs.

Which sucks because it's hard to figure out which one to pick.

Job A is in a country I love, with a smal lab, excellent project with a great future, lovely people, and average pay.

Job B is in a country I'd rather not be in, with a small lab, excellent project with a great future, lovely people, and a huge pay increase (50% extra).
 

I figured I wouldn't get either.  Actually, I was convinced I wouldn't get Job A, and thought I could settle for Job B.  I figured I had a tiny chance with Job B.  But they took their time arranging interviews, they took their time with everything.  Then Job A called and in a few days I had an interview and a few hours later was asked to join. 

Anyway, I was going to write to Job B and say thank you for everything, but I should not be considered as i've taken up another position - fully expecting not to have been offered the position.  Well, now they are acting fast.  They wrote and offered the job before I had a chance to withdraw.  blink.png

 

At the time of applying, I didn't realise the difference in pay.  And, money shouldn't be a motivator, but this is a sizeable sum.  Still everything is more expective in Country B.  So, overall, economic factors don't count.  Shouldn't count. 

 

ohmy.png After all this time, now I get 2 offers in jobs that I'd love to work in.  The great FSM is toying with me and I do not like it.



#13 pito

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:28 AM

Well... i've been offered 2 jobs.

Which sucks because it's hard to figure out which one to pick.

Job A is in a country I love, with a smal lab, excellent project with a great future, lovely people, and average pay.

Job B is in a country I'd rather not be in, with a small lab, excellent project with a great future, lovely people, and a huge pay increase (50% extra).
 

I figured I wouldn't get either.  Actually, I was convinced I wouldn't get Job A, and thought I could settle for Job B.  I figured I had a tiny chance with Job B.  But they took their time arranging interviews, they took their time with everything.  Then Job A called and in a few days I had an interview and a few hours later was asked to join. 

Anyway, I was going to write to Job B and say thank you for everything, but I should not be considered as i've taken up another position - fully expecting not to have been offered the position.  Well, now they are acting fast.  They wrote and offered the job before I had a chance to withdraw.  blink.png

 

At the time of applying, I didn't realise the difference in pay.  And, money shouldn't be a motivator, but this is a sizeable sum.  Still everything is more expective in Country B.  So, overall, economic factors don't count.  Shouldn't count. 

 

ohmy.png After all this time, now I get 2 offers in jobs that I'd love to work in.  The great FSM is toying with me and I do not like it.

To be honest, I dont see the problem.

Go for job A

 

I dont understand why you even concider jobB ... they pay is higher, but if the expenses are higher too.. than whats the point...


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#14 Inbox

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:37 AM

yes Job A sounds good. 



#15 Ameya P

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:00 PM

Hey V, 

 

Congratulations, from cribbing about not having enough jobs to two jobs for you, that is massive turn around and that too in a fortnight! Good for you!!!! 

 

So, which one did you take up? 


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