Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Looming Unemployment

One week today will be my last day at the University of Nottingham.  I've loved my time at Nottingham, but this is the nature of ECR research isn't it?

Unfortunately, although I've applied for a number of jobs, and had interviews for most of them, I've yet to secure my next position.  It's a little bit daunting, but I know I'm not alone in being in this between research jobs limbo. So I thought I'd talk a bit about how I'm going to deal with the time off.  If anyone has any experience or advice I'd love to hear your comments.

1. Get up at the normal time

Actually I'm not quite going to do this.  I normally get up at 5.20am so that I can have left the house by 6am.  However, now that my day won't include a ridiculous commute I'm going to let myself stay in bed until 6am.  Ooh, the luxury!

2. Continue Research

I've got a number of research questions that I've been working on over the last few months which still need some work.  The advantage of being a computational biologist (who isn't even working with massive data files) is that it's relatively easy to continue with the research.  The hope will be to continue to publish even though I'm unemployed.

3. Sign up to the Elsevier Postdoc Free Access Passport

I just discovered that if you got your Phd within the last 5 years and your last job finished between 31st Dec 2012 and 31st Aug 2013 you can get free access to science direct. So this should help a bit in the wasteland.

4. Do some other projects

I'm keen to use the time to start some projects that I wouldn't normally be able to fit in.  Firstly, I'm hoping to write a popular science book (aiming to self publish on the Kindle) and secondly I'd like to make a documentary about being LGBT in academic STEMM departments and try and get this funded by Kickstarter (There will be more about this here in the coming weeks).

5. Exercise

I'm always complaining that I can't go for a run first thing in the morning because the commute gets in the way.  Well, there's no excuse any more.  Plus, I think getting out of the house and getting the endorphins going everyday will probably help my mood.

6. Job Search

I'm not going to let this take over my life and I'm not going to apply for jobs I know I'd be unhappy in.  We can survive for a while on my wife's salary and my savings/redundancy money.  However, I am going to spend about an hour a day checking for jobs etc.

So it seems to me that if I stick to this I'll have a pretty busy, productive schedule.  Not sure how I'd have time for a job!

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