Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

Moving Forward


BryanJaz
 Share

Recommended Posts

Day 100

I have way too much time on my hands during the week and it's starting to get to me. I don't have a job yet and the job I had an interview for emailed me last Monday saying that they still had interviews they were conducting through Wednesday the 23rd, and that they would email me by the end of that Wednesday on what next steps may entail. I haven't gotten an email from them since that Monday and I have no idea what to think. I assume that I didn't get the job because I feel like they would have reached out by now but at the same time they haven't told me that I didn't get the job so... It's fuckin frustrating to be in this limbo state especially because they said they would email me and then didn't. I'm confused as to what I should do because if I email them asking wtf is good, I don't want to come off as impatient but if I don't email them I don't want to come off that I'm not interested in the position. I understand that it's the holidays (the COVID holidays) and things are probably crazy but if you tell someone that you are going to email them and then don't that's a pretty shitty oversight considering how it's after the 2 stages of interviews not just like not hearing back after applying. It makes me feel like they just forgot about me and chose someone else. But I also feel like they could be still deciding...Idk its whack either way and I am very much over the job seeking process. I feel like I am just going to go through a recruiting company and get a contractor position for a little while. 

I was also looking to explore possible PhD programs but have been feeling like I might be rushing the process. I have heard that after your first year, it ends up being an extremely stressful experience that is more based on flawed systems like how many peer-reviewed citations you have and the ability to obtain grant money rather than actual science. I find that to be discouraging because I am not a money-driven person and will never be able to sell-out. I want to pursue higher education because I enjoy learning and I want access to instrumentation/faculty. I know that with anything there are always downsides but I have found out that most people are really disillusioned with the current system. I also know that part of my motivation is to avoid the 9-5 life but that is a terrible mindset. I'll have to reflect on it further.

Also, my Microsoft office subscription ran out as I am no longer a student so I haven't done anything more with my 90 day reflection. It ended up being more personal than I would have posted anyways but still it kind of sucks because I was gonna trim it down and post it here. 

I do want to make a forum posting but I am nervous about it because it would probably be too personal. I might just end up making the original idea of a 90 day reflection forum but I'm still not sure. Anyways triple digits...Wooohoo!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@BryanJaz Congratulations on 100 days!! 

It sucks that you haven't heard back about your interview yet, especially when you were told you would. That's happened to me a few times in the past too, it's so frustrating trying to decide what is the right thing to do. Limbo is one of the worst feelings in my opinion, I'd much rather know either way so that I can either let go and move onto something else or prepare for a new chapter. Limbo is just drifting, it's an awful feeling. Perhaps it would be worth contacting them, maybe give them a call rather than an email; you could explain that you had been expecting to hear back on the 23rd but that nothing had come through and you just want to check that you hadn't missed anything important. At least that might put your mind at rest. I hate job hunting too, the longer it goes on for the more demotivating it becomes and the harder it gets to be enthusiastic in your applications, but don't give up, you'll get there!

There really is no rush to jump into a PhD, quite often it's better to have some real-life experience before going back to study, it can really help when deciding what modules/research to pursue. I know a lot of the masters and PhD students at my university were much older and came back after gaining some industry experience. It's hard not to rush into it though when you're struggling to find work, you start feeling like you need to be doing something so you might as well jump back into education. My advice would be to take a step back and give it a really good think, speak to others, even email some course tutors. Covid has caused so much turmoil this last year I don't think anyone is going to judge you for having a longer employment gap on your CV though, if it does take a little while to find something.

I've posted a lot of really personal stuff on these forums over the years and I did end up deleting a few things, but I think it can also be really useful for others to relate to and feel less alone. You could try talking about the personal issues in a more vague way? Describing how you feel but not necessarily delving too much into the details? I think the most important thing is to be able to write it all somewhere to help you reflect - but that doesn't need to be public, and it sounds like you have already done that too. I think the 90 day reflection thread is a great idea though, or just a reflection thread in general to write in at other milestones too, or after relapses. I know there is a relapse thread but I'm not sure how much it is used for reflection purposes, I think perhaps it's more geared for support? 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey @BryanJaz. As far as your interview is concerned, there's probably no harm to reaching out again, but don't get your hopes up. That happens all the time, even that late in the interview process. They also might have a first choice and are negotiating with that person before you, which in that case means they might not respond in the first place, but they might still consider you. So whatever you choose to do, take any response or lack thereof with a grain of salt. HR people don't have time to respond to every applicant, even at that stage.

As someone who also thought they were going for a Ph.D. immediately after college, I can't say I'd recommend it. After undergrad, I went straight into a master's program with the intent of going straight for the Ph.D. right after that. I was the lab baby by quite a few years. All but I think one Ph.D. student had industry experience of some kind, which will serve you much better in the long run, especially if you change your mind on the Ph.D. midway through. As a practical matter, part of it is a money issue. I was so financially insecure when I was in grad school all my money went to food and rent. That feeling adds a lot of stress to a job where you are supposed to basically work like an indentured servant for 5 years, and then be expected to work as a marginally better off indentured servant for another 1-2 years, and then work as a underpaid assistant professor for five years making way less than you could elsewhere if you want to stay in academia, and if you're lucky then you have a job for life as long as you don't kill anybody. When the hell was I going to be able to retire, I was the financial equivalent of nearly homeless if it weren't for my parents. If I had even a year or two of savings from a job, at least you can invest it and let it compound interest while you get paid peanuts to do research. 

I think you're on the right track with contractor work/recruiters. If you were like me and didn't have much of a professional network at that point, it's a good way to start getting moving in the right direction. It's an easier in to any job since it's easier to fire you--that's the tradeoff. Also, with your loans coming up, if you don't have one already, consider getting any old part-time job for the time being. It'll help pay the bills, take some of that free time off your hands, minimize the employment gap on your resume (just blame it on Covid), and give you a current reference to vouch for you. 

Good luck man, I went through the exact same thing 5 years ago. It sucks, but once you're in, you're golden.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Bugg I ended up emailing them and got a call not even 1 minute later from the HR guy who has been "recruiting me." He pretty much explained that everyone took off the week after Christmas so they haven't even finished the other interviews and that the next step of the process is a tour/meet & greet with the staff. I feel like it's kind of an odd thing to have as part of the recruitment process but I also think it would be nice to see the lab and meet some of the other people that work there. He also made it sound like everyone just took an extended holiday and that it was basically a ghost town at the office so I'm guessing they interviewed me and maybe a few others and just haven't even thought about the whole process since. Either way, reaching out was definitely the right move because I was having serious doubts about it all and that just ended up making me worried for nothing. 

@Buggand @DaBestAs for the PhD, I was recommended by literally all of my teachers and the head of the department from my undergrad that I should pursue a PhD. I had my own plan, which was to work for two years and pay some loans off/save, then to jump back into it. I ended up getting probably the shittiest job I could've ever landed back in August which I worked for 3 days before quitting. I've talked about it before but I feel like I was experiencing what many describe as a panic attack and it was not something I was going to continue to force myself to do. So, that experience kind of skewed my perception of what working meant right out of undergrad and I felt like I wanted to avoid that at all costs which meant looking for places to pursue a PhD. I've come full circle again, with the help of family and my gf, to realize that all fresh out of college jobs are not like the one I experienced and the place that I got interviewed for is actually something I find extremely cool. I realized I do want to work and that I don't want to jump into a PhD right away. I just feel a bit pressured from my past experiences/what my professors said to me. 

I shall take both of your guys advice and definitely hold off on pursuing one. I know that I would most definitely benefit from higher education as well as enjoy all of the experiences and new knowledge I would obtain but you're right I don't need to rush it. Especially, because I have heard, as was mentioned, that you are basically impoverished and end up working like a slave...and the reasons that you are paid so poorly/what you end up having to focus on (grants, publishing papers, etc.) is simply the way the system is designed. It's so counterproductive to have people who want to dedicate themselves to scientific discovery be so crippled by a flawed system. Anyways, thank you both for the advice and sharing your personal experiences, I know I will be continuing to come back to these posts to reflect on their bearing in my prospective future. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 103

My gf and I slept out in a tent in my mom and stepdad's backyard last night and it was freezing. It was honestly still worth it because I miss camping and we finally got to try out the camping set we bought awhile back even though it is not made for such cold conditions. Last night we hung out with my mom, my stepdad, my brother, and my stepsister and played board games and card games. My stepsister, apparently, is really into Magic: The Gathering which I have only ever played once when a former co-worker invited me over to play. My gf and I agree that Magic might be a good alternative to video games because it retains a lot of elements that I enjoy about games without being something that is so accessible. I'm wary about it, though, because I keep coming back to this idea of consuming and distractions. Even though I don't drain my days away with gaming and I am still stuck in this waiting period before potential work, I feel like I am still just passing time. I end up reading for hours upon hours most days when I am at my current living situation, and when I go to my mom's I end up sitting on the computer, watching YouTube for hours. There is never much time where I am not consuming something...and it has started to bug me. I feel like even if I were to create something through painting or whatever that I would run into a similar issue, although I feel like it is harder, or maybe I am less accustomed, to creating for hours on end. Also, I want to create/tinker/mess around in a laboratory setting but I simply don't have the space, equipment, or money to buy any of that. So, I end up reading to continue my education in chemistry but it's not the same. I sincerely miss the lab, all the instruments, glassware, chemicals, and most of all...the mindset associated with "thinking scientifically" or thinking in chemical terms/abstractions. I miss learning and working with my hands while complementing that with writing in a notebook and thinking about what is happening on a molecular level. I understand that I need to continue being patient however, the more time I spend alone reading and waiting, the more I get drawn into playing games. This is a difficult situation to balance and COVID is like the nail in the coffin for most people. I know I just need to be patient but I also feel like I am missing something. I want to keep reflecting on the issue and see how everything feels in a few days.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Welp, it's been about six and a half weeks since I fell off the wagon. I made it to day 105, two days after my last journal entry and then my gf and I kinda geeked out and tipped the scales in the other direction. She got a switch, I bought civ6 and DOS2 on steam and we started playing a good amount most days. It was actually enjoyable at first, I had a lot of fun playing mario kart and DOS2 with her and then trying to learn civ6 on my own. But then I started playing league again and I think it kind of led to gaming taking back over. It hasn't been day in, day out non-stop play but there were bits of time that I just let go and played all the time. My justification was that I was STILL waiting to hear back from the job I wanted and it was the middle of winter during COVID. Tbh, there really was only so much I could do because I was stuck in a limbo state for way longer than I was expecting. However, gaming has made life feel dull and boring again, sapping out the energy from me and leaving me constantly wanting to come back to it. Even Civ6 which is not a game I would find addictive...has me coming back even when I'm not enjoying it. 

Anyways, I did end up getting the job after about a two and a half month process and I'm excited to start in 10 days...which is why I am starting back on a detox. I feel like I did the 90 day one with relative ease this time but the fact that I jumped right back into gaming makes me slightly more nervous than confident about my handle on things. So I want to do things a bit differently this time. Oh and I finally have internet at my house so I can be as consistent as I want without needing to half an hour back and forth just to do a journal entry. 

To start, I am quitting LoL indefinitely but I will be keeping track of how many days I've quit for... just to have a number to it. On top of this, I want to use these entries more as a log than a journal so I will be doing more of a habit tracker style. I have a written journal for my own personal stuff and I think that's best kept separate. For the online journals, I will be keeping track of how many days I've made it and how much time I spend on certain activities. I feel like now that I will have structure to my day and income that this time it will go even better than the last. Starting off I am going to be tracking: LoL, alcohol, sugary drinks, workouts, meditation, yoga, and sleep. My goals are as such: No LoL for a year (forever, but tracked for a year), 90 days without alcohol and sugary drinks, 1 small workout a day with 4 normal workouts a week, 1 hour of meditation before bed every night (at least every night that makes sense), 1 hour of yoga every morning (same as meditation, and at least 7 hours of sleep a night (in bed by 930-10). 

I also want to keep track of my reading and what books I want but I'm gonna wait until I finish the current book I'm reading. 

For these 10 days, I will be doing no games whatsoever but after that I will probably allow switch games because I only ever play them with my gf and it is usually pretty infrequent. Once, the 10 days are up I'm gonna be doing this relaxed detox for probably 60-90 days but I'm not sure yet...I want to see how I feel with my new job. Either way it means no solo gaming at all. Even though I feel like I could balance civ out (after a small break), it's not something I want to tempt myself with right now. Once the relaxed detox is done I have a good feeling that I will be in a solid place to decide how much I want to involve or exclude gaming from my life. To Moving Forward

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sorry that you relapsed, that's never fun. Hopefully this new plan works out for you. I just want to say though, that as much as it sucks that you relapsed especially after a streak of 105 days. I want you to think of how much you accomplished, you were able to reach 15 days over the intended goal, you got a job and all the other things you accomplished during your detox (haven't read it yet, will do that though lol). I feel doing this will help make things easier and will hopefully switch your mind off games during this new detox. overall try your best to focus on the positives every day.

Good luck

Best

Jason

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share