– a post by Axon –
It happened. I got a job! In industry. I’m stepping off the academic train and dipping my toe into something completely different. To be clear, the company I’ll be working for is definitely science-related and hired me because of my research experience and my PhD, but they are a for profit company, a start-up working as a team to get things done. Making stuff. I won’t be doing my own research anymore, but I’ll be thinking a lot about other people’s research and consulting about it. Who knew jobs like that existed!
Since I signed the offer, I’ve had this un-locatable stitch in my body. I’m unsettled, antsy. The unknown is looming on the horizon (i.e., Monday) and I can’t keep my hands still. I’m learning that I don’t do very well with the unknown. To cope, I’ve gone shopping. I have my new commuter laptop bag, requisite large wrappy scarf, skinny pants and ankle boots. My armor to slip in unnoticed to my new work place.
I’m hoping I can avoid taking on the start-up culture language. Kill me if I start talking about taking ‘deep dives’ into things, or different kinds of product ‘space.’
Leaving my science community won’t be easy. I think it may be one of the big reasons that I’ve dragged my feet and settled for post-doc purgatory for such a long time. The annual conference that I (and all my lab-sisters and grad school friends who have scattered to across the country over time) usually attend starts in a few days. The Facebook posts and tweets have started: ‘heading off to science-y national conference in sunnytown, USA.’ The texts asking ‘when do you get in?’ I want to yell, “No, wait! I’m coming!”
A friend recently shared with me this truth: when one door closes, another opens…but it’s hell in the hallway. That’s where I am, my metaphorical hallway. Walking into the new open doorway…. I still have a couple of faculty job applications in the fire, but I’m not sure at this moment if there is anything that would convince me to (what feels like now) go backwards.