Relocation woes, give me a grip!

(5 Posts)
lekkerkroketje Mon 15-Aug-16 13:53:13

I'm writing up my thesis and my supervisor is on holiday for the whole summer, so just before we start, I'm an emotional wreck with no sense of perspective grin Please hand me a grip/reassure me everything will be ok!

So, postdoc choices: I was in the amazing position of having a choice. One for 3 years but somewhere I didn't want to live vs an excellent institution in a team I already know that pays three times more. On paper a no-brainer. Except I had no details on #2 when #1 acceptance deadline came up so I made a snap decision and said yes to #2. Now it turns out there's only 1 year of money in #2 and I'll only be paid an assistant salary until I graduate which could be 6 months because of the waiting list at my university. Both needed an international move, but #2 is a really expensive city, so know I'm looking at another year of employment uncertainty worry (who knows what I do in a year) plus not being able to afford to fly back to my husband regularly and probably living in shithole. A year doesn't really give me time to settle, make friends, get papers out, learn the language, anything. I can't really complain at work because I don't want to moan about my next boss since it was the usual rather nepotistic appointment process, and I know I'm lucky to have a job at all and it'll be good for my CV.

I'm just having a bit of a wobble and hoped someone with more experience to tell me it's good for me and I'll get something out of it! Auto-grip handing isn't really working!

Adifferentrationality Thu 18-Aug-16 12:34:26

Of course you will get loads out of it! A year is longer than you think in terms of writing publications - plus you are right to think that a postdoc contract on your CV is a really great start. Plus, you know the team and you like the institution, which is half the battle won already in terms of making friends or networks (and, sadly, the latter is probably the important thing right now).

It's horrible to have so much uncertainty at the start of careers and I really feel for you having to be so far from your husband. This extended period of uncertainty is absolutely awful for people. I honestly think it was way better back in the day where there were far fewer PhDs and more job certainty. But hey - it is what it is, and you are doing all the right things to work the system.

I think the one bit of advice I'd give to an RA is that it really matters to get to grips with the administrative nature of academia. Not fucking up on the basics really makes a difference in terms of how you're seen - you can be ahead of the field in terms of research and publications, but if you reply to students really late on email, fail to return marks on time, and are generally disorganised, that increasingly counts against you these days. Again, we can debate about whether those priorities are right, but such is the nature of modern institutions.

lekkerkroketje Thu 18-Aug-16 18:32:37

Thanks for the kind words!

Theoretically, this is why I'm in academia, for the new people and places. I always said I'd do a couple of post-docs to see the world then quit for a nice stable job hmm Anyway, I gave myself a good talking to, helped by the realisation that I'll be arriving just in time for the ski season grin

Dozer Thu 18-Aug-16 18:35:06

Well that ski location drip feed nails it!

You can do it!

adifferentrationality Fri 19-Aug-16 08:59:56

I'm not jealous, at all.

envy envy envy

It'll be tough at times, and it will feel like time is crawling at those moments - but overall, it will fly by. Good luck. Enjoy it.

Skiing, BAH! SO jealous.

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