I Am Kurious PostdocPosted: January 25, 2013
Filed under things only the internet can provide. What does it all mean?
- I have not been blogging much lately. Just one of those phases where keeping up with all my worrying, vacationing, and keeping my ass covered in the lab becomes too much.
Oh, and I had a job interview – the full-on campus experience. And while it was of course a tsunami of stress in preparation, the actual trip was – and I still can’t believe this – amazingly fun. Here’s something unexpected about job interviews: they already treat you like a colleague. It is really mind-blowing to not be treated like a postdoc for 2 days. It’s like going to a conference where the theme is you and everything you’re interested in.
I think it went well. I previously complained at length about departments stressing some nebulous notion of “fit.” I am very happy that, on this occasion, I could be completely honest and be myself, because I love everything about this job and department, from the research, the people, the lab sizes, the research/teaching balance, the location as a long-term place to live, the likelihood of spousal career opportunities. (Or do I suspect that SC members might know this is my blog, and I am even now trying to curry favor? Can you ever real know anybody? Think about it.)
In fact, so welcoming and calming was the whole experience that I think I was no more nervous at my talk than I am giving talks here, and much less nervous than when I have given talks at meetings. I remembered to look at the audience. There were good questions to which I gave good (I thought) answers. I have no regrets and think I did the best I could at the talk and all the discussions. There were a couple people I felt I had to “win over” and I think I did so to the extent I could… others seemed on my side already and they were great to talk to. So: I think I did my part. I can’t control the rest of it.
Quite a few IRL people helped me prepare and gave detailed and thoughtful feedback on my talk. But I also got amazing, indispensable advice about interviewing from all these Inter-peeps, and for the rest of you on the job market: THIS IS REALLY GOOD ADVICE. They know what they are talking about, and the best preparation tool was taking their advice. You already know more than anyone else in the world about your science, so the final thing you should do as prep before an interview is read their advice about interviewing, giving a talk, and the chalk talk. Here, in particular, I want to thank all those PIs and professional scientists who take their own time to e-mentor the science internet and helped me in particular on Twitter, this blog, their own blogs, and comment sections of still more blogs (and I’m probably forgetting some, sorry): Doc Becca, Steve Shea, Gerty-Z, Prof-Like Substance, Drugmonkey, qaz, Bill Hooker, Namnezia, DrLabRatory, Dr Isis, Zen Faulkes, Physioprof, Jason Snyder, Labroides, Cedar Riener. Spiny Norman, Potnia Theron, Alex. If only there were some way to give each of you a massive bouquet made of cantaloupe, I would do that.
Whatever happens, I will know I had the best possible advice and can only loathe myself. As my hairstylist said, and I quote, “If you get the job, it’s because of me, if you don’t, it’s because you’re a fuckin’ loser.” Salt of the earth.
(Also thanks to all the other trainee/OTM types for moral support… a separate shout-out is due and will come at some point.)