My current position only lasts a year. (It’s a visa issue and oh boy does everyone involved wish I had the legal right to stay in this country.)
When you’re a postdoc on the job market, you apply for anything and everything. Last year I learned from some of my mistakes — I had both aimed too high and too broad — but I was still expecting a long, stressful process.
But, um, looks like maybe not. Job application #4 turned into interview #2 has turned into “informal job offer” #1.
Now, on the one hand, this is weird. I am not a good candidate for this job. Yes, it’s in my field, broadly defined, but this PI was asking for some subspecialities which I clearly don’t have. And yes, I wrote some BS in my cover letter about being able to quickly pick up those skills, but this PI should be able to have his pick of postdocs; he should be able to find someone who already has those skills, not someone who will have to learn those skills. Furthermore, between having a serious chronic illness and the fact that my PhD pretty much sucked, the recent portion of my CV is terrible. I am a walking, talking red flag. Yes, I am very good at my current job, and I was very good at my old job, but he’s considering hiring me to do something else entirely. Objectively, it’s very odd.
On the other hand, assuming this job actually materializes, it would be two more years of employment, as a postdoc, in a country with socialized medicine. I’m not the most excited about the project, but I do have a relevant skillset, and I’ve asked around — this PI checks out both professionally and personally. It would mean living farther away from my girlfriend, but not absurdly so, and we’re both okay with some long-distance. It would mean that I can stop spending time applying for jobs, stop spending energy worrying about jobs, channel that emotion into resurrecting my CV and spending time with my girlfriend while I can.
I talked to my current supervisor, and she thinks that I should take it. (This was a really good conversation. Having awesome supervisors is so great.)
Possibly relatedly, given the stressy tone of this blog post, I’ve decided not to go off the anxiety-inducing Wonder Drug, at least for now. I like being in less pain. I like having more energy. Is anxiety an issue? Sure. Should I be concerned that this anxiety is becoming increasingly normalized? Probably. I’m seeing a new therapist tomorrow; we’ll see if I click with her.
I’m also aware that I haven’t had very much social interaction recently. I’ve been alone in my office for most of this past week, and my girlfriend and I weren’t able to see each other over this past weekend. (Chronic illness with severe fatigue issues -> not much opportunity to make friends outside of work.) I’m one of those people who gets really unhappy without regular human contact; isolation and its toll on my mental health was a major problem during my PhD fieldwork. I think/hope I’ll be happier when my officemates get back from their various travels?
I guess my point is this: sigh. Why can’t life be easy?