Friday, July 27, 2007

The post-doc oath

I am gearing up to start my new phase in life. I am excited about the science, and at the prospect of living in a new city etc. but over the past year I've read and seen enough post-doc disillusionment/complaining that make me expect very less in terms of quality of life. But I'm made a few resolves for myself, lessons learned from my grad school experience and seeing other post-docs around me that I want to put into use when I start.

1. I will not procrastinate. Procrastination is for grad students. I am a post-doc. I will provide my P.I. with drafts before he asks for them.

2. I will not let new techniques intimidate me. This happened to me a good bit as an early grad student, but not anymore! I will remember that I brought several techniques to my Ph.D lab and standardized them all by myself.

3. I will be professional. Report to work at the same time (preferably early ;) )everyday. Keep a neat desk. I got away with a lot being the only grad student in my ph.d. lab, and a lot of space to myself. This new lab is going to be very different, lots of people, little room and my disorganization can affect others.

4. I will have a life outside lab. :p

5. I will not eat vending machine meals anymore. Again, that was for grad school. As a post-doc, I will carry my lunch box everyday. Hah!

6. I will never give my P.I. a draft containing mistakes I am aware of. I did this sometimes during my Ph.D., often because I was just sick of the manuscript and wanted to send it off to my boss. But my post-doc advisor looks up to me as an expert. I cannot get away with that any more.

7. I will take full responsibility for myself and not wait for my advisor to dictate my research direction entirely.(I never did that as a grad student either, but have seen post docs suffer from this problem)

8. I will be self-aware and people-aware. I am making a big move from what used to be a one-person lab for the longest time to a huge bustling lab. I cannot be oblivious (as I often tend to be) about people and vibes around me.

9. I will try to make friends outside of work to socialize with.

10. I will start working towards a paper after a couple months of "settling down and learning my way around" time, not later.

11. I will refrain from using the "This is the first time I'm doing this. I'm new to this" excuse for every damn thing. While sometimes understandable, I will do my homework and draw from years of trouble-shooting experience as a grad student.

OMG OMG OMG I'm so exciiiited! :)


sd said...

Wonderful list there! Best of luck. My hunch is that you will carry yourself with great aplomb(except for #5 may be!)!

Pri said...

its pretty shocking how you and i
co-exist on the same planet.

Rebellion said...

hehehe. Its nice to see you so excited. Sure you'll do all of them Lajjo. Wish you all the luck :)

Tachyoson said...

try as one might ... there are always things that you will be new to .... hey thats what made you take up your line of work, right? .... however let it not be an EXCUSE ...

hope you dont overwork to the extent that #4 and #9 become unworkable ... that has been my sad lot since i grew beyond college.

Shek said...

#11 is probably the most important. I am working on that one too :D

ferret said...

LOL at pri :D
all the best for #1 :)

Prashanth said...

Does this mean you are going to arrive at office everyday at 8:30am to a clean desk with a lunch box and a water bottle? Really? I mean, REALLY?

Mosilager said...

and remember - no weekends in lab, home at a reasonable hour etc. wait, that's number 4. ok you've thought of it all.

Veo Claramente said...

good luck, have fun and bookmark this post :)

Karan said...

That looks like a long list.

Good luck ma.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

thanks for the vote of confidence. :)
yes, i think #5 is going to be a challenge, let us see. if it helps, I know the cafeteria in my new place sucks.

LOL. because it takes all kinds? ;)

thanks babe.

so true. i know I am going to get carried away at work, but I am going to try and keep a balance.

ya think? I think #1 is, for myself.

yeah babe, thanks. i need that.

LOL!! yeah, realllyyy!!
are you going to come check on me? :o

how ya doing? heheh, i can't promise that there won't be all-nighters, but.. :p

yeah, thanks. I think i'll keep this post on the top of my blog permanently. :p now that's a lot of pressure, everyone has read this!

p.s: thanks for the tailor reference. i only found a "romance tailor" no roma tailor. but i think i'm going with taruni silks in paradise now. ymca is also really far from where i live.

p.p.s: my hairdresser's name is harshita in banjara hills, but last i heard, she's moving to bombay! :/

hi karan!
yes, it's a long list. i'll keep this blog posted with my progress. :p. thanks, i need all the luck.

Anonymous said...

Follow 4 and 9 religiously.. I dont care about the rest! :)

Mosilager said...

heh, fine, enjoying the whole half-doc life (aka temp postdoc in phd lab while looking for a real postdoc). Since it's summer there's cricket, football, and the SLR I got with the first postdoc salary to keep me busy.

Janefield said...

all the best, babe! knock the socks of philly's social set and at work :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

righto ma'am!

sounds like fun! I haven't seen a paycheck in 3 months now. congrats on the SLR!

thanks babe. :)