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! :)