Archive for: December, 2014

On missing data

Dec 28 2014 Published by under ideas, life in the lab, life in the office, new job

I miss data. In my current dream job the small non-dreamy part is not being in the lab myself anymore. So I don't pipet 96 wells plates anymore, I don't do western blots anymore (my favorite molecular biology technique because of all the playing with water), I don't do surgeries anymore and I don't patch cells anymore. As you can see, this isn't really about data (cause I do get to play with other people's data), but rather about performing experiments. And these past couple vacation days during the holidays I found a reasonable alternative to the focused-but-absent-minded state that doing lab work can bring: I taught myself to crochet.
So next time someone asks: "how do you handle missing data?" I will answer: "I crochet."

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Twelve months of InBabyAttachMode

Dec 17 2014 Published by under blogging, moving, new job

To follow DrugMonkey's good example, here's my end-year wrap up post. It has been quite a crazy year for me. The first four months I was still at my wordpress blog, and then in May I was invited to join Scientopia, where I am very happy to blog now!

January: Yesterday, Scicurious wrote a very honest post about how she thought that she didn’t have enough ideas to write grants and stay in academic science.

February: This time I want to talk about finding a post-doc mentor.

March: From when I just started grad school I knew I wanted to do a post-doc in the US.

April: The Netherlands has had its fair (or more than fair) share of scientific fraud.

May: I have started my new job today, so my whole day is filled with meeting new people (and lots of them, I just attended a lab meeting with maybe 50 people in the room), learning about new science, finding out where my new milk-pumping-room is, aaaaaannd (drumroll please): a new blog here at Scientopia!

June: If your Friday is going as crappy as mine (a so far unsuccessful struggle to get a new piece of equipment to work), then I have some good advice to make sure you still walk out of the door feeling like you've accomplished something today:

July: This is going to be a short post as I am writing it with Little Brother on my lap on my day at home (yes, part-time work in academia is a thing in the homecountry).

August: After I wrote my post about why I chose to leave academia, I fell into the rabbit hole when I started to read more of the #quitlit, as the genre is called, that is out there.

September: This week I started working in a company.

October: Today I heard that someone wanted to nominate a woman in science for an award for women in science.

November: This is a subject that has been discussed ad nauseam both off- and online, but it's also something that I have been struggling with lately which is why I decided to add one more post to the exhausting body of literature on this: how to make sure that people at work take me seriously?

December: In my company, and probably every other large-ish company in the world, employees are offered these workshops* where they learn what kind of personality they are, with the idea that that makes people communicate better with each other when they know each other's personality type.

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HR: not just for your paycheck

Before I moved to industry, I never realized that Human Resources does more things than giving you your paycheck and make you fill out a billion forms. Now, in the company that I work in, HR does a whole lot more. Not only do they do those personality tests that Chall just wrote a post about today, they also make help all the managers manage people and they try to make sure everybody has the job that they can perform best in. Because like our HR manager said yesterday:"There is nothing more fulfilling work-wise than to do the job that makes you bike* to work faster and with a smile on your face each day". In order to make sure everybody has that job, there are individual development plans and training to make sure you can be in the job that you want to be in.

I never realized HR did all these things and I wonder if academia wouldn't benefit from more of this? Or does that already exist and I just never knew it did? I know that in my previous university there were trainings but only for people with tenure - which seems a little late if you want to discover exactly what that job is that makes you bike to work faster. Or is this just too expensive for most universities..?


*Cause as you know everybody bikes here, even if it rains every single day these days.

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True extroverts: do they even exist?

Dec 09 2014 Published by under industry, life in the office

In my company, and probably every other large-ish company in the world, employees are offered these workshops* where they learn what kind of personality they are, with the idea that that makes people communicate better with each other when they know each other's personality type. For this post, I just want to stick to the distinction between introvert and extrovert people, as yesterday I heard a talk about the power of introvert people**. This is kind of a hype, as the world used to revolve around extrovert people.

For me, people usually think I am an extrovert, but really I'm not. I am an introvert at heart, who learned how to behave as an extrovert. I like people, but not too many at once and not too unfamiliar. And me being my own reference point, I wonder if there are people who are true extroverts? Are there people who really always get energy from being around other people? People who like to work in groups rather than by themselves? I always sort of thought that everybody just faked this, but maybe I'm wrong?

*I haven't had my workshop for this yet, so I am still blissfully unaware of how to communicate with people ;-).

**Not by Susan Cain by the way.

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