Happy 2015!

Happy 2015 everyone! I hope this will be a great year full of whatever you want it to be full of! For me, there are a couple things I want to work on this year, and even though I normally don't really spell out my resolutions, I decided that this year I will.

Personal

Let me start with this one. After a week of vacation where I did NO WORK AT ALL, I found out that the doing no work part was both hard and easy. I noticed that all those years as a grad student and a post-doc had left me feeling that every free minute had to be spend working, or at least thinking of working, or feeling guilty that I wasn't working. This week, I could have worked on a project that needed to be finished before the end of last year (but can really be finished early January too), or on a manuscript that needs to be rewritten, or on a left-over manuscript from grad school. But I decided to do nothing AND enjoy doing nothing. Actually, I still did some useful things, like unpack boxes and organize things from when we moved (way back in April) and learn to crochet. But other than that, it was nice to not work and most importantly, not feel guilty in any way about not working. I need to do more of all that this year. This is not to say that I should work less overall, but more that I need to divide it better: time spent not working also means not ruminating about work-stuff that needs to be done, and time spent working should just be that. Let's see how that goes.

Edit: it seems like I am not the only one who has these kind of work-life balance resolutions for 2015.

Work

During my end year review at work, my most important feedback was that I should improve on stakeholder management, so this is definitely something I should work on this year. When I started my first job I thought stakeholders were only people on the outside that need to believe your work or need to buy your product. But I soon learned that really anybody you interact with is a stakeholder: colleagues, managers, reviewers, etc. These people can be asked for help or at least need to be informed about what you're doing in order to follow your thinking and be enthusiastic - or in the know - about what you do. And I also soon realized that this is something that I've always been bad at: I always wonder if I should ask someone for help or just do it myself without bothering anyone. This has backfired before when I didn't ask my PI to look over proofs of a manuscript and there ended up being a very ugly error in one of the figures that happened when the PDF was made by the publisher. So this year I need to get better at interacting with the people around me at work.

Blogging

Kind of the same thing holds true for my blog as well: I often don't interact with you - my commenters - as much as I would like. Often I write a post and then do a really crappy job answering to comments or keeping the discussion going, because I'm busy with other things I guess. In addition, I still kind of feel like I need to re-find my voice on my blog now that I'm no longer a disgruntled post-doc and after I moved to Scientopia where I kind of feel my blog needs to be more sciency and less babywearing. So I have this New year's resolution to blog once a day for a month. But not this month; I'll just procrastinate a little bit longer and do it in February. Or March 😉

So, dear readers of my blog: what would you like to read about this year? What are things you would like to read more or less of? 

 

5 responses so far

  • Jim Woodgett says:

    I think you are being hard on yourself in defining yourself as "disgruntled". Your evaluations of your situation as a trainee resonated with many in similar positions. Moreover, you didn't just complain, you investigated the options, described the frustrations, tried to understand the reasons (e.g. for grant rejection) and emerged with a positive outcome (at least it sounds as though you enjoy your current position, albeit not the one you might have expected 3 years ago. In fact, you're a prime example of examining and weighing options and moving forward. I think further ruminations on that aspect from your perspective would be welcome in 2015.

    All the best for 2015!

    • babyattachmode says:

      Thanks! I didnt mean that I shouldn't have written so many disgruntled postdoc posts but more that that made it much easier to write posts about :-).

  • Yep, lots of reflective soul-searching work-life-balance blogs out today. A good thing, too. I stopped chasing a phd in education a while ago. life got a lot livelier afterwards.

    The thing you said about answering comments.. that's what i'd like to do more of in 2015. maybe not so much establish a dialogue, but to have what's learned be useful to make something somehow. The more tangible the something the better.

    Anyway.. welcome to 2015. Good luck to us all.

  • […] Last year, I set a couple goals in January and I haven't really written about whether I was able to meet those goals in the past year. My first goal was a personal one: […]

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