Fieldwork in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Thursday, 21 January 2016

On the (job) hunt/ Scraping the academic barrel

So it’s now been two months since the thesis was finally handed in in all its finished hardbound glory. After the relief of December’s graduation and a chilled Christmas and New Year, the cold harsh reality of having to sort out my future has finally hit.

The last few months were spent doing nothing more taxing than coaxing children up climbing walls and beard cultivation. Therefore, having to sit down at my desk (read: lying in bed) putting the hours in searching for and applying for real jobs has been a serious shock to the system. Almost all of my spare time – that is time not spent at my ‘real’ job as a climbing instructor/coach – is currently spent trawling the websites of various universities with Earth/Environmental Sciences departments, multiple job sites and plugging my details into application forms. It turns out that job hunting is actually like a part-time job in its own right: time consuming, dull and (so far) unrewarding.
The current day job, that's me in the bright orange

Now this isn’t to say that that I’ve not found anything worth applying for, I have applied, and am in the process of writing applications for, really interesting sounding projects. However, every one of my applications has gone along the lines of:

‘Hey, I’m Dr Sam, I really like doing geochemistry of carbonates and stuff and I know things about geology. HOWEVER I don’t really know a huge amount about the specialised stuff you’re doing but it sounds cool and I’d like to give it a bash if you’ll let me’

as nothing so far has completely coincided with my field of expertise. Basically applying for an advertised post-doctoral position seems like trying to extrapolate your very specialist knowledge, really scraping the barrel, to create tenuous links with the very specialist knowledge needed for the project. I kind of feel like anyone reading my applications would think I'd be like this…

So if anyone reading this does know anyone who is looking for a carbonate geochemist with a real interest in using multi-proxy techniques for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction or changing geochemical conditions during formation/diagenesis, please send them my way.

I need a job, like really need one…serious

1 comment: