08 February 2010

New Year, New Job, New Start

Technically, I've been at my new job for 4 weeks now.  However, the coming and going of myself and my new postdoc adviser in the first two weeks meant that I really didn't start until the end of January.  The first week Petra, my adviser, was in Ghana until Thursday morning with work.  And the second week, both of us were in Atlanta for separate conferences.  (I was presenting some of my dissertation results at the AMS meetings.)  So I feel like I didn't really start full on until that last week of January, even though I was reading and organizing and figuring out what my postdoc projects would be.

Every Friday, Petra and I have set up a time to meet to go over what I've been doing and what I need to do.  Having a deadline to be responsible for is good for me, and I appreciate having a set time where I can ask my questions (of which I have lots).  I struggle, as always, with time management.  As my mom likes to remind me, "You do work best under pressure."  But as the small, sane voice in the back of my head says, "You need to find a better way to get your work done that won't drive you crazy."

The very first meeting Petra gave me a huge list of all the projects she wants me to work on this year.  I panicked.  Full on "Why the fuck did I take this job?  I'll totally fail." panic and confusion.  The following Sunday, I spoke with my brother and told him what was up.  Wil was impressed with my adviser's organization, and reminded me that she didn't expect me to get it all done at once - this was a year's worth of work.  Petra later confirmed this.  *breathe*  I felt better, but I'm still scratching my head over when I'm going to find the time to work on getting out my dissertation chapters and working on other data that I had.

Moving to State College, Pennsylvania in midwinter sucks.  With the snow, cold, and seasonal darkness I have no incentive to get out and check out the area.  This leaves me a lot of time to work.  At the same time, I want to establish some boundaries between work and play.  Downtime, play so to speak, is good for my brain.  I have found, in the past, that it gives my brain a chance to process what I've been working on.  Sleep works too, but all work and no play makes Jen a dull girl.  One of my personal goals for this new start in the new year is to find a better balance between work and play - even if my work sometimes seems like play and my play sometimes feels like work.

1 comment:

  1. fantastic star