Getting in over my head

So when does trying to advance one's career become a Bad Idea? How about when you're trying to recover from a nightmare postdoc so you take a part-time lab job while you regroup, then apply to a few teaching spots only to find out that you're only missing one qualification-- more teaching experience-- else you'd be gainfully employed?

The obvious solution is to get more teaching experience. For me, the only realistic option for doing this is to teach at the local community college. I taught Intro Bio this summer and it was really fun. However, as most people know, adjuncting at a community college does NOT pay the bills. So I loaded up on more courses for the fall, hoping that I'd be ok and get more exposure even though one or more of them might fall through due to low enrollment. I also started applying to interesting lab jobs.

Of course we have the perfect storm of "things actually going my way for f*cking once". I find a great lab to work in (with the potential to turn the spot into a postdoc if the funding works out), but so far all 3 of my courses for the fall are still on!!!! I'm going to have to balance a full course load with a 40+ hour a week position. Great.

At least I won't be poor this semester.... the up side is that I should be able to go to just about any faculty spot in the area and point out that I've carried more than a normal workload, and succeeded at it. Which will probably mean I won't get the job due to being overqualified. I swear, science really is an abusive lover.


More like this

I'm considering going to graduate school and getting a PhD in neuroscience after I complete my undergraduate studies but every time I read about your troubles finding a job I start doubting my career choice. Do you have any tips or advice that you would give to an undergraduate about graduate school or the field of neuroscience in particular?

And hopefully not just the cliche don't do it.