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FABstracts – back from the dead

April 18, 2016

A lot has changed in the last two years. I completed my PhD, did a short-term postdoc, and moved across the country to start a new job in biotech. Needless to say, my free time was zero and I didn’t have the energy to keep up with this site. But the spark was reignited a few days ago, when I learned that some of my friends are starting a science blog. I’m excited because their ideas will make for some damn sexy science-ed. It also reminded me how much I loved writing FABstracts. So I’ve decided to resume my position as your profane expert on all things biological, physiological, mucosal, and fecal.

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But fiiiiirst, I want to write a few posts about my experience finishing grad school. As it turns out, getting my PhD was shockingly anticlimactic. I defended my thesis in front of my friends and family, everyone clapped and we had champagne, and then… that was it. I went back to work in my same lab because I still had to finish writing and submitting my second research paper. My title officially changed to postdoc (yay me!), but my daily routine was identical. I had no idea what to do with my life and I was secretly scared out of my gourd.

No one warned me about any of this, so I just want to share my experience with anyone who might be going through a similar transition. You should know you aren’t alone in your sweaty-palmed panic.

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Or pits, if you’re blessed with superhero glands like mine

Frankly, I expected that earning my PhD would mean I was hot shit. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I really thought employers would be psyched… nay, SALIVATING… to hire someone with my credentials. I was just so educated now, you know? But the ivory tower was taller than I realized, because my head was in the goddamn clouds. Apparently street cred is way more important to potential employers, who do not consider a shiny new degree equivalent to actual industry experience.

To complicate matters, my boyfriend was offered a promotion across the country… in Austin, TX. We’re both career-oriented hustlers, and after much discussion we decided he should take the opportunity since I had no job offers on the table. He would move down right away, and I would remain in Seattle until I secured a job. It was great for him, but vastly narrowed my career opportunities. Also… Texas. It was a hard pill for me to swallow.

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Texas?

I pouted and raged for a few months after we made the choice to move, which of course wasn’t fair to either of us. I’m thankful he had the patience to wait out my self-absorbed temper tantrum, because as it turns out… Austin is rad as hell! The real problem was that I was scared of change and terrified to enter the real world.

Shout out to Ben and Jerry for truly carrying me through this phase of my life.

In the next couple of posts I’ll tell you about the postdoc interview I bombed, the choice to move to Texas and how I dealt with the risk to my own career, and my eye-opening journey into biotech. Hopefully I can provide some insight, moral support, and especially humor to show anyone in this life stage that it’s okay! We’re all on the struggle bus together.

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Beep beep, bitches!

Once that’s done we can return to your regularly scheduled science bits and poop jokes, I promise. UGH I MISSED YOU GUYS SO HARD!!!!! ❤

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