So yesterday was my last day at work. It ended up being a bit bizarre, not least because my colleagues decided to have a surprise lunch for me, but because it was a surprise they (obviously) didn’t tell me, and it turned out that I had already booked a home visit for that time and they ended up phoning me asking me where I was as they had turned up for lunch and then had other appointments so then had to go! There did seem to be a bit of grumpiness about it, but not being psychic there wasn’t much I could do about it – at least it is reassuring to know how good my colleagues are at keeping a secret! I didn’t manage to get everything done that I wanted to, so a few things were left to colleagues, and I actually didn’t sleep very well partly because I felt a bit rough following my leaving do (not alcohol-related; I just had a meal which had a really really rich Brie sauce which was delicious but so rich it made its presence felt for a while afterwards) but also because I kept running through my head the things which still needed doing. I did phone in this morning as there was something I should have told them and I remembered that I hadn’t, but once I had done that I felt like I really could let go, and I am expecting to sleep much better tonight! I will miss my colleagues very much, they are a great team, but I really had done as much as I could with the job and definitely have made the right decision in terms of moving on.
I had a reasonably relaxing day today, I wanted a bit of a break before organising my working from home routine, so the serious writing/marking/teaching starts from next week (I have set aside Monday to finally sort out my study). Tomorrow I am going to a research day, which will be good to get me back into the research vibe, and I know that one of my PhD supervisors will be there so it will be good to catch up with her. I’m feeling very positive about the future, all in all.
So I had the job interview today (in Edinburgh). Why yes, I did get the job, thank you for asking 😀
I start in May, which is perfect timing as my OU work stops in June for the summer. I am really chuffed – I enjoyed the interview, felt that if I didn’t get it it would be because there was someone better rather than because I wasn’t good enough, and know it will be great experience. It’s a fixed term position, for 21 months, but it should give me tons of experience to bring to a permanent position.
Thanks Ian, and all, for your prayers and good wishes. I am really grateful. Hooray! 😀
NB I’m not saying anything yet on fb or twitter (I’m not on fb till Sunday anyway); I want to tell my family and work colleagues first rather than have them read something on fb. Thanks!
Today I am pretty pleased with what I have managed to do – not least because I didn’t actually get up till 1pm, bliss! I have marked a couple of essays and did a little bit of work with my OU students (nothing too taxing), I have applied for another job online, I have written and submitted a proposal for a conference paper, and I have read an article ready for a twitter discussion this evening (like an online journal club). I have also managed within this to faff about and eat biscuits, so it’s all good.
The job interview on Friday was OK, but I am not holding my breath. They have another candidate to interview at some point next week, so I won’t hear either way for probably another week, but given my horrible week I wasn’t well enough to spend a lot of time preparing, and on the day I really didn’t feel in the mood for an interview and even contemplated not going. I’m glad I did though; it’s all good practice and actually spending a bit of time thinking about something other than myself and feeling sorry for myself was helpful and got me feeling a bit perkier and more motivated to get on with life. I’m actually looking forward to going back to work tomorrow (though I’m also looking forward to leaving work the week after!).
I can’t believe though, having been up less than 7 hours today, that I am already feeling tired and ready for a night’s sleep! What a lightweight.
Today I heard that the OU module I was interviewed for at the end of last year, and for which I was deemed ‘appointable’, doesn’t have enough students for me to be formally appointed. Which is disappointing, but not an enormous surprise – I think the current financial situation means that many people who were considering doing some study, and employers who previously might have sponsored employees to do so, are thinking again. The ‘appointable’ thing lasts a year apparently, so this time next year if they have an influx of students there is the possibility of work then. Ah well – a year is a long time, and lots can happen.
I have now got myself signed up to the nurse bank here, which means that when my manager returns from leave next week I am going to hand in my notice. This is the worst-kept secret ever in my workplace, as I have been trying to leave almost since I started, so it’s kind of ironic that I have worked out this is the longest I have ever stayed in one nursing job ever! In many ways it is a big big gamble – I have my current OU tutoring which will tide me over financially for a few months, plus any bank shifts I can get, but the OU modules only run till June and don’t start again till October, which will leave me with 3 months with no guaranteed income unless I can get bank shifts (not guaranteed). And if student numbers continue to fall I may not have all the OU work I currently have come next October. But. I have known for some time that I want to do research work, and in order to get into that field I need to be published (which, apart from one book chapter, I’m not at the moment). Before Christmas I had an interview where I came close, but the feedback I got was that one of the main reasons I wasn’t offered the job was because I didn’t have enough experience and publications. So I have decided to take this gamble. Without the regular health visiting, I will be able to do my OU work, do the odd bank shift, and have time left over to write and try and get myself published and ‘out there’. I am so lucky that I have the OU work and the nursing qualification which means that I am somewhat cushioned against the risk. But it is a risk nevertheless.
I was thinking about my early 20s (twenty years ago, eek), when I first graduated and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I ended up temping for a year or so, not knowing from week to week or month to month where the next money was coming from. But I managed, and survived, and managed to save some money even, and I remember that time as really ‘alive’. It did me the world of good, taught me to manage and fend for myself, and live without relying on a regular income. Later on I took similar(ish) risks, giving up good jobs first to do nurse training, and later to do the PhD, and both are things that I am so glad I took the risks for. Of course I am in a different position now, HD has a regular good income, so it’s probably not as brave as any of my previous gambles. But it’s still a bit scary. And I am sure that once again it will do me the world of good, in ways I am yet to discover.
The Salvation Army furniture project came and took away some of the excess furniture left by the vendor today, here is some of it waiting for the pickup. They didn’t take all of it (they have hundreds of irons and kettles that aren’t selling, apparently), and I’m sad to report that the lovely painting of Sylvester Stallone which I had hidden under the microwave in the hope it would get lifted has been left behind.
I also found one of the vendor’s X-rays today! Just when I think there’s nothing weird left to be found.
In other news, I had an interview today for a job I really wanted – didn’t get it but they liked me and may offer me some sessional work to build up my experience; they also offered to meet me in the new year to discuss my career plans. So I can take lots of positives from it, but I am disappointed today. I’ll get over myself soon enough, but in the meantime the sloths from the sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica have been cheering me up. [More sloth love here].
I received this CD in the post – addressed to me, at the new address (so a finite number of people know I’m here), but no indication at all as to who it was from (it was sent by the shop). I’m enjoying the mystery – who could it be from? Santa works in mysterious ways, clearly. If it was from you, thank you, I like it very much! 🙂
This morning we ummed and aahhed about whether or not to go to Solas for the day – the weather was better than forecast, and we had a nice day when we went to the first festival last year, but in the end we decided that there wasn’t enough on that we wanted to see to make it worth spending the money on tickets as well as getting there (if Stanley Odd had been on today rather than yesterday that probably would have tipped the balance). So instead we’ve had a not particularly exciting day, but did manage to get to the recycling place (I know, we’re so rock-n-roll), and then I went to the Tramway Theatre and Hidden Gardens for a cup of tea as I find it quite a good place to do non-pressured writing. I managed to both check and comment on a colleague’s essay (the downside of being academic! Though I didn’t mind, I’m glad to help), write out my rough draft of a job application form (for some bank nursing – am still plotting my escape from health visiting but don’t want to lose my practical skills and experience), *and* identify possible things to write journal articles on from my thesis (I need to get my finger out on that, but if I can get a bit more done then that will help me with future academic job applications). I reckon I have at least 16 articles which could be written, even if I manage a few of them it shouldn’t do me too much harm!
This picture was taken in the Hidden Gardens, at the back of the Tramway. This really made me laugh, I think the flowers look like they are all singing, cartoon-stylee.
I was up in town today on a training course. Probably the best bit of it was the building – this is looking up just inside the entrance to the Mitchell Library.
Actually I found myself spending much of the day thinking “I could do some research on this, set up some focus groups” kind of thing, rather than being fully interested in the actual content. I really need to get another job doing what I’m good at!
Amazingly, it’s not only been a bank holiday, but the sky has been this colour all day! This was taken in the back garden and isn’t really representative of my day (apart from the blue sky), but this morning I had a job interview* (I decided against asking the panel to pose for the camera before I left) and this afternoon we sort of meant to go and explore a local country park but in the end didn’t get beyond the tip, Halfords and Sainsbury’s. So I took this just now before the sun goes down and the blue sky disappears. I wonder if the pigeon is the ****** that crapped on my washing the other week (the washing line is just below).
* the interview went OK, but I could hear my voice shaking as I spoke and it took ages to calm down, so I’m really not sure how I came across. I’m not hugely confident I got the job, of course I thought of a good few things I should have said while I was driving home, but think that shaky voice notwithstanding I didn’t make a fool of myself and acquitted myself well enough overall. I should hear by the end of the week.
This represents the joys of interview preparation. The job involves working with vulnerable people, so I had to fill in the pages and pages of an Disclosure Scotland form (the Scottish equivalent of the CRB check).
Our final stop on our holiday before heading for the ferry home was to see my friend S, who left London for Northern Ireland just after I left London for Glasgow. This is a picture of Anoushka, her cat, who is a real character. I don’t think she’s quite realised she’s not a leopard – her movements are astonishingly big cat-like.
Whilst people were glued to the Royal Wedding, we were at another wedding: HD’s brother got married on the same day as the royal wedding. It was an absolutely lovely day. The weather was perfect all day, the ceremony was beautiful, it was fantastic to catch up with family members, the kids were all lovely, and of course the happy couple looked amazing. I have chosen a blurred picture as they do not read this blog; I really like this picture though as although it is blurred you can still see how they are gazing at each other and for this moment there’s nobody else in the world, just the two of them.
It’s been a good day today. It’s my last day at work till May as I have next week off (and I will be taking it off properly, will be offline and all sorts), I heard that I was successful in the phone interview I had on Tuesday for some more OU tutoring (officially I am confirmed as ‘appointable’, they won’t be able to let me know if I will actually be appointed till much nearer the time when they know student numbers, but that is par for the course so I’m happy), and this evening I came back to the news that my thesis corrections have been accepted (I just need to correct 4 typos which crept in, having already corrected the hundreds that were already there). And then I went onto facebook to see that another of my departmental colleagues passed his viva today too. So here’s a book that neither of us will be needing any more! 🙂
… I applied for a job a few weeks ago as a research assistant. It was a part-time job which was right up my street in lots of ways. I heard today I wasn’t shortlisted, and whilst I’m feeling quite philosophical about this particular job, I am a bit fed up about my employability overall. I nostalgically just read the first ever month’s posts on this blog (nearly 7 years ago!!!!! – April 2004) and found a paragraph which made me go ‘eek’. It said this:
I was thinking today how what I really want to do is study/research and get paid for it. At the moment I have my full-time job which I really like but my heart’s not in it as I don’t find it particularly stimulating intellectually, and my spare time study which is suffering because I’m so knackered from work. So I end up doing neither as well as I could, and then beat myself up about it. It’s a vicious circle.
Hmm, my how I’ve moved on in my life. Actually that’s a bit depressing! (I’m in exactly the same situation as then, except I’m being paid even less than then! That worked out well then).
I keep checking job sites for suitable positions, but there’s not masses out there at the moment. I think I’m a bit frustrated because I am not even getting shortlisted for research assistant jobs (overqualified? Don’t know, they specifically said they would not offer feedback to unsuccessful candidates so who knows), but whilst I got shortlisted for lecturer jobs I haven’t got the publications profile or grant income to be an attractive proposition for that level so never get beyond the interview, so the RA job would have been ideal as I could have got a few publications from that job and had the time to write up my own stuff, and then applied for lecturer jobs having got a more impressive CV in a couple of years. I had a conversation with one of the ship folk on Sunday in Linlithgow, he works in academia and he was saying how the UK academic system churns out so many PhDs but then has nothing at all to offer them once it’s all over. And that’s true – I heard from a friend who does sessional lecturing at another university that they have now (unofficially) said that they will only appoint new staff with not only an enormous and earth-shattering list of publications but also a huge grant that they’ve already won before even starting the job, which in effect absolutely excludes new PhDs. I feel really in limbo at the moment. I just don’t want to be a health visitor any more. I’m so tired of it. But whilst HD’s job is not permanent I don’t feel I can just say sod it and leave my current job.
On top of all this I’m not getting any younger.
I think I need a holiday.