It’s been nearly 2 months since I moved my career from academia to a bio-pharmaceutical industry one. It seems much longer than that. I am feeling less lost now in the meetings, understanding more of the lingo that is tossed around, although I know that I have a long way to go before I am as comfortable as I was in the academia.
One thing that I am still getting used to is counting the hours. The hours that I have to work every 2 weeks are 76 hours and 20 min. Very precise isn’t it? Well, so far I have been overdoing it.. Although I got some of those hours to be saved for time in lieu and some I was paid for as an overtime.
To this moment I am not entirely sure how much am I getting paid. This is because my previous academic job never ceased my employment, the fact of which I discovered after getting an email from them asking to fill in a survey ‘as I was leaving at the end of the month’ and getting a wage albeit lower than normal as I was paying high taxes due to the amount of money received from 2 jobs.
I immediately contacted my previous supervisor to find out what was going on and after some time was told that they never got the documents in time to process them. I was not notified of this at all and only after numerous of emails and phone calls and paying very high taxes on my current job’s wages I was finally able to get an answer that no my contract was not ceased and I was still on books with the University and that I had to give the money overpaid back (which is what I was trying to do in the first place).
My natural cessation of contract was 17th of April and so I am finally free 🙂
In my new job I am getting more and more responsibility and I am always happy to learn new things.. I have a product that I work on, basically on my own, but of course with the help of some senior staff, but am pulled on other products when required.
It is never boring and I am starting to understand how the company works and what are the Dos and Don’ts. Everyone says that don’t get too comfortable as you never know when you will be switched to a completely different role or task.
I still feel that my past experiences do help me, but wish that I didn’t put so much pressure on myself in academia, as at this point in time it seems a bit foolish. I feel like I managed to achieve nothing in academia after spending so much time, effort and heartache on it. And even though I truly loved it, I now understand that there was absolutely no future there for me. Is there a future for me in industry? who knows… but I am willing to give it my best shot.
I also find it kind of funny when people realize that I worked in 3 post-doctoral positions for 8 years… The shock, disbelief and even one of the people said:’What’s wrong with you? Why would you put yourself through that?’. And don’t think that these people are strangers to academic research. Most of them have PhD’s or Masters so they know what it is like, they just new straight away that they wanted sometime different, with a different kind of environment.
Environment, where your efforts are appreciated and acknowledged. Where no matter how small of a task, people will thank you for taking your time to do it for them, where people don’t come and tell you that you are completely wrong and instead will tell you what you did good and what could some work. It makes your job just a little bit easier when you are treated as a human.