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A way forward

User: anonymoushomo - 17 October 2020 21:05

Hey everyone, throwaway account here. I have been a postdoc almost for 4 years in biochemistry/genetics on the west coast USA. My current appointment has been extremely unsuccessful, and my relationship with my PI has badly degenerated. Without getting too much into detail, I was very ill for most of my first year after moving for the position and slipped into a really severe depression afterward due to the terminal illness of a family member. My work suffered, my interest in science waned, and my professor became hostile and condescending to me, resulting in a pretty hard to recover from downward spiral.
I am a bit unsure where to do or where to look for career counseling. The people at my university have not been able to help. I haven't published or given talks since my (extremely productive) time in graduate school, and am kind of at a loss for where I might even possibly be able to take my career from here. I decided to bite the bullet and reach out for some anonymous help, in the hopes people might be able to give me some perspective on my current situation. Any advice or perspective would be deeply, deeply appreciated!

User: rewt - 20 October 2020 21:53

Hi anonymoushomo,

I don't what perspective I can give you but what do you want to do? It sounds like you want someone to give you options whenever you should really be asking what sort of career you want. The sad truth is you are probably going to be working for another 30-40 years and you don't really want to do something you don't enjoy. Most of us will also change career at some point due to how life develops so what you choose now is not going to be permanent. My personal philosophy is to find a job/career that you enjoy or can at least tolerate the work involved. I understand that you don't know what is achievable but do you want to do research, teaching, industrial related job or something completely different? Then you can evaluate your options and see what you can/want to do.

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