Changing is hard to do

This wasn’t an easy week for me. Started with a huge wake up call from former PI telling me that our R01 is very unlikely to be renewed and I have to behave as I’m going to be out of a job by January 31th, 2015. Also, in order to be successful into this new funding tendency, I’ll have to come up with a wonderful idea and use a totally different technique that no one has ever used before in our field of research. Ah, and also have preliminary data for that, of course. Not forgetting to mention that our R01 is ending and there’s no money (and time, and expertise) for anything like setting up a new technique in the lab! Later in the week, I received the news that my R03 was triaged. That didn’t really surprise me, I really didn’t have high expectations due to it being my very first submission of a grant and with the shortage of funding to new researchers. But such a bad timing for unpleasant news!

I get it. I can’t continue doing more of the same. I have to change. I have to learn new techniques. Look at my research from a different perspective. But right now I also need to look for a job. There’s no space for me as a TT researcher, at least not yet, not with my CV. I feel like I need to develop an strategy of plans A, B, C… and Z! But my problem is that I can’t see any thing that pleases me right now. I could try to go to industry or other “alternative careers”. And give up my research dream that I’ve been pursuing for about 15 years? That seems so lame.  I could also try to go for a teaching position in a tiny small college and try to do some research in my *free* hours. Very unlikely to be happy, but at least I’d have a job…  I could also try to apply for another postdoc and change my research focus, moving to a lab that does fancier research. But after being here for so long, I always told myself that I was done with PDs, that just wanted to move from here if it was to have my own lab somewhere else. And be able to move on with my personal life also!

Now, what I need to do is start applying for jobs. Everywhere, anything. But that makes me so sad. I don’t wanna give up my research. I don’t wanna give up my dreams. But on the other hand, I don’t know if I want this crazy life of writing grants desperately and living in the constant stress of not being funded. I feel lost and I see no light at the end of the tunnel.