My new job has some seriously great perks. This might be a bit early for a definitive assessment, but things sure are looking good.
Perk #1 : Freedom and resources
I don't have any specific project imposed on me, rather a set of guidelines and the lab context. So for the past couple of weeks I've mostly been looking around, reading background literature, talking to people and generally sniffing out potentially interesting topics of investigation. Finally this week I had a meeting with my new boss during which I explained the ideas I'd come up with for a research project. First bit of good news: he approved enthusiastically. Second bit of good news: he encouraged me to Think Big.
"Never mind what it takes," he said (well, I'm paraphrasing loosely), "we've got access to all the resources you could possibly want, and then some. So go nuts. Don't think in terms of hundreds OR thousands of strains; think in terms of hundreds OF thousands. "
I gulped mentally, because come on, let's be honest, that's really much bigger than I'm used to. But also, yeehaw!, y'know? I feel like I've been taken off the leash.
And catapulted into the air without a net, but that's a matter for another time.
Perk #2 : Glug glug
Because it's not enough to be in a highly stimulating work environment with abundant resources and friendly coworkers.
On Thursday we were invited (=strongly encouraged) to attend a seminar from 6 to 7 PM, which might sound like kind of a tough work schedule, but it was preceded by an informal gathering with a generous food & wine buffet. And the seminar itself was top-notch. Very enjoyable! [I love this place.]
(I was completely beat by the time I got home, though, as the seminar's at the Cambridge campus and it took me well over an hour to commute back.)
This was part of an inter-departmental series of seminars that take place every month. They're always preceded by the food & wine buffet, not just the first time. And on most Friday mornings starting next week there's an informal "chalk talk" with complimentary breakfast. [I love this place.]
Then on Friday at 5 pm, the boss came out of his office and asked me "Do you like wine? We're going to drink a bottle." I was like "What, now?" and he went "Oh, well in 5 minutes to be precise". Turns out it's his birthday this weekend, he just got back from a long absence (conference & lecturing trip), and he had a bottle in his office, so those of us who happened to be around were invited to join in the mini-celebration. Cue much discussion of wine, food and traveling. [I love this place.]
Now a repeat "wine-the-boss" session is being planned for Monday because some people weren't there the first time. Then on Saturday, we're having a house-warming BBQ, and in October, a week-long retreat in Maine for a combination of heavy-duty science, dining and wine-tasting. [Have I mentioned I love this place?]
Somebody please pinch me.