Holy crap, what an interesting read. It's 6 years since I last posted, and another 2 years more than that since I joined. Some updates:
1. My friend S whom I mention in my first post is now 33 years old. He's single with no gf in sight...which only goes to show planning is often just a target and hardly the end result. :)
2. My finacee is now my wife. We celebrated our 4 th anniversary last Nov. She's still as sweet, lovely, and cute as the day we met. Nothing is perfect, though, but I'll leave that for another posting.
3. I graduated with an MS in 2010. Why so long given that I was completing research in 2006? I gave up going for a phd and instead joined industry. I needed to concentrate on my relationship and my new life. I couldn't be so selfish to take myself aways from that and don't regret it a bit. That's a lie...I do regreat not finishing sooner but whatever. I started as a research associate I and after about 2.5 years made it to scientist 1. I think i've done well for myself.
In the six years I've been working at my company, we've been thru a few layoffs. Most were small and probably more just an excuse to get rid of the undesirables. This latest one, however, was very different. We spent nearly 6 mths not knowing what would happen and the stress was exhausting. Nearly 70% of some departments were laidoff, many of whom are my friends. To be honest, I lucked out in that respect as most of my friends stayed on. In anycase, I only mention this because now that the population has decreased so drastically, the competition has become fierce. Those that are left are the cream of the crop, so to speak, and many aren't afraid to act that way. I can ignore most of the internal politics and BS, but it does get to me and I'm feeling the pressure to do better and better. Self improvement is a wonderful thing, but boy is it hard sometimes. ;)
Because of other complicated things, and my personality in general, it became easier to simply "do" experiments and not "think" about them. This has led some to start thinking things about me I don't want them to. When i had started in Dec 2005, I came in full of confidence and brimming with ideas. As time went on, I lost some of that edge and certainly a lot of my confidence. As the competition builds, I need to concentrate on where I want to be and in regaining my confidence. Currently I've been thinking a lot about:
1. Manager D: I am not a yes-man and think your comments implied that I am (I may be wrongly inferring that from him though). I only do experients I believe will bring me closer to the truth. It isn't my fault I usually think your ideas are worth trying out.
2. My boss J: I am forever grateful for your support over the years. Please don't misconstrue my apparent expertise in application testing to be a reflection of my interests. I've gotten into a rut where I'm "doing" and not "thinking". I need to get out of that.
Both issues need to be dealt with over the next few months. How? I'm taking a few hours every week to simply think: think about what we should investigate next and where to go from here. This means pushing back on experiments that need to be done "now". Hopefully that will give me the confidence to propose these ideas.
keeping my eyes of the prize,