I have been in my current job for nearly 5 years. It is a position that was essentially an extension of the work I did for my master’s degree, which is what I did for the three years previous. Yes. It took me three years to complete my master’s. To be fair to myself, I went into a forestry program with a focus in economics, with no background in either discipline. But I digress. I like my current position. I’m pretty good at what I do and we can eat and keep a roof over our heads with my maintaining a .6 FTE (essentially being salaried to work 24 hours a week).
The catch is, and always has been, that I’m working on soft money. What does that mean? It means grants. My boss has grant money to pay my salary and benefits, and I sign a contract every six months for the next six months. The end date is based on how long the grant money lasts, and the understanding I’ve had with my boss is that my funding will run out on June 30th of this year. She’s retiring in the next couple of years, and her current focus is not research, so she let me know a few years ago that this was the plan. Know what else June 30th is? The day before Leah’s ‘due date’…as I’ve said before, we like living on the edge.
In November I was approached by a member of my church community about there being a reworking of the administrative position in the fellowship, and I’ve been really excited about that job. Until two weeks ago. A professor and avid Darwin aficionado told me to come by his office for a chat about work, where he continued by outlining what is, for someone in my position and my field, the job of a lifetime. A job in which I would be working with leading experts, who have created some really innovative computer models for exploring questions about wildfire. As of Friday I was informed that I’m on the team.
The bitter to the sweet is that I had to tell people who are very dear to me that I wouldn’t be applying for the church position. People who have taken time and energy to talk to me about what they envision for the position. It’s grand. It is, in it’s own way a once in a lifetime option. The challenges will be entirely different. In some ways what I’ve chosen is more challenging. I’ll be expected to publish in my first year. In other ways, less challenging. I will be continuing in a field in which I have a depth of knowledge, and a good understanding of what we don’t know. I’ll be working on hard problems, but they’re hard problems that I’ve made my own already.
Anyway, I know this is still relatively cryptic. I haven’t signed any papers, so I’m being light on detail, but the real take home is: job. Work I love. Bills will be paid. Baby bee will have a home to be born in. I can’t wait.