Pursuing the elusive Post-Doc – how to make the most of it?

So, I’ve successfully completed my first month as a post-doctoral research assistant. What a month it’s been. Still no completion date in sight for my PhD thesis, but that’s for another day. I’ve submitted ethics amendments, helped apply for a grant (thus potentially securing my job for next year), attended meetings, made suggestions. And I’m struggling for more things to do. “Don’t complain!!” I hear you cry. I would be saying the same thing if this weren’t me. But after months of not having enough hours in the day to do what I need to do this is quite the culture shock. I have work planned for the future, but need data to do it and this hasn’t been entered yet, and thus there is little to do at the moment. Safe to say I don’t like it. I’m being paid to do a job and I feel uneasy not being able to use all my paid working hours to do it. I’m wary that when this has happened in the past I’ve said “Yes” to a lot of opportunities at once and then found myself swamped once again, so I need to think and choose carefully. I don’t want to take on any regular commitments at the moment as there is still the small issue of not having submitted my thesis, and I don’t know when I will get the inevitable flood of amendments from my supervisor that will require time off to act upon. I want to get some teaching experience but as I’m in a new University I don’t know who to ask – this requires more investigation. In the mean time I’m thinking of doing something for my personal development that isn’t a regular thing…any suggestions?


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