morsla: (lain)
[personal profile] morsla
You know that you should write in your journal more often when last year's birthday post is still on the front page...

What's happened in the last year? Lots, actually. The kind of major changes that ought to happen over a much longer period of time, but rarely have the good grace to do so. When things happen, they all happen fast.

I started a new job in April. Part time at first, now full time, with a review next month. It's the first genuine "career" job I've had*, and will hopefully become a permanent position in the company after October. I can work on consulting projects that match up well with my thesis, people are genuinely interested in learning things from my research, and the company directors are serious about making me pick up all the various skills I'm missing. I'm doing a lot more client-facing work than I've ever done before. That's confronting and challenging, but ultimately very valuable. It's also completely changed my working week: early starts and late shifts when coordinating things with staff in India have played havoc with my body clock, calibrated as it was to a research student timetable.

Louise and I are expecting a baby. Much sooner than we thought 24 hours ago, in fact: The Day might be more like four weeks away now, instead of six. Louise has been having a rough time of things lately - developing gestational diabetes about a month ago, and starting on insulin today. Early detection and management are great, but the doctors are now making noises about needing a much earlier delivery. Those extra couple of weeks were going to involve a lot of frantic getting ready, which will now have to happen on top of all the other things we have going on at the moment.

Those things have meant that I'm still not finished my thesis. Not surprising, but disappointing. In particular, I needed to get a lot of work done before the baby arrives, but haven't had the energy to do anything at all after finishing work. However, I've been speaking at a few events now, and seem to have found my niche: understanding how networks of people work, to help explain all the fuzzy, hard-to-quantify benefits that go with being well connected. That's the heart of it. The ways people use bits of technology to make that easier are another layer on top - handy to understand for my current line of work, but understanding people is the key.

By this time next year, many parts of my life will probably be unrecogniseable. Without really knowing what to look forward to (or look out for), all I can really do is hold on, and see what happens.

* CSIRO doesn't really count. I thought it did, at the time, but being strung along on years of 6-month contracts isn't a career. It's an abusive relationship that you stick with because you think things will get better - ignoring the obvious signs that you're the only one who wants to make it work...
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