Week 5: Women and SET – your ideal job

Imagine what you would like to do and the sort of environment you would ideally like to work in.

Obviously a very good idea, as before you can find your job, you need to know what you’re looking for. However, the overall result of the course so far has been to convince me that if I stay in SET I have two choices, neither of them good.

  1. To fight my way back into SET and focus on my career to the exclusion of family/personal life.
  2. To fight my way back into SET and accept that I will miss out on promotion, leadership and other ‘markers of success’ if we as a couple decide to have a family.

As I said, neither prospect is particularly appealing.

I’m ambitious, focussed and driven: I would hate to be passed over and seen as less-committed just because I was known to have a child. Sadly, the examples on the course confirm that this attitude is still incredibly common. I’m also not ambitious or driven enough to be willing to sacrifice the very good relationship I have with my partner in order to be a success in any career. He’s the same, so it’s not that I’m going to be a traditional wife sitting at home to make sure that darling hubby can be a big cheese either!

To return to the question….

My ideal job will include the following (not in order of priority):

  • the opportunity to increase my knowledge/experience
  • the opportunity to use and/or share my knowledge/experience
  • the potential for progression to a leadership role
  • a high level of autonomy and personal responsibility
  • a pleasant, supportive working environment (and yes, I consider a lab to be a pleasant place, even if you are working with thiols!)
  • flexible holiday provision (I’m not one to enjoy an enforced 2-week break)
  • a level of reward which I consider shows that I am valued, including the possibility of a pension scheme and other non-financial benefits if appropriate
  • a commute of no more than 45 minutes in each direction each day!

Things I need in my life which may or may not be part of a job:

  • creativity
  • social interaction
  • thinking space

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