Thursday, April 22, 2010

Update and upcoming...

I know I need to finish Japan bjourning (and yes, I will...) but I wanted to write a bit about what's happening over the next little while, because I'm pretty excited about it all. Here are some important points to touch on:

1) We moved apartments (duh!)
We really liked so many things about our old place, but we needed more space and moving northward, closer to Brian's work at Northwestern made a lot of sense given point no. 2, below. We are pretty much settled into the new place, and it's pretty great so far. 2bed/2bath, with garage parking, a balcony, and 2 lovely, ginormous walk-in closets. We'll post photos when things are a bit more set up, like last time. Excitingly, we have room for a dining area in the new place, so it has been nice to "eat like adults" once in a while, though I probably will still prefer sitting on the ground at the coffee table anyway. As my parents always said, I "eat like a beggar" and I am unapologetic about it! Very excited about the balcony too, as I have wanted a grill forever.

2) I got a new job, and even though I accepted the offer before Christmas, I don't start until the fall.
I'll be a management consultant, which is daunting and thrilling at the same time. I'm sure I'll write more about this later, maybe when it becomes "more real," but the process of deciding to leave academia and applying for/getting this job has been a small ordeal. In short, sometime over the last couple of years, I became less and less hopeful and motivated about continuing on the path I was on (toward becoming a professor), and eventually I decided to think about alternatives. I knew of consulting because a few of our friends and family are in the field (via academia, as well as more traditional routes) though I would say not many people in Psychology are very familiar with it. Well, more on that later, but for now let's just say I took a leap and somehow, thankfully, landed on solid ground. I feel really, really lucky. And I have to say that I couldn't have done it without a ton of support - from Brian first and foremost, but also from my advisor, family, friends, etc. Everyone has been so encouraging and helpful, whether it was just listening to me stress about it, or answering my MANY questions about consulting, helping me prep for interviews, or just being excited for me. I am so grateful.

3) I have finished up my postdoc, as of the end of April.
I'd been at UChicago for just over 2.5 years, which seems crazy when I think about it. The actual end of my job wasn't a huge deal, probably because there was such a long lag between my accepting the new job offer in December and leaving last month. My coworkers threw a nice little party, though, and I'll miss them! People keep asking me if I've started the new job yet, and I just laugh and say "no no, not until the fall." A coworker left a couple of weeks before me on a Friday to start a new job the next Monday, so waiting 8 months before starting is pretty strange.

4) I have about 4.5 months off, with lots of craziness planned.
For example, in about 6 hours I board a plane for Vietnam. I love travel, and especially "big trips." When I was applying for jobs, I said to myself (and anyone who would listen, poor Brian) that if I got a job, the first thing I would do was tell my postdoc advisor that I was leaving in April, so that I could have a lot of time off. I didn't really know what I would do with that time, but now it's pretty filled up and I'm excited for it all. Here's a quick rundown:

May to early June: 3 weeks in Vietnam including a Habitat for Humanity build and some solo travelling, then I fly to Hong Kong for 10 days. No, Brian isn't coming with me. I'll miss him of course, and it's too bad I won't get to share the experience with him (especially HK, since I'll be visiting with family over there that we haven't seen in a long time). He deserves a nice long vacation too, but it'll have to wait until later in the summer... Lucky for him, several of our friends are coming into town in May and he'll get to hang out with them!

June: I return from HK on a Wednesday, and on that Friday I fly to New York (where Brian will join me, he'll be at a conference when I get back from Asia) for our friends' marriage celebration. (And what a celebration that'll be, A&J!) The next weekend, I have a "retreat" with the women's organization of the consulting firm I will be joining. Then, finally some time at home until...

July: Early in the month I will head to Prague to visit my friends (who are moving there for a few years, how great is that?!) for about a week, and then join up with my in-laws, Donald and Brian for an Eastern European river cruise that takes us from Budapest through Turkey (our last stop is in Istanbul). Donald and I are hoping to stay in Turkey for a few more days afterward, which would take me into the first week of August. At some point in there I have to do some "pre-work" for my job, which they say is about 100 hours (eeps!) so I'll be lugging a couple of textbooks with me on the cruise. Seriously, they sent me 3 textbooks, on accounting, economics, and finance. Welcome to my new world!

August/September/October: I have a one day orientation for the new firm, and then a break until mid-September when I start a 3-week "mini MBA" course in, I think, Connecticut. After that, I have another break until mid-October when I have another one-week training, and then, presumably, I will actually start working.

Well, those are the brief details (is that an oxymoron?). But as I said, I am getting on a plane for a 15-hour ride in about 6 hours, so I should go and finish packing! I'll try to post a bit from Asia, but I'm not sure what my access will be like, especially for the first 2 weeks while I'm on the Habitat build. Would love to hear from you when I'm away, feel free to comment here or email me!

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